The restrictions from Covid in 2020 has meant a change for our family in what and with whom we have been spending our free time. Gone are the weekends scheduled with birthday parties and sports classes and replaced with spending time as a family and in the outdoors.

One activity which all the family enjoy is a Planet Patrol litter pick.  We love that as well as making a difference in clearing a small part of the outdoors, through logging and collecting evidence on the Planet Patrol app, we make a difference to the wider problem of single use items being littered and polluting the environment.

As with any activity involving kids it helps to be prepared so that what you thought would be a fun activity doesn’t quickly descend into tantrums and boredom. Here are our top tips:

Before you go. Download the free Planet Patrol app. Ensure that your phone or tablet is charged and has geotagging enabled for photos. Gather equipment to safely collect litter; gloves, litter pickers, hand sanitiser, bags or boxes.

Collecting. Agree the area boundary where the litter is to be collected from. Team up and have some challenges. “Who can collect the most litter in 2 minutes” and “First to find a Coca Cola plastic bottle”.

Logging. After collecting, give out tasks to sort the litter into types and photograph it. Enthusiasm can dip by now so it useful to log the litter on the app somewhere a snack can be enjoyed, a tree climbed or at a park for playing in.  

After. Try to get the public to stop dropping litter in the area you have cleared. Make and display signs “Leave Only Footprints” or hide decorated stones to make it an attractive place for people to visit and want to maintain. 

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