We’re into the final week of Campbell River’s 2nd annual Small Planet Clean-up Contest.

There’s nearly $2,000 in cash prizes up for grabs this year, and a cleaner Campbell River by the end of the contest this Friday, April 23rd. 

Over the last three weeks, people have cleaned up sections of Campbell River and then took before and after pictures. 

The rules are simple. From now until Friday, April 23 (the day after Earth Day),

  • Take before and after photos of garbage you find and clean-up (using all safety precautions)
  • Submit your photos on Small Planet Energy’ Facebook page here, or by emailing them to tara@smallplanetenergy.ca
  • Spread the word and invite your friends.

Small Planet Energy’s Tara Jordan is once again organizing the contest. 

She says the idea is to motivate people to help make Campbell River a cleaner place to live.

“It started in 2020 with the idea that there was a lot more garbage around our community than there should be, and what we realized was, maybe we could do something about it,” Jordan said. “So we put a community challenge forward last year to get folks in our community cleaning up and we put a few hundred dollars cash prizes up (for grabs) and the feedback and the outcome was amazing.”

Last year’s contest saw 18 entries and hundreds of pounds of garbage cleaned up along Campbell River’s trails, forests, beaches, and roads.

April 22, 2021 marks the 51st annual celebration of Earth Day, which is a global movement, that now includes 193 countries around the world. 

Small Planet says it’s hoping this challenge will inspire people to help clean up Campbell River, and this beautiful Small Planet, “we all care so much about.”

“We’re just challenging our community to look around and see what they can do to make this place a little tidier, a little cleaner, our beaches, our roads, our forests, it needs our help, so it’s time we did a little bit more to help our environment,” Jordan said. 

Prizes include $1,000 for first place, $500 for second and $200 for third, for the three most impressive garbage clean ups, as well as $50 in cash prizes for the top children’s clean-ups, between now and Friday at 6:00pm. 

Entrants that have to overcome obstacles, such as transportation barriers, transporting garbage distances, socio-economic barriers, or other difficulties, will be given bonus points.

Jordan says people who took part in last year’s contest are now striving to make their area a cleaner place, all year round.

“Because of the contest they were jump-started to action, and they’ve got into the habit, now, of cleaning up garbage on their daily walk which is beautiful, that’s what we all have to be doing,” she added. “If we all pick up things as we see them, the garbage problem would be much, much less problematic for our environment.”

With that in mind, Jordan applauded everyone who makes it their mission to clean up Campbell River year-round.

“There is a large group of people who are responsible for tackling and coordinating illegal dumping site cleanups,” she said. “I’ve learned about two gentlemen, who are seniors, who are cleaning up the Campbell River Spit area every single day. They go out with garbage bags and recycling bags and every single day of the year for the past 10 years they’ve been cleaning up the Spit, so there are heroes in our community.”

Jordan also sent out a “big shoutout” to a young local girl, Ali Ellsworth.

“She has been so excited about being a part of this cleanup, that, every single day, as soon as it’s free time, she has her garbage bag and her work gloves on. She’s six but she’s cleaned up more than her weight in garbage this week.”