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Clean-up idea takes root
( 2003-09-22 10:16) (China Daily)

Grab a pair of gloves, a bag or a bucket and join members of your community to clean up the world.

This has been the call that thousands of young people across China taking part in a large community-based environment campaign - Clean Up the World - have responded to over the past three months.

An awards ceremony was held on Saturday in Beijing for the outstanding teams in the campaign who organized various activities from simple clean-ups to reforestation projects and educational campaigns to recycling programmes.

The Clean Up the World project began with an idea of Australian yachtsman Ian Kiernan in 1989 to clean up Sydney Harbour, by 1993 the idea became an international project.

Every third weekend of September was designated as World Clean-Up Day, and during that weekend every year, more than 40 million volunteers in 120 countries come together to make their local environment a cleaner and healthier places to live in.

In China, hundreds of Roots and Shoots teams, facilitated by the Jane Goodall Institute, launched various clean-up activities in their schools, universities and communities between late July and mid-September this year.

The youngsters made posters themselves and publicized environment knowledge to encourage everyone around them to take action.

Over the past three months, more than 200,000 people joined the clean-up campaign around China. They cleaned a total area of 160,000 square metres, according to statistics provided by the Jane Goodall Institute Beijing Office.

Zhao Siyu, a member of Roots and Shoots at a middle school affiliated to Peking University, said she believes that every individual counts; every individual has a role to play; and every individual makes a difference. "I am excited to see many people have joined me to make our community cleaner and brighter. Everybody can help change the world."

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