Grassroots Group Picks Up 51,387 Pieces of Trash
Social Networking Starter Club Explodes into Viral Revolution
By: Power Public Relations
The group, which is run solely through a grassroots Web page on Facebook, currently has 1,485 members who pledge to round up seven pieces of litter on the 7th of every month.
Just six months ago, it had zero members. In December 2009, founder John Cornelsen was visiting Manhattan with his family. “We love it there, but on that trip the amount of litter really struck me,” said Cornelsen. “I thought if everyone in Manhattan picked up trash for just 5 minutes, it would be clean!”
Cornelsen is a partner at Evolving Texas, a civil engineering and land planning firm that supports property development and the beautification of communities. He founded the group so others, aside from their social status or income level, could contribute to making the world a better, nicer place to live.
Cornelsen thought the Manhattan garbage pickup theory would apply elsewhere, so since the next day was December 7, he called the idea 7 Up on the 7th and started a Facebook group. 58 people immediately signed up. Since then, Cornelsen has been reminding people to pick up on the 7th through Facebook and Twitter. In just six months, the group has grown to more than 1,400 members and has picked up over 50,000 pieces of trash.
If everyone currently in the group recruits just one person every 26 days, the group will pick up 1 million pieces of trash in 2010.
It’s a goal that has attracted the attention of environmental heavy hitters including Keep America Beautiful. A few months ago, Cornelsen reached out to the organization about the group; they not only responded, but also put the group in their newsletter, which reaches about 600 affiliate organizations.
“I wanted to make a difference despite the tough times,” said Cornelsen. “There aren’t many causes you can get behind that don’t take much time or any money. This is a great way for people to be involved without having to overthrow their schedules or donate money, and it still makes a huge impact.”
7 Up on the 7th is founded on the belief that there’s a tipping point with litter. Cornelsen suspects that if places can be cleaned enough, people will stop littering completely because it shows that effort is made to keep them clean.
Anyone can join the group on Facebook or follow their progress on Twitter @7up7th.
About 7 Up on the 7th
On December 6, 2009, John Cornelsen was a man who wanted a cleaner planet but had no idea how to make it happen. On a family trip to New York, he marveled at the city teeming with people and thought that if everyone just took 5 minutes to pick up trash, the whole place would be clean.
The next day was December 7th, so he decided to create 7 Up on the 7th, a grassroots organization founded and maintained solely through social networking. The group’s mantra is simple: If everyone picks up 7 pieces of trash on the 7th of every month, we’ll be on our way to a much cleaner planet. What started as a simple toe in the water test exploded into a membership of more than 1,400 in and more than 50,000 collected pieces of trash in just six months. The group’s goal is to pick up one million pieces of trash in 2010.
7 Up on the 7th is open for membership on Facebook and Twitter @7up7th.