Letter to the Editor: Please Help Keep Our Community Clean


Thank you for sharing this letter with your readers:

Hi, neighbors,

First, we’re seeing some significant results in areas of the City that are regularly cleaned. Bottom line: cleanups work! We’re still a long way away from truly changing our habits and culture, but every day I’m increasingly encouraged as we see more people adopt the clean-city lifestyle.

We recently passed another bitter-sweet milestone: more than 200,000 gallons of trash (or 15,380 trash bags) were removed from our neighborhoods, beaches, parks and public spaces. More than 6,000 unique volunteers have completed a cleanup and after this weekend and we will have supported more than 800 cleanups since we began our campaign 18 months ago. But again, we’re still the best kept secret in SF, so please continue to spread the word about Refuse Refuse (you can start by forwarding this email to friends and family).

We’re gearing up for an exciting 2023 and we need support beyond volunteering to cleanup. Roles and activities we need help with are outreach, leading cleanups, butt-cans, grant writing, performing waste audits and offering your skills. If you’re interested in getting more involved, please fill out this Google Form.

The holiday season is upon us, and it’s a time when many people feel more charitable. While there are many worthy causes, we hope you consider supporting the cleanup collaborations. Our campaign has never asked for individual donations, because keeping SF clean doesn’t require more money – what we need is more people to be the change and act. Giving Tuesday is on Nov. 29 and I’d love for you to donate one-hour of your time by joining the cleanup at Dolores Park. I’ll be leading, starting at noon.

I leave you with this quote from the amazing Jim Rohn“Time is the great equalizer of all mankind. It has taken away the best and the worst of us without regard to either.” Whether you’re Mark Zuckerberg or Marc Benioff or a kindergartener or a retiree, we all share the same limited resources, and what we do – not what we think in our heads or say with our mouths – determines who we are and shapes our identity. And while the few bad actors attempt to sully our humanity, I believe in the butterfly effect of goodness and our potential to demonstrate the best of ourselves each day.

Your neighbor, Vince Yuen, Refuse Refuse

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