Last week I shared with you about the new Anaheim Packing House in Orange County. This revitalized area of Downtown Anaheim has quickly become my favorite place to go to after work to hang out with friends. The whole Anaheim Packing District area is definitely something the citizens of Anaheim should be proud of, and proud they are.
Anaheim residents are joining together with a group that originated in Tokyo called Green Bird to keep their community clean. Read more about this new initiative to keep Anaheim green and clean below in the full Green Bird press release. You can even sign up to join them on bi-monthly clean ups throughout the city.
In the shadow of the Disneyland Resort, Angel Stadium, and the Anaheim Packing House, there’s a brand new wonder to behold in Anaheim, California. Dressed in green vests and wielding metal tongs, the Green Bird team of Anaheim is a litter-collecting army of local residents and volunteers of all ages and backgrounds, intent on cleaning up their city.
Begun in Tokyo in 2003 by a group of eco-conscious young people, Green Bird now has teams in over 50 locations across Japan, as well as overseas groups in France, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Ghana. Anaheim is home to the first U.S. team.
Trash gathering might not sound like the next big thing but Green Bird is a unique organization that has captured the interest of thousands of people who’d never volunteered for anything before. Although Green Bird’s main focus is “to clean the towns we live in and love”, it’s also about changing people’s attitude by setting an example. The Green Bird message is clear: “Littering is ugly and uncool.”
Anaheim’s involvement with the group began earlier this year when Southern California designers Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily visited Tokyo and encountered several young cleaners picking up litter along a busy street. Residents of Anaheim’s historic downtown district, Kidney and Daily saw good potential in conjuring up a similar program back home. “It seemed like a fantastic way to meet other like-minded people and to do something for our community,” says Kidney. “Being responsible for keeping one’s environment clean is a strong value built into Japanese culture, and something that we Americans might learn from.”
Green Bird’s operation in Japan is handled by a small staff in Harajuku led by 33-year-old Toshinari Yokoo. “Sometimes,” explains Yokoo, “a non-profit organization can get things done more quickly than the government.”
Green Bird’s distinctive logo was designed by Bunpei Yorifuji, a highly sought-after illustrator in Japan. “The branding is funny and quirky, and crucial to attracting interest to the work we’re doing,” says Kidney. “Green Bird provides an opportunity for our Anaheim neighborhoods to share a common purpose with people all over the world. Seeing Anaheim listed alongside Paris, Tokyo, and Singapore is really exciting, and a reminder that we’re all caretakers of our environment. We believe when people come together to clean up their neighborhood, they begin to feel more attached to where they live.”
The Green Bird Anaheim Team will officially launch on July 26, with a two-hour Downtown Clean-Up event starting at 9 a.m. Green Bird will host an information booth on Center Street Promenade from noon to 6 p.m. as part of the First Annual Vegan Faire in Downtown Anaheim.
Regular bi-monthly clean-ups will be scheduled throughout the city of Anaheim, and volunteers may sign up on the Green Bird Anaheim Facebook page.