Monday 3 April 2017

Keep America Beautiful

Keep America Beautiful ad circa 1970 courtesy

I assumed that the Keep America Beautiful moniker came from Lady Bird Johnson, who championed the cause to clean up, first Washington D.C., and later other American cities.  However, today I discovered that the group was started in 1953 by some American businessmen.  "Keep America Beautiful is the largest community improvement organization with over 560 affiliates."  The strongest supporters of the Keep America Beautiful campaign are Coke, Pepsi and National Soft Drink Association.  In 1965, when the First Lady took up the cause of conservation, Keep America Beautiful came into the limelight.  In 1971, with the debut of Earth Day, the cause was furthered again.  In the 1980's with the advent of blue boxes, the campaign broke new ground.

According to Wikipedia circa 2004, Keep America Beautiful was responsible for (


  • litter and debris collected:  150 million pounds
  • roads, streets and highways cleaned:  97,000 miles
  • railroad tracks cleaned:  900 miles
  • areas of parks cleaned:  32, 300 acres
  • hiking/biking/nature trails cleaned:  2,000 miles
  • playgrounds and community recreation areas cleaned/restored/constructed:  4,000
  • rivers, lakes, shorelines cleaned:  6,500 miles
  • underwater cleanups:  80
  • wetlands restored:  8,200 acres
  • illegal dumpsites cleaned:  2,600
  • junk cars removed:  7,200

  • clothing collected for reuse:  5,800,000 pounds
  • bags of aluminum/steel recycled:  645,000
  • bags of newspaper recycled:  691,000
  • tires collected for recycling:  1,220,000
  • batteries collected for recycling:  21,000

  • trees planted:  131,000
  • flowers & bulbs planted:  5 million
  • homes & commercial buildings painted:  1,300
  • graffiti sites abated:  6,000

Keep America Beautiful billboard courtesy 

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