Clean Memphis :: Our October Nonprofit of the Month {2022}

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Environmental issues can seem both overwhelming and distant. However, all of us play a role in shaping our immediate environments through everyday habits. Clean Memphis creates the bridge between abstract ideas and concrete local actions, whether we are teaching in classrooms, leading local clean-up efforts, or strategizing with city leaders and partners on how to prevent waste in the first place.

Clean Memphis was founded in 2008 to foster a cleaner and greener Memphis. We work to inspire Memphians to be environmental stewards grounded in civic responsibility. In its present form, Clean Memphis consists of several programs, including Education, Community Engagement, Project Green Fork, and the Memphis Food Waste Project.

Our Education Program provides free, standards-based environmental education to schools in Memphis and Shelby County. We teach predominantly in under-resourced schools, in feeder patterns so that students will have the opportunity to participate in Clean Memphis programming in more than one grade throughout their education.

National studies indicate that approximately one and one-half pounds of trash are produced for each restaurant meal that is served and the average restaurant produces 50,000 pounds of garbage per year. Project Green Fork (PGF) was founded in 2008 as a reaction to this amount of restaurant waste, a desire to contribute to the sustainability of our community, and a passion for supporting local restaurants. Check out our list of local PGF-certified restaurants.

The Memphis Food Waste Project (MFWP) leads Memphis’ efforts to reduce food waste by residents, businesses, and the hospitality industry. Founded in 2019, MFWP has been building out comprehensive food waste reduction strategies by sector, meets regularly with city and county leadership to advocate for food waste reduction policy, and helps to make connections between surplus food and people experiencing food insecurity. If you’re curious about food waste, take our quiz to see how and where we are losing good food every day.

clean memphis end food waste

Our Community Engagement program brings together service projects by local and neighborhood leaders. More than merely cleaning up litter, we are also leading the charge to study its composition and geo-locations through use of the app Litterati. A community classroom (coming early 2023) will provide a free online platform for community members to learn about topics like our local watershed, reducing food waste at home, and the basics of a circular economy.

clean memphis

Finally, our Memphis Transformed initiative serves as a platform to share and amplify the stories of those in the trenches making Memphis a cleaner, greener City. Established in 2019, this project of Clean Memphis spreads the good news of many organizations and leaders in Memphis, sharing out the works of those who are making a difference.

Everyone needs clean air, clean water, and healthy soil. At Clean Memphis, we believe all of these are within our collective power to protect and improve for generations to come. A cleaner, greener city is ours to create.

The Memphis Mom Collective features a nonprofit organization every month. If you know of a nonprofit that is making a difference here in Memphis, we want to know about it! Let us know by nominating them here.

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