KSCB is on fire!
Mallory Coffey is the State Leader for Keep South Carolina Beautiful and Community Outreach Program Manager for Palmetto Pride and this go-getting eco-warrior is my interview subject for this month. By sharing some of her successes, my hope is that it can help you succeed in beautifying your own community.
KSCB is a program of PalmettoPride, South Carolina’s anti-litter organization. It’s been operating for over 20 years and employs seven full-time employees who work on programs that bring awareness, education, enforcement and pickup programs that focus on the behavior change of litter.
Mallory’s focus as the State Leader of Keep South Carolina Beautiful is to work closely with communities throughout the state to help people become Good Earth Citizens. Whether she’s speaking to city council, another KSCB affiliate, or a store owner, her message is to spread kindness, respect and helpfulness. She wants to empower people and businesses to take responsibility for beautifying their communities, and she’s ready to show them how.
Through grants, KSCB has purchased Sidewalk Buttlers, car ashtrays, pocket ashtrays, educational materials and other items. These anti-litter assets provide her with ready solutions to litter problems, and make great gifts for the individuals and groups she addresses.
Direct, kind action is the best
Mallory and the KSCB affiliates go to where the problems are occurring. You can find them on the beach with a small group of other volunteers approaching smokers with a giveaway pocket ashtray and a “thank you” for using them. Cleaner beach, anyone?
Another initiative funded by grants, is cleanup supplies such as a reusable mesh bags. PalmettoPride offers these bags to beachgoers for the trash they may accumulate while soaking in the Vitamin D. These bags can be washed and re-used and, of course, are much less likely to wind up in the ocean. In their experience, giving people the means to avoid littering without shaming them, allows the opportunity for real education – and lasting change.
Because so many convenience and gas station storefronts become repositories for cigarette litter, KSCB educates owners and managers about the cost- and labor-saving benefits of using Sidewalk Buttlers. KSCB demonstrates how to empty a Buttler because they want these businesses to see for themselves how fast and easy it is. When the business commits, KSCB donates a Buttler, and the owner signs a service agreement, pledging to consistently service it. In their experience, the demo shows that it’s easy to be accountable to the environment and that spells Program Success! (See their service agreement form below.)
Mallory can empty a Buttler in a minute and 23 seconds, though she jokes that she could probably do it faster except that she’s “bad with keys”
Success breeds inspiration
Mallory’s supportive attitude and ready solution at no cost to the business has proven highly successful. Success does bring its own challenges, and Mallory admits that the amount of time and follow up this can take is occasionally daunting. “It’s all about building relationships and helping people overcome the instinct to back away from the commitment of regularly emptying the Buttler,” she says.
She builds those relationships through what I would call Persistent Friendly Follow Up, backed up by a great (if I say so myself) free product and a commitment to the service agreement. And the rewards of all her hard work and kindness truly are exciting. Mallory reports that areas that have historically been heavily littered with cigarettes are becoming almost litter-free. That’s inspiring!
Social Media: Post to Impress
The social media expertise at PalmettoPride is also impressive. Reaching people with education and instilling the belief that they can make a difference in their own communities is at the heart of their approach to social media. Other KSCB affiliates have also benefited from their social media savvy. One of KSCB’s 2020 initiatives is to help KAB affiliate groups statewide with tips and tools for effective social media messaging, texts and posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The PalmettoPride team also developed a QR code that goes on every Buttler. Scanning this code with a smart phone takes you to their website and facts about cigarette litter. Analytics allows the team to determine user location and strategize maximize usage.
The bottom line for KSCB is that they are a mission-driven organization and that mission is simple: Keep America Beautiful. Their long-term goal is to reach all South Carolinians so that more and more will take the steps to keep their communities clean, green and litter-free. “It’s all about caring for others and helping them love their community,” Mallory says. I couldn’t have said it better.
Thank you, Mallory and your team, for all your beautiful work. Keep inspiring others!
Photo of South Carolina beach by Rachid Dahnoun / Getty
Photo of pocket ashtray by Ben Shanks Kindlon The Snowboarder Journal