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2018 impact report

2018 impact report

Jan 4, 2019

2018 Impact Report

2018 was a record year. We hit some major milestones, hosted cleanups in over 20 different states, picked up over 250 tons of trash, and worked with over 2,500 volunteers.

2018 Highlights:

Trash Removal Goal: 500,000 lbs
Trash Removal Total: 533,502 lbs
Volunteers: 2,512
Cleanups: 45
New States Visited: 21
Total States Visited: 23
First Overseas Cleanup: Netherlands

More than half of the trash we removed this year came from a single, vital cleanup of an illegal dumpsite in Philadelphia:


National / Global Causes Championed:

This year we were proud to participate in a handful of worthy
conservation-related causes happening annually around the globe.


Earth Day

To celebrate Earth Day 2018, we gave you 23 ways to stay green and hosted two cleanups: 220 volunteers at Philadelphia’s Bartram’s Garden (Schuylkill River) and Frankford Creek worked together to pull more than 3,300 pounds of trash and recycling.


World Oceans Day

This past June, we shared some eye-opening stats on plastic pollution in the ocean, gave you 15 ways to reduce your plastic footprint, and asked you to join us in Brooklyn for a cleanup with the National Park Service, Natural Areas Conservancy, and the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy.
We released our first limited edition World Oceans Day water bottle, and you gave your plastic-dependent friends a hint to break up with disposables.


Conservation Initiatives:

The Bluemovement Road Trip

After putting out a call for applicants to join us on our 2-month, 20-state Bluemovement Road Trip, we were excited to welcome Kelly, Jeff, and their goldendoodle, Chance, to make the trip a reality. Learn more about the crew, some fast facts about the waterways on our route, and dive into our trip by the numbers:

  • 20 state road trip in 2 months to host a waterway cleanup in each state
    (read up on our
    mid-trip learns, including why recycling bins are an endangered species.)
  • 12,091 lbs removed, 500+ volunteers, 10,000+ miles driven,
    20 states visited over two months. See more of the final stats
  • Explore some of our favorite notes from the road, including why
    recycling bins are an endangered species.
  • A new volunteer group was formed after our cleanup in Des Moines! Volunteers realized that they volunteered at the same events, and decided to make a group to communicate and join more opportunities to volunteer outdoors.

Because of the Bluemovement, Outdoor Stewards of Iowa was born!
UBB has left a lasting mark on our community and for that we are so grateful!


Blue Friday:
Our Nationwide DIY Cleanup the Day after Thanksgiving

On our 3rd annual Blue Friday, we asked you to join us for an hour picking up trash in a local park
and record what you found. We sent the data you collected to the EPA to further Trash Free Waters program research.
Read more about the impact here.

  • 222 bags of trash
  • 142 volunteers
  • 62 data cards submitted to EPA

    Q: Why did you participate in Blue Friday this year?:

    • “I wanted to do something positive to help today rather than waste money on things I don’t want or need.” - Diana T.
    • “We live full time in an RV and get to experience the beauty and magic of nature everyday. We thought Blue Friday was a great way to help keep our world amazing.” -Lindsay S.
    • “I think it’s important to give back to the community and I also love to clean up our environment.” -Lily F.


    Clean Water For All

    At our flagship store in Philadelphia, we hosted a panel discussion and letter-writing campaign to halt rollbacks on the Clean Water Act. Over 50 people attended the event held in partnership with the National Parks Conservation Association, PennFuture, PennEnvironment, and the Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership.


    Community Initiatives:

    California Wildfire Relief Mug:

    We founded United By Blue out of compassion for the health and well-being of our planet, and the belief that businesses have the power and responsibility to help. When the Camp, Hill, and Woolsey fires swept through California this past November, we asked you to band together with us to support the communities that lost so much. We designed the California Enamel Mug where 100% of the purchase price would be donated directly to the California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund. In less than one week, you spread the word and purchased 1,000 California Mugs to reach our goal of donating $20,000 to the relief fund.

    Cleaning House:

    We have a soft spot in our hearts for Philadelphia. Maybe we’re biased, but it’s where we live, work, (have you visited our flagship store?), play, and clean. Read on to check out some of the trashiest things we did in our own backyard:

    • Total weight removed: 420,692 lbs (including a massive three-part 392,000 lb illegal dumpsite cleanup)
    • Recycling removed: 5779.5 lbs + 18,125 lbs of tires recycled = 23,904.5 lbs.
    • Tires recycled: 725
    • # cleanups held: 12
    • # volunteers: 1,094
    • Causes supported:


      Trash in the Rear View and on the Horizon:

      This year, we hit 1.5 million lbs of trash removed (currently we’re at 1,584,581) since we opened for business back in 2010 and worked with over 10,000 volunteers to get there.

      Our New Year’s Resolution: one million pounds of trash in 2019!