The largest anti-litter nonprofit in the nation, Keep America Beautiful, recently honored Keep The Hawaiian Islands Beautiful as an “exemplary affiliate organization,” according to a Mar. 18 press release from Jan Dapitan, the Hawaii organization’s state leader.
“Keep the Hawaiian Islands Beautiful received a Keep America Beautiful (KAB) Gold State Recognition Award during KAB’s recent 60th anniversary National Conference in Washington, D.C., distinguishing itself as an exemplary statewide affiliate organization,” stated the news release. “Keep the Hawaiian Islands Beautiful was honored for its outstanding promotion of KAB’s mission statewide and for its program support for local affiliates in Hawaii.”
According to the news release, KAB really liked such Keep The Hawaiian Islands Beautiful programs as its “National Planting Day at Kanaha” and its involvement in the 2012 “Great American Clean-up,” which “combined 6 local affiliates statewide for 5 months, resulting in over 39,819 Volunteers, and 101 events.”
“Keep America Beautiful’s State Recognition Awards recognizes our state affiliates that produce creative and resourceful programming for their citizens,” said Matt McKenna, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful, in the news release. “It’s my privilege to recognize Keep the Hawaiian Islands Beautiful and State Leader Jan Dapitan and the Board of Directors for the tremendous leadership they exhibited in their state during 2012.”
The nonprofit organization Keep America Beautiful formed decades ago as a kind of corporate response to urban beautification. KAB’s most famous anti-littering ad campaign debuted in the early 1970s and featured Iron Eyes Cody in the so-called “crying Indian” TV spot.
“Long before being ‘green’ was fashionable, Keep America Beautiful formed in 1953 when a group of corporate and civic leaders met in New York City to discuss a revolutionary idea — bringing the public and private sectors together to develop and promote a national cleanliness ethic,” states KAB’s website.
To be fair, KAB’s critics point out that the organization’s biggest supporters are major corporations like Pepsico, Altria Group, Waste Management, Dow Chemical, LG Electronics and the American Chemistry Council. These corporations and trade organizations often find themselves at odds with environmentalists. For instance, the American Chemistry Council has long opposed municipal plastic bag bans, even though such bans eliminate the sources of huge quantities of litter.