A group of Cypress-area children known as the “Litter Ladies” got tired of seeing their neighborhood littered with trash and decided to take matters into their own hands.

“So we have this local shopping strip that's down the street from our house. We walk there often to go get a coffee, ... [and] kids love to just walk to CVS ... and buy candy and junk food,” local parent Katie Ramey said. “With retail shopping comes trash, so we've noticed that when we're out riding our bikes and walking on the nature trails, we find some trash.”

How it happened

One day in early June, the children found a CVS bag. They picked it up and continued to walk around the neighborhood lake, finding cigarette butts, napkins, receipts and other litter.

“As we walked around the lake to get home, they were filling the bag with trash the whole way, and it was like an Easter egg [hunt]. ... Every time they found a piece of trash, they were mad at each other because someone beat them to it,” Ramey said.

Ramey said her daughter as well as a group of neighbors and friends now regularly go out to pick up trash.

“It is called Litter Ladies, but ... we're all-inclusive. So we've had some of the neighborhood boys [help], of course,” Ramey said.

Members of the group even had their slogan printed on T-shirts: “Business stinks, but it’s picking up.”

Diving in deeper

The group has been picking up trash this summer and requesting donations via social media. The plan is to donate half the proceeds to a charity called Keep Houston Beautiful, a local environmental nonprofit, Ramey said. The other half will go toward an end-of-summer celebration for the children who have contributed to the project.

The group accepts donations via Venmo for litter pick up and thanks their supporters on Instagram.

“Then they were approached by Local Table, an area restaurant that donated a $100 gift card. And we're asking the community to pick up a piece of trash, take a picture and tag us to be entered [in the contest],” Ramey said. “And then we're going to select the winner, and hopefully ... with business partners, we can kind of get our name out and make a bigger impact with cleaning up trash.”

The results

Completed since early June:
  • 17 cleanups
  • 71 grocery bags of trash picked up
  • 27 personal sponsors
Summer goals:
  • 30 cleanups
  • 100 bags of trash collected
  • 40 personal sponsors