Litterati creates virtual maps that allow users to report occurrences of littering and uses geo-tagging to highlight problem areas across the globe that require more than just citizen attention.
The snappily-named Litterati movement all began with a hashtag. San Francisco-based father of two Jeff Kirschner took a picture of a cigarette on the ground, uploaded it to Instagram and added the hashtag #litterati. That was 18 months ago. Since then, Kirschner has turned that one photo into a catch-cry for keeping streets rubbish free. In an age of talk about climate science and renewable energy, it can be easy to overlook the importance of something as basic as picking up your (or someone else's) rubbish.
The idea is simple. If you see a piece of trash on the ground, take a photo of it, upload it to Instagram with the litterati hashtag and throw the rubbish in the bin. Via the dedicated platform, litterati.org, Kirschner collects all photos that people upload to Instagram under the litterati hashtag and geo-tags each one, mapping out areas where littering and waste management is problematic.
The aim of the project is to provide a basis for lobbying governments about waste management as well as cataloguing the products or brands found most frequently on the streets. Kirschner states on the website that the ultimate goal is to work with these organisations in developing environmentally-friendly solutions.
Though certainly US-centric (for now), the movement has a global outlook and counts people from India, Sweden, Germany, Malaysia, Israel and Iceland among the Litterati. Head over to the website to peruse the so-called digital landfill (the gallery of trash images), the global map of trash-pick up areas as well as details on how you can get involved.
Author: Anna Rees/ RESET editorial