The below article was written by Litterati and shared here as an inspiration for schools and students who want to combat litter and help clean their communities.
Our planet faces many environmental problems. It often feels overwhelming and hard to know how we can make a difference. Well here’s one way you can. Join the Litterati - a global community that’s cleaning the planet - one piece of litter at a time. This mobile app (iOS & Android) allows anyone to identify, map, and collect litter in their community.
Litter is tangible, approachable and easy to understand. Litterati’s Educational Program provides a service-learning model that involves students in a range of experiences which benefit their community, while advancing their classroom skills. The program empowers them to build a more sustainable planet.
In California, 7th and 8th grade students from Spencer Avenue Elementary School picked up and documented 2,902 pieces of litter in the Island Lake Conservation Area. The Litterati data revealed the prevalence of cigarette butts as well as more surprising discarded objects, including shopping carts, couch cushions, and even a lawnmower. Litterati helped students understand the negative impact littering can have on their community; a message they shared at a schoolwide assembly. The students also sent letters to neighborhood businesses, offering suggestions about what they could do to improve their litter footprints. (read more)
Arturo Soria school in Madrid used Litterati during an end-of-course activity, cleaning up local parks near their school. Thanks to the Litterati app they were able tag, track and log the litter they collected. From the data and maps they created, the students analyzed the problem and proposed several solutions to the local community. Some involved making posters, pins and artwork to raise awareness. Other solutions required asking local businesses to install ashtrays. Students then wrote letters to the municipal cleaning services suggesting how they could pitch in and help. (read more)
It's easy to get started:
Create a club for your class or school
Invite your students to join the club
Photograph a piece of litter
Recycle or throw out the piece of litter. (Repeat steps 4 & 5)
Each photo is full of data. Geotags map problem areas. Timestamps indicate when we see specific types of litter. And tags identify the most commonly found brands and products. This data can then be used to influence product innovation, sustainable packaging, and educating consumer behaviour. We all have a role to play.
Litterati has been featured at TED, is supported by the National Science Foundation, and in partnership with the United Nations Environment.
Download the Litterati app today and join the movement. Individually you can make a difference. Together we create an impact. If you want more information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org