Litterati: Tapping the Power of Instagram for a Litter-Free World
Litterati is a website and online community that aims to create a litter free world by crowd sourcing trash cleanup. The concept is that users must photograph any litter they come across, upload it to Instagram with the caption #litterati and then either throw away or recycle the item.
The idea came to founder, Jeff Kirschner after taking a hike with his children and discovering an empty cat-litter tub sitting on the banks of Sausal Creek in California. Seeing this angered him and he wanted to make a change to the world. Kirschner currently has 5,000 posts of litter on his Instagram account and users from 50 countries have uploaded around 55,000 photos. He decided to use this form of social media to get his message across because it’s not only convenient for users but also free. He also claims that the number of photo filters can make litter seem almost art-like. Soon after starting his account he realised that through location tagging he was able to see when and where cleanup was happening and record the impact they were making.
After making Litterati his full time job, Kirschner has teamed up with corporate brands in an effort to raise awareness about waste reduction. This included a Whole Foods giving away free cups of coffee to anyone who had posted a #Litterati-tagged Instagram photo and a Chipotle donating a year of free burritos as a prize to the winners of a Litterati photo contest sponsored by the California Coastal Commission. In a fitting tribute, the winning photos showed young children holding up pieces of litter they’d thrown away.
And... That’s it!