Trash. It’s everywhere. And we all play a part.

Litter is a problem for all on planet Earth. The world wasn’t created to be our garbage can. We are all responsible for the trash we see on the sides of the highways, beaches and throughout the community. Just one act, though seemingly small, can make all the difference.  As business owners, the movement can soar on to help change the world and the careless habits that we often get caught in. And it can be as simple as being a leader in your corporate office in cleaning up the litter found near you. Be the one to tell your office, “We need to have a Litterati afternoon.”

Litterati is a social media movement that makes picking up litter a more rewarding experience.

How it works:

Find Trash. Take a picture. Post it on Instagram using the hashtag #Litterati. Pick up the trash. Make the world a better place. That is the simple, yet powerful act that changed my view of trash. Litterati takes the Instagram photos from all over the world then takes the photo’s metadata and maps its location. I think that Litterati offers and incredible way for businesses to give back.

Besides being the right thing to do, leading your office to an afternoon of picking up trash of the streets has additional benefits:

  1. Positive Press:  For brands such as McDonald’s, Wrigley, and Marlboro, those whose products are most commonly found on the ground, Litterati allows them to position themselves as the hero.  While we’re certainly not blaming these companies, their packaging is what’s littering our streets, playgrounds, and ocean.  By taking a stance, they can position themselves as thought leaders.  And we all know that millennials are supportive of those brand who inherently do good.  
  2. Sustainability Reports:  For companies providing reports to their shareholders, Litterati can provide real data about the impact their creating by cleaning the planet. They can highlight the quantity of litter they’ve picked up, maps of where they’ve cleaned, and analysis of exactly what they’ve found.
  3. Team Building: We’ve already conducted one team-building exercise with Thomson Reuters, and preparing to conduct another. The first was a weeklong event where employees came together and cleaned up neighborhoods in Minneapolis, MN.  Many companies have service-oriented, or volunteer based programs. Picking up litter is a great way to not only bring people together, but to help them measure their impact, which they can then use in their own marketing materials.

From recycling to just changing the habit of litter, the world we live in will be a much cleaner and nicer place to live. It’s not the products out there that are destroying our world, rather it i’s us. We are the ones who are too carefree and lazy to actually make a difference by throwing away our trash. But even the smallest change in behavior and habits can make an impact.

“I was never an active environmentalist, and I’m certainly not a good photographer, but the first thing that I noticed was Instagram made litter really approachable,” said Litterati Founder Jeffrey Kirshner. “It went from being this blight on the ground that I either didn’t notice, or worse didn’t want anything to do with to: ‘Oh, that’s a cool photo opportunity.’”

The Litterati database helps businesses and organizations find eco-friendly and sustainable solutions. As of today, more than 141,000 pieces of trash have been picked up, catalogued and discarded into waste bins. Amazingly, the Litterati movement and community is currently picking up about 2,000 pieces of trash each week. What if your corporation and employees were actively taking part in cleaning up trash through this movement?

Corporate responsibility is a vital part of every business’s survival in today’s world. Sometimes it can be difficult to find a cause that actually makes a difference. Although there are always opportunities to give back to the community, many of those don’t have the clout or the reach to make a difference in large groups of people. Litterati allows even the smallest businesses to participate in a major environmental effort, and all it takes is a little bit of time, a camera phone, and a hashtag.

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