31 Jan 2013

Using Social Media to Pitch In and Clean Up Our World

Jeff Kirschner Crowdsources Community Improvement With Litterati

Katie Lever

Litter is not only an eyesore, bringing down the community aesthetics, but it is also a financial burden. According to a study done by Keep America Beautiful, the direct cost of litter cleanup and prevention each year is about $11.5 billion dollars. Even people who do not litter have an “it’s not my responsibility” reaction towards clean-up. Copywriter and Miami Ad School San Francisco Teacher Jeff Kirschner wants to help change people’s perception and attitude towards litter and the value of their neighborhoods.

One day while on a walk with his children, Jeff had an “a-ha” moment that would spark a movement and change his world view. When his 4-year-old pointed out garbage in a stream and the fact that it did not belong there, Jeff started to think about the impact each person makes - negative and positive. To rally people into taking a moment to realize the significance of one soda can or chip bag on the ground, Jeff created Litterati, a “digital landfill.”

As Jeff writes: “At first it was just me. Each day I’d photograph ten pieces of litter. I found that Instagram’s artistic element made finding trash rather enjoyable. Dare I say, some of the photos are even beautiful. I also realized that I was documenting my personal impact on cleaning the earth.” Jeff shared the concept with some of his students at MAS-SF and they helped shape the movement in the early stages. Now, people all over the world are participating by finding a piece of litter, photographing it with Instagram, hastagging it with #litterati (and ideally the brand), then throwing the litter away.

Jeff has also spread the cause throughout his community by speaking at local schools and working with businesses in the area. A lot of exciting things are in the works and we can’t wait to see the effect of Litterati in the social media world and in our everyday lives. You can follow all the latest Litterati news on their Facebook page and on Twitter.

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