Forest Litter No More

In my last post of 12 things to do in the Forest, I included 'Clearing Litter' as I was inspired by a link posted by my daughter, Ivy, who is very well focused on litter and brand packaging and its problems to our environmental well being.

The link was to a remarkable project called 'Litterati'

Their campaign and services are for using Instagram to crowdsource cleaning up the planet of litter.

The Litterati mission is to build up the world's largest database of litter through using Social Media, especially the Instagram service.

Through this database the Litterati people hope to find ways to work with brands, cities and government organizations to prevent litter from ever reaching the ground again. How that will be done is still in infancy stages yet.

My first thought, was Forest Litter

I was in two forests with others last weekend and in both place litter was abound in the most beautiful and sacred of spaces in both forests.

In Ravensdale, litter was at the stone circle in the forest and around a beautiful peaceful water bubbling burn side place where we chose to have a picnic.

In Devil's Glen around the beautiful rockpools and where we chose to picnic were also full of litter.

The litter was usually of major international brands like Coca Cola, McDonalds (how on earth was that kept fresh and warm for the woods) and Heineken, Red Bull, etc.

Here's how it works ...

  1. Find a piece of litter
  2. Photograph it with Instagram
  3. Add the hashtag "#litterati" to your Instagram post
  4. Pick up and recycle the litter
I have never been an Instagram user, always wondered what the point of it was, but now i see it can be very useful.

The limitation is having a device available at the litter spot to take the Instagram pic, which means a smartphone or tablet or iPad with at least 3G capability. Then, does the place of litter have reception.

Add to that, that most of us in the forests want to leave our devices at home or packed up so this is perhaps for when we have intent to find litter in the forest and expose it. 

This is what's on the Litterati web site

Our Cause

An excellent video presentation of how Litterati was founded and what it now does

Digital Landfill

A pictorial listing of the most recent litter finds recorded through Instagram


Where you can explore the Google Map of the world and zoom into where litter has been found and recorded through Instagram for this project


Putting into tables what has been found and where, and how much. This is a service that I can see will rapidly grow. 

What we can do to support this

Learn to use Instagram, if we have not already done so, or even get a mobile device that has an Instagram app and runs with a decent data use plan. 

Engage in Walks In The Woods to identify litter problems

Take photos of litter through the Instagram app and  hashtag "#litterati" in your posts

Take away the litter to recycle

Encourage your family and friends to do the same through all forests around Ireland, and elsewhere.

Something else this tells us

Be considerate of your food and drink choices. 

Try to only bring food and drinks to the forests in containers that you will take home, wash, and re-use.

For food and drinks you do not prepare at home, try to encourage your suppliers to fill up your re-useable packaging that you will take along when you shop, rather than their own. Farmers market traders like that, as so do farm shops and some small shops. 

Unfortunately, supermarkets not so willing to honour our re-useable containers and do recite 'health and safety' to us.. As you know, health and safety rules are only put into place to increase production and consumption of more items and has little to do with consideration for our well being.

Lets try this Litterati service and then see how else 
we can achieve 'Forest Litter No More'.

As usual, I am concerned about how Litterati could become an international centralized service but from the video and web site content so far there appears to be no hidden agenda. Its all about attempting to reduce little and reduce wasteful packaging worldwide.


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