Anti-Litter Digital Trends for a Litter-Free Movement You Don’t Wanna Miss

By Cindy Pantea

It’s a litter-free movement each spring! What about the rest of the year?

Locally, April is Keep Akron Beautiful’s Clean Up Akron Month (sign up starting March 1, 2018), which also coincides with Keep America Beautiful’s nationwide Great American Cleanup. While both formally involve people in this spring cleanup, what about daily? Have you really ever gone a day without seeing at least one piece of trash?trash

Imagine this: With the population of Akron being 199,110, if everyone picked up that one piece of litter they see each day, there would be 199,110 fewer pieces of debris cluttering our streets!

How about the country? The latest census says over 300 million people live in the U.S. That’s more than 300 million pieces of trash we could be clearing away every day, if we all continued to work on it together!boy group holding trash

Because it’s the social aspect of group cleanups that make it more fun, a couple of new digital trends could have you syncing up your Fitbit for fitness points, along with others, and/or searching for litter like the ‘Pokémon Go’ craze. Best part is that you and others around the world can share it on social media and encourage so many more to join in!

These trends are called ‘Plogging’ and ‘Litterati.’



Already adopted in Europe, plogging, which combines the Swedish words ‘plocka upp’ (meaning ‘pick up’) with ‘jogging,’ is the act of picking up litter while running. So when you combine going for a jog, or a walk for that matter, with intermittent squats and lunges to retrieve debris, suddenly the task of ridding the earth of unnatural materials not only benefits health as it relates to the environment, it increases your overall health, including the fitness aspect.

In fact, that the app, LifeSum, which says can be synced with your Fitbit, will allow you to log and track your plogging efforts as part of your daily fitness routine. All of this has been supported and endorsed by the national organization, Keep America Beautiful in a recent blog, which is from where we learned and are sharing this info!

And the #plogging photo craze is beginning to gain traction on Twitter and Instagram. (Credit for Instagram photo above: @majatesch via the Keep America Beautiful blog post mentioned and linked above.) We can’t wait to see yours!


Litterati, a new app in which geotags collect data to provide insight into litter problem areas, while keywords identify commonly littered brands and products was the idea that came to dad, Jeff Kirschner, after he and his two kids happened upon litter during a family hike. The app site, accessed from the website, says that this information will then be used to work with companies and organizations to find more sustainable solutions.

For social media, the Litterati app uses Instagram, so your #litterati photos can be displayed easily for all to see, and people are getting creative with it.

litterati pics on instagram

Not an app person? You really don’t have to download an app to be social in this litter-free movement, and it shouldn’t keep you from being a part of the #plogging and #litterati society.

In fact, we want to be a part our local ploggers and litteratis! Tag Keep Akron Beautiful at @K_Akron_B on Twitter, @Keepakronbeautiful on Facebook or @keepakronbeautiful on Instagram anytime with your #plogging and/or #litterati photos and, of course, use #DoBeautifulThings, which Keep America Beautiful will be watching for, too.

You absolutely do ‘do beautiful things’ as a volunteer, anti-litter leader and steward of the environment, and we look forward to extending the social aspect of this litter-free movement throughout the year by connecting you with other like-minded individuals. Together we can influence even more people to stand with us and say: Let’s end litter!

Thank you for all you do!

Sign up for Clean Up Akron Month today!



Up-Cycling Spotlight: Kenmore-Garfield High School Disability Classrooms

Something cool is happening at Kenmore-Garfield High School. They have two classes of children with multiple disabilities that are making a difference in their school, and ultimately in their community. One of these classes is responsible for the majority of the entire school’s recycling, which helped them win our Recycle-Bowl competition in the high school category this past fall! Kenmore-Garfield High School recycled a praise-worthy 2.04 tons of paper during our month-long competition. They also keep up the recycling all school year – not just during our competition!

students at kenmore garfield high school that recycled during recycle bowl

Kenmore-Garfield High School students that helped recycle 2.04 tons of paper!

In the other classroom, students are using up-cycling to create jewelry and holiday crafts. They use things like aluminum cans, candy tins, and bingo cards to create new things like pins, earrings, and Valentine’s Day cards.

Valentine’s Day crafts made by the students


The students learn skills doing this that can help them later to be more employable and more independent. The profits from their jewelry and craft sales are also used to fund field trips and replenish their supplies.

These students are running a complete business, and helping the environment while they’re at it. The students also run their own coffee shop where they sell their up-cycled items. It’s called “Garbucks,” and they deliver to the staff in the school (their vanilla latte gives Starbucks a run for their money!).

These students are making a difference in their school, and are setting an example for recycling and up-cycling!




Keep Akron Beautiful Awards Akron Public Schools Student Environmental Science Exhibits

Last Saturday was the 62nd annual Akron Public Schools Science, Math and Technology Expo. Each year this event is held at North High School., and each year Keep Akron Beautiful sends volunteer judges to choose projects and award monetary prizes. The projects the judges focus on are environmental.

Kevin Lockett of Lockett Media, who is a substitute teacher for Akron Public Schools and also a Keep Akron Beautiful Board Member, served as one of the judges. Cindy Pantea, who is a Keep Akron Beautiful staff member, also served as a judge.

The two judges awarded the following presentations:

A “Biodegradable Plastic” presentation was awarded $100 gift card. The project was done by Amora Thomas, who attends East High School. Thomas made plastic out of natural materials and tested the rate of decomposition of each type made. Her instructor is Coach Braho.

An “Airflow Cooling Different Rooms” presentation was awarded a $75 Visa gift card. The project’s owner was John Whorton, a 5th grader! For his project, Whorton made a homemade airflow apparatus to fit in a window and tested for a reduction in room temperature. His STEM instructor is Coach Beebe.

Emily McGuire, a 6th grader, walked away with a $50 gift card for her well-documented “Water Purifier” project, where McGuire used natural materials to clean dirty water. Her STEM instructor is Coach Justiss

A second award of a $50 Visa gift card went to Da’Vonte Whiteside, a student at East High School, for his project, “Solar Cooking.” Whiteside made a solar oven and recorded the solar baking process of cookies. His instructor is Busker-Postlethw.

Science can make nature more beautiful, and on top of that, for young minds, science projects like these exercises critical thinking skills. For both reasons, Keep Akron Beautiful is proud to be a sponsor judge of this event for an environmental category.

See more happenings from this year’s SMT Expo:

See pics of other environmental projects the KAB judges viewed and liked on our Facebook page at

Images from Science Expo at Akron Public Schools website at