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?
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!
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 www.litterati.org 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.
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!