How to Create a Litter-free World Using Instagram [Q&A]

Founded by Jeff Kirschner, Litterati merges art, social awareness and technology to clean up the environment - one piece of litter at a time.

Dec 31, 2015
Jeff Kirschner is the Founder of Litterati

Jeff Kirschner is the Founder of Litterati and a writer by trade (sfgate)

Jeff Kirschner’s four-year-old daughter was walking in the hills near San Francisco when she spotted a tub of cat litter in a creek. Turning to her dad, she said “Daaaad-dy, that doesn’t go there.” Jeff agreed. It didn’t belong there. In fact, as he looked around, none of the discarded coffee cups, soda cans, and cigarette butts fitted into the natural environment.

It was then that Kirschner thought up Litterati – a movement that aims to create a litter-free world. How? Find a piece of litter, capture it on Instagram using the hashtag #litterati and then, of course, throw away or recycle the litter. As the movement gained traction, the photos grew into the Digital Landfill – a gallery of all the litter that had been picked up and properly discarded.

In addition to providing an artistic means of spreading awareness and cleaning the environment, Litterati also serves as – for lack of a better term - a garbage goldmine. Thanks to geo-tagging and added descriptions about the items found, Jeffr can see exactly where and what types of litter are most prevalent. This data can then help leverage decisions about where more trash bins are needed and which corporations should consider designing more environmentally-friendly packaging.

In this week’s 10 Good Questions, Kirschner tells Goodnet how Litterati is more than a litter-pick-up movement – it’s a community.

1. What is your organization’s mission?

To create a litter-free world.

2. What makes you guys different from the rest?

Our community. In cities across the world, people are working together to solve a problem we all share. We’re just connecting them. But, keep in mind, it’s not just a global cleanup. Each person is collecting a ton of data every time they pick up a piece of litter. And this data will be invaluable since the best way to solve this problem is to first understand it.

3. What three words describe your organization?

Community, Data, Impact.

4. What inspires you?

Making the complex simple.

Dove litter in brush

Litterati is somewhat of an art form as taking pictures of the litter lets people exercise their creativity

5. Who's your favorite good doer figure?

Anyone who does the right thing, especially when nobody else is watching.

6. What is the best part about your job?

Collaborating with schools. If we're going to create long-term, transformative change, who better to start with than our children?

7. How do you measure success within your organization?

Are we better today than we were yesterday?

8. Facebook or Twitter?

If you're asking me which one I prefer, I like both. Facebook brings me closer to those I already know, Twitter to those I'd like to know.

If you're asking where to find Litterati, we have both Facebook, Twitter, and, of course, Instagram.

Jeff Kirschner picks up litter

Litterati is able to track where, what types, and which brands of litter are most picked up (sfgate)

9. What do you want Goodnet users to know about your organization?

That we’re always looking for bright mind and passionate people. If you think you can help, email us at support@litterati.org.

10. How can people get involved?

Download our iPhone app (Android is in development). Tell us what you like, what you don't, and how we can improve. Also, see question #9.


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