This startup is using social media to clean the streets

Avatar Written by Sarwat Fatima · 1 min read>

The other day my friend randomly told me to throw the litter on sidewalk as I was sitting closer to the vehicle’s window. Expecting to see a dustbin, I took the empty Crispy packet, looked around and told her, “But there is no dustbin here?” The returned expression told me that I was not supposed to use a dustbin. Obviously, she was ashamed at the act, took away the litter from my hand and stuffed it in a bag to be thrown away later.

Such incidents occur frequently, sometimes the culprits are us and sometimes we witness this shameful act of polluting the environment. Being a Conventarian, I was trained to pick up litter from the ground and throw away in the dustbin because it was ‘MY’ duty to keep ‘MY’ school clean. Soon, I realized that the country beyond my school walls was not only ashamed to pick up litter but also felt no remorse throwing it away.

We all are fans of social media. We have used it to write down our biography with selfies, food photos, sharing inspirational stuff, random mishaps and other stories from our lives. This startup might inspire you to start using social media for spreading a worthwhile lesson among your followers.

Jeff Kirschner, a tech entrepreneur, combined the litter pick up with the social media’s food sharing obsession and founded Litterati in 2012. He hoped to clean streets and change the way we thought of trash. Litterati encourages food instagrammers to capture a photo of the trash, pick it up, throw in a trash can and share the photograph on Instagram with the hash tag #litterati.

Instagram is bombarded with 40 million photos every day and word food is hash tagged on 132 million photos as of Oct, 2014. Litterati uses Instagram and popularity of food related posts combined with geotagging and an element of competition to create crowd-sourced litter disposal movement. Over the time span of two years, the literati community has collected and disposed of 98K+ pieces of litter in over 40 countries around the world.

Are you inspired to use social media to clean up Pakistan? Share your clean-up efforts with Litterati on instagram.

Written by Sarwat Fatima
Sarwat is a journalist and DIY enthusiast. She loves writing about Startups and Businesses. She is heading Islamabad and surrounding areas for news coverage. Profile