The global litter problem is massive and can seem overwhelming - but tackling it is not nearly as difficult as it seems, all you need to do is get started & here are some tips!
The single easiest way to tackle the litter problem is to produce less waste in the first place. The number one source of litter is waste packaging. There are a number of ways to reduce the waste you generate but the simplest one of all is to consume less.
The next best thing is to choose products that have minimal packaging of a recyclable or biodegradable nature. Which ever method of litter prevention suits you best, it will work even better of you can bring friends and family on board!
Spread the word and share your reasons for preventing litter, you will be making a change and spreading change by changing mindsets and paradigms. Below are two ways to move forward.
Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.
While the easiest, simplest and most powerful, way to reduce waste and litter is to prevent it in the first place, there is so much litter already in our environment that we need to take direct action to clean it up!
You don't need to organise or take part in massive actions - although they are great for raising awareness. Even the smallest actions add up to a massive positive change, not just from the litter you remove, but because other people get inspired by your actions.
From time to time, as I walk about town I spot a discarded box or wrapper and just pick it up and drop it in the nearest bin, but it's safer, more hygienic and highly recommended to use the right tools to make the job, quick fun and much easier. Here are my suggested Litter Hero clean up tools.
The single easiest way to be a Litter Hero is to simply reduce the amount of waste material you generate every day. Here are a few easy ideas to get started.
A quick web search for "How to reduce waste at home" comes up with about 203,000,000 results, so there is plenty of material out there! I have made a short list of some of the ideas I find easiest to employ.
Before that, it's very helpful to keep in mind the 5 R's of Waste Management:
• REFUSE what you don't need
• REDUCE what you do need
• REUSE what you already have
• RECYCLE what you cannot refuse, reduce, or reuse
• ROT the rest
You can find some more helpful information on Zero Waste initiatives and lifestyle in our Resources section. And you can always get in touch to share your own ideas and experiences!
You're feeling motivated to get out there with some friends and finally clean up that trashed spot that has been bothering you for months. Here are 7 key ways to organise a great local litter clean up event.
Picking up a bag and litter picker to grab some trash off your street is a great feel good activity but to really spread the message, nothing beats a local litter clean up event. To make sure you make it a great occasion for all involved, here are 7 Keys for a Successful Cleanup event:
1) Be willing to do the activity alone, and enjoy it!
2) Post your event publicly or invite specific people. You can use the LitterHero events calendar to share your event. Make the time, place, duration and equipment required explicitly clear to everyone you tell about it.
3) INVITE people. Don’t coerce, try to sell it to them, or overly control their participation. When invited, most people will bring something to the clean up effort that really makes really work.
4) Keep it simple. Cleaning up trash is easy. All you need are garbage bags, places to put the trash, and gloves (rakes and shovels can’t hurt either!) Tell potential participants that these are the raw materials, but bring enough yourself to cover half-a-dozen people who come without .
5) Have fun doing it. After all, you and everyone else will be actively making the world a better place… really. MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE! (this is what inspires me, and probably you, and probably most people who do things like this).
6) Tell lots of people, including the press. Just call them up and tell them what, when, where you are doing what you are doing. Even if you wind up alone out there, you will still peak interest, and people may want to join you next time. Forward chunks of the press release to any news organizations you contact (having something written that can be “cut and pasted” can increase likelihood of publication).
finally–and probably most important–
7) Remind people and yourself that what you are doing matters by telling incidents and specifics about how it matters to you. Just the simple truth will inspire others. You can talk about what you have done to date, and the people you met along the way.
Once people experience their own daily ability to make a difference, they will probably keep it up on their own - and maybe do even do a project in their neck of the woods…
Oh yes, and if it is easy enough for you, bring some food treats for other participants as a surprise. Maybe cookies or little chocolates or something– cheap and easy is my motto on this. You can always go for coffee afterward if that works better too…