The first place winner of LSU's 2015 Litterati Campaign.

Courtesy of Sarah Temple

LSU Campus Sustainability is opening a new awareness campaign focusing on issues around litter and recycling to the public.

This month, a campaign called Litterati will begin on campus. Litterati is a global campaign started in 2012 by Jeff Kirschner as an Instagram hashtag. Campus Sustainability Manager Sarah Temple said when Kirschner was out walking with his children, his daughter pointed to a piece of trash in a creek on their walk and said that it did not belong there. This got him thinking about getting people to pick up trash, and Litterati was born.

The campaign encourages participants to use the Litterati app to pick up trash in a fun way.

“They have started a movement where people pick up litter, take a picture and upload it to their app,” Temple said. “It goes into what they call a ‘digital landfill.’”

The University has taken cue from Litterati in their campaign, and is asking students to take pictures of litter around campus and tag LSU Campus Sustainability on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Campus Sustainability ran a similar campaign in 2015 and received over 300 entries. The campaign also includes a photo contest, and the winning photo will be displayed in the LSU Art Gallery in the LSU Student Union. Though the University campaign does not upload the photos to the official Litterati app, the University has received the company’s blessing. Temple said that they emailed Litterati when they opened the 2015 campaign.

“They know we’re doing it, they’re happy we’re doing it,” Temple said.

As of Oct. 31, the global Litterati campaign has recorded a live count of more than 909,559 pieces of litter, with 467,116 coming from the United States, at the time of publication. The campaign has also identified 227,331 pieces of plastic, making it the most commonly tagged item, according to the Litterati website. The University’s campaign has a wider focus than just trash, however.

“We’re trying to bring about awareness, not just about litter on campus, but recycling,” Temple said. “A lot of what people throw on the ground is recyclable, so we’re asking that participants recycle as well.”

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