I am absolutely guilty of being one of those people that take pictures of nearly everything: delicious meals (and yes, cups of coffee!); my adorable cat; pretty sunsets and vistas; trees and flowers; friends and special moments. I post the best ones to my Instagram account, edit the rest, and consider it a visual diary of my life. 

But what if getting people to do what we all already enjoy doing could inspire something more over time? The guys behind Litterati have just that idea in mind. 

Litterati encourages people to take photos of litter they find on the street, at a beach, in the woods, or on their suburban walk home—and tag the location, creating a Digital Landfill. 

According to the Litterati site: "The Digital Landfill is a photo gallery showcasing the different pieces of litter being picked up, and the overall impact of the movement. With geo-tagging, we're able to provide insight into problem areas and highlight the most active Litterati communities. Keyword tags on the photos help identify those brands and products that generate the most litter. We'll use this to work with companies and organizations to find environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions."

I pick up litter, especially on beaches (I even made a video about it, see above), and so I love this idea. I especially appreciate that brands and products that generate the most litter will be targeted. It think it's high time for fast-food companies, cigarette manufacturers, plastic-bag makers, and soda, beer, and water-bottle companies (which make up the vast majority of litter I've found, and Litterati's stats back me up) should be more responsible for their products' impact. If your customers are irresponsible with your product, it is your responsibility as the company that serves those customers to both educate them better AND create a product that's less environmentally harmful. 

Contribute to Litterati using your phone by snapping a photo of the garbage you find with Instagram, tagging it with #litterati and then recycling or otherwise disposing of the garbage. You can check out the full feed here

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Starre Vartan ( @ecochickie ) covers conscious consumption, health and science as she travels the world exploring new cultures and ideas.

A web-based art project cleans up garbage, one piece of litter at a time
Litterati turns garbage into an creative project with a meaningful end result.