The Big Geog Litter Pick 2018

What is the project?
Throughout August 2018 the geography teacher community will be taking part in litter picks across the UK and beyond.

Although the initial plan was for these to be beach cleans, it soon became apparent that we needn’t limit ourselves to beaches alone. There is plenty of plastic pollution (and more!) in rivers, wetland areas, local parks and urban areas – so the Big Geog Beach Clean became the Big Geog Litter Pick!

Furthermore, being conscious of the fact that, as geographers, we like to spend our holidays exploring many corners of the globe, it seemed counter-productive to limit this project to the UK alone – so wherever in the world you are in August, please do take part.

Why shout about it?
As environmentalists, I’m sure many of us pick up litter when out and about anyway. This is such a simple way that we can address the issue of waste pollution on a day-to-day basis. But to indicate the power of one person’s actions as a teaching tool can prove tricky. By sharing the actions of our community on the internet, we can return in the new academic year and highlight the collective efforts of geography teachers across the country. Once we demonstrate the concept of many parts making a whole, hopefully students will understand the importance of their own role regarding litter, both around the school site and further afield.

What next?
If this proves successful, a similar project will be available for students to participate in across many schools.

How do I take part?
Dr Katie Hall has created this fantastic #BePlasticClever app (thanks to @BePlasticClever who wanted the app designed to help them in their mission to reduce single use plastic): this tool gives you the opportunity to enter data about where, when and what litter you collected in each location. You can even take a photo of what you have collected! You can then monitor what has been collected here. You can litter pick for 10 minutes or 10 hours – no effort is too small!

How will we monitor our contribution?
At the time of writing (August 5th 2018), 25 litter picks have been done in the UK, with two having been done on the beach. We will revisit this statistic at the start of September and we will hopefully see the impact of our efforts.

If you’re on Twitter
Please share this page and a screenshot of your litter picking efforts from the app, using the hashtags #BePlasticClever and #TheBigGeogLitterPick2018.

Happy picking!