Litter-inar?

So this whole trying something different thing is really happening! The plan is to have a webinar about litter on Wednesday, 14 April at 7:00pm. If you cannot make it on that date, don’t worry: I am looking into making this a regular event.

If you can attend, please email me at hello@off-the-ground.org or DM me on Twitter with your name and email address so that I can send you the Zoom link. Please note that I cannot easily access Facebook at the moment, so contacting me directly is the best way to reach me.

To help set the stage, I want to be clear about what this webinar will not be:

  • Talking shop: We all know that litter is a problem, and we’re already doing what we can to clean up with litter-picking groups or solo picks. We will not be talking about litter picks; if you’re interested in running one, please see this page or contact me
  • Complaining and blame game: It can be challenging to accomplish things without wider support, and I certainly have my share of stories about being told “We can’t do that”. However, this aims to look ahead at things that can potentially be done and how we can achieve it.
  • Fundraising: While money can be important in the battle against litter, I think that getting full buy-in from local government, businesses, and organisations is far more valuable, at least at the start.
  • Chippenham specific: This is open to anyone who’s interested. However, it would be great to have a Chippenham-focused meeting after the May election to discuss how we can potentially bring these ideas to life within our own community.
  • Off the Ground executing everything: We are not in the position of being able to project manage anything (nor do we particularly want to!). I have faith that my counterparts across the country are more than capable of building on their existing foundation of anti-litter activism.

Instead, this session will be running through potential tools that are available, how we see them working in our communities, and how we can use our existing networks to multiply our efforts in the short, medium, AND long term.

The primary ground rule for this and any future discussions is one of kindness. This doesn’t mean you can’t disagree (different perspectives working together towards a shared goal often lead to better results!), but I ask that people remain civil and try to see things from the other person’s point of view.

Indeed, this is something that will have to be practiced a lot in the battle against litter.

One of the common pitfalls is that those who craft anti-litter messages and interventions do not litter. They recognise the environmental problems that it causes, understand the expense, and want to see an end of it. Their motivations and world view is likely to be vastly different than the person who doesn’t see what the big deal is—after all, doesn’t litter make a job for someone? Trying to find what will encourage a shift in behaviour from people who are not like us is a real challenge.

As I wrote earlier, I don’t have all the answers, nor do I know what tools will work best. After all, if litter was an easy nut to crack, we would have sorted it by now! But as the UK begins to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, it seems like the ideal time to try to spark a cleaner culture.

Please sign up to be notified about the Putting Litter First series and any future meetings.

To receive an invitation to the litter-inar, you must send me your name and email address. Either drop me a line at hello@off-the-ground.org or DM me @OffTheGroundOrg.

The litter-inar happened! Check out a recording of it here: