by Becca MelhuishChoose a language:
5. June 2018, 15:02
5. June 2018, 15:02
So you’ve heard us asking you to map trash for our World Environment Day Mapping Challenge, but maybe you’re not sure what this means, or why you should do it? Well, below is our plea to the world to get on board. It may be long, but it sure is important! Take just a few minutes out […]
So you’ve heard us asking you to map trash for our World Environment Day Mapping Challenge, but maybe you’re not sure what this means, or why you should do it? Well, below is our plea to the world to get on board.
It may be long, but it sure is important! Take just a few minutes out of your day to read it, and understand why our waste mapping initiative is so very vital.
The problem we face
The abundance of trash on our streets, and in our neighbourhoods, forests and oceans has recently become a topic of much discussion. Documentaries depicting the harm humankind has done – and keeps doing – to our planet are some of the most avidly watched on television. Viral social media posts portraying wild animals suffocated by plastic enter our newsfeeds daily, and beaches smothered in trash are hitting front page news. A growing number of celebrities are speaking out in protection of the environment, and many have become ambassadors for a cleaner planet.
We, as citizens of the world, are becoming more and more aware of the damage being done to the environment, and increasingly eager to make a change.
Government and big business are most often blamed for the widespread waste pollution now tarnishing our nature. Indeed, it is often the case that these parties have a big role to play. But, just as often, it is the ordinary citizen, who doesn’t take the few extra seconds it takes to throw their cigarette butt, sweet wrapper or coffee cup into a bin. When these citizens become many, and span throughout the entire world, this adds up to a problem of an enormous scale.
A few pieces of litter turn into huge mounds, and whole areas get an ugly carpeting of waste – just because we chose not keep it in our pocket until we reached the nearest bin.
And then there is plastic.
Plastic, that takes more than our lifetimes to break down. Plastic, that ends up in the bellies of fish and other sea creatures, who mistake it for food. Tiny plastic particles, that leach into our food and water supplies. Plastic, that in 30 years time could be more prominent in our seas than fish.
World Cleanup Day
As citizens, we can, and we must, act.
For a start, we can all dispose of our trash responsibly, and urge our friends and family to do the same. But that is not enough, for the situation we humans have already created needs to be fixed.
World Cleanup Day, on the 15th of September 2018, aims to do just that. It aims to take the first step towards a cleaner world. It aims to mobilise people to act, and to give the whole world a wake-up call. It is a plan to harness both people power and the power of technology, to clean up the planet in a single day.
As you can imagine, huge amounts of groundwork and organisation are required for such a feat. So, we have developed a simple, technological solution – the World Cleanup App.
The World Cleanup App
The app is freely available for everyone to download and extremely simple to use. It is based on a simple mapping function, which allows people to mark the trash they find on a global map.
Why do this instead of just picking it up then and there? Well, if you happen upon an empty bottle, an old newspaper, a single cigarette butt or any other small piece of trash, just go ahead and pick it up – no need to map. However, if you see a large heap of rubbish, or an area heavily strewn with trash, then please do map it.
Why should you bother?
The simple answer is: because you can. It takes no more than a minute out of your day-to-day journeys to map a trashpoint you have noticed along the way. Those few seconds taken will help a great deal with understanding the magnitude of the global waste pollution problem, and with preparing logistics and resources for World Cleanup Day.
Besides, your neighbourhood and your favourite nature spots deserve a fresh, trash-less start. And frankly, you deserve a clean environment to live in.
All trashpoints mapped will go onto a central database and will be depicted on a global online map – the World Waste Platform. With your help, this will be the most detailed database of waste pollution in the world, and will be vital for influencing new approaches to waste, and bringing about much-needed policy changes worldwide.
The simple action of clicking a few buttons on your phone will create a huge impact, and you will be a contributor to one of the most exciting and ground-breaking citizen science projects of our time.
So get mapping today!
Don’t wait another second – download the app, and start to map!
For more information on the World Environment Day mapping challenge, which runs from 5-11 June, see our Facebook post here.