During our lunch breaks this month, we will once again be taking a walk with the pick sticks. All of our colleagues will spend a month collecting litter they come across. We are curious to see what we find next, where the litter hotspots are and whether they are the same as November, or different. But in addition to a data analysis, during No Waste February we are also looking at the social aspect of this action. How do we experience this as colleagues? How do bystanders react when we encounter them while picking up trash? What are the opportunities and pitfalls?
The image of picking up litter
While picking litter in November, we received varying reactions from bystanders. There were those who praised our work but also those who looked on strangely. We can conclude from this that the image of picking up litter is not yet where it should be. This makes it difficult for many people to pick up this habit, literally and figuratively. Internally at Ecoras, we noticed that the willingness to bring pick-up sticks and trash bags during the lunch walk increases the larger the group you are with. Employees were less likely to do this on their own. We are going to investigate what causes this. We asked our colleagues to fill out a questionnaire prior to No Waste February. They will fill out this list again at the end of the month. This way we want to investigate what a month of litter poking does to them and to their environment. Scientific research has shown that the environment in which people find themselves has a great influence on their well-being. For example, people feel better in a clean environment than in an environment polluted by litter. What also emerged is that people are less likely to dump trash in clean areas than in areas where there is visibly more litter. Thus, if you as a business keep your own area well cleaned, in theory less litter would be dumped here as well. For most people, picking litter is not a habit because it is not part of their upbringing and little to no littering takes place in their environment. Therefore, it is important to regularly report on individuals and/or businesses picking up litter. If the image is presented that something is ‘normal’, people will be more inclined to adopt this behavior.
Ecoras as booster in No Waste February
Ecoras therefore wants to be a booster in litter picking at Groningen’s business parks. We hope that other companies and their employees will also join this action. Who knows, schools and associations may also join in, so that litter is cleaned up throughout Groningen. In this way, we are working towards cleaner nature and a better image for litter picking. Will you participate?
Do you have initiatives or ideas to reduce litter and/or reuse or would you like to know more about the project? If so, please contact Micha Klaarenbeek at email@example.com.