The Campaign to #LeaveNoTrace is a collaboration of local Camden Climate Action Groups to change the behaviours of our community in regards to litter in our green spaces. We began this campaign because we were saddened and fed up with the amounts of litter left in parks after people have used the space for picnics.
Our idea is to make the '#Leave No Trace' logo visible at entrances & exits to local parks to influence & remind people of the message. We do this by spraying signs on the ground (environmentally-friendly non-permanent chalk spray) & putting up posters & stickers to not only encourage people to clear up after themselves but also to recycle their rubbish at home. This will have the added benefit of boosting recycling rates and lessening the amount of waste that goes to landfill or to be incinerated.
Over the months of July and August we hope to see a reduction in the amount of litter left on green spaces after sunny days where there have been lots of picnics and people enjoying the spaces. We will be conducting short surveys with people entering the park to find out more about their understanding of litter and its impacts on our local environment, what they can do to reduce the amount of litter they produce and how they plan to dispose of the litter they have brought with them to the park. The ideal outcome of this campaign is to dissuade people bringing single-use plastic or other materials with them in the first place, encouraging people to make food/drinks at home and bring it to the parks in reusable containers.
#LeaveNoTrace will encourage our community to think twice before littering and/or leaving their rubbish next to overflowing bins. Leaving litter next to overflowing bins causes a strain on local authorities who have to empty the bins, especially at a time when the companies contracted to manage waste are under enormous pressure as key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also poses a risk to wildlife if left around for too long, the bags are prone to splitting and blowing around the park/space - litter then ends up in waterways and could be ingested by wildlife.
Scope & reach:
We hope to engage with around 50 people per day when we are out in the parks litter picking or putting up posters. This could either be through the survey, people asking about what we are doing or approaching them if there is litter nearby that needs picking.
We will also be encouraging people to use the #leavenotrace logo & hashtag on social media and we will be 'labelled' with #leavenotrace stickers when we are out litter-picking. This will bring attention to the campaign and show visitors to our green spaces that they are part of a wider movement of people who care about their surroundings.
Conversations with the public about waste:
We’re used to our spaces appearing clean and tidy because it’s someone’s job to clean it up. If you arrived at the park and it was already a mess, you’d be disgusted.
‘I can’t take it home’: We aim to reflect with the public about what they bring in the first place and how they get it there.
Leave No Trace is part of Camden Unwrapped, a Think & Do project. We will be sending updates in an email newsletter with a reach of 600+, also a Twitter and Instagram of 1000 followers combined.
What will the money be used for:
The money will be used to purchase spray & have stickers, signs & stencils made up. If we have enough funds we also want to utilise Keep Britain Tidy's #BinTheButt campaign (encouraging people to put their cigarette butts in the bin or a portable ashtray instead of leaving them on the ground to poison wildlife & grass) which is available for purchase. We want to combine this with educational talks & notices on how harmful litter can be to the natural environment.
What people say:
Whilst we've been out spraying and litter picking we have received many positive comments from passers-by who share our passion & support our efforts. This is the kind of campaign that can be implemented by anyone in any area. We just need a bit more money and enough people who share our vision and want to get involved.