SOLLA's mission: to significantly reduce the amount of litter, waste and disrespect in each park, street and playground in London
by Harriet Isles Freeman in London, Greater London, United Kingdom
I started South London Litter Action (SOLLA) back in the midst of the third UK lockdown six months ago, for a whole catalogue of reasons. There was the acute overwhelm from seeing, on my daily walk, littering rates surge. There was the realisation that litter picking - solo, or in socially-distanced small groups - could actually do a lot to serve one’s mental wellbeing. And then there was the fact that I love meeting humans.
SOLLA has since developed into a sizable and vibrant grass-roots environmental group with over 150 members, located in Oval. We’ve collected 1,500kg of litter in just the six months we’ve been going, but our impact is so much greater than the waste we remove.
What this group has provided and continues to provide is social ‘warmth’, connecting people in central London along environmental-care commonalities. We are a pocket of familiarity and frivolity in an urban web, where conversations and reflections flow between people from completely different spheres of life.
What’s more is that, by turning up week in and week out, we send a visible positive signal to other members of the community. This signaling effect has and will change behaviour and this change can then scale. For example, a group who live in a nearby estate have now converted their vacant, degraded rubble pits - that SOLLA cleared of rubbish - into thriving planters.
We are a movement. And we're moving fast.
Any funds raised here will go directly into making the following milestones happen by February 2022:
✓ MEMBERSHIP TO REACH OVER 500
✓ LITTER PICKING KITS SUPPLIED FOR ALL
✓ 300 SCHOOL CHILDREN SIGNED UP TO MONTHLY LITTER PICKS
✓ 30 BUSINESSES SIGNED ONTO CSR DAYS
✓ 100 BEHAVIOUR CHANGE SIGNS INSTALLED
✓ WATER FOUNTAIN INSTALLED ON A GREEN BETWEEN LOW-INCOME ESTATES
In the next six months, the SOLLA's pilot project in Oval will be expanded, trialled and tested - so then we can take this model and replicate it across London.
So far, SOLLA has had the phenomenal support of a whole range of businesses and NGOs to bring it off the ground - such as Peabody Estates, Good Gym, Hands on London, Helping Hand Environmental to name a few.
But so much more support is needed to turn this local campaign into a regional game-changer for our resource use and disposal.
Please contact me if you have any questions at all about me, SOLLA, or the need for such a group. It will be a pleasure to hear from you.
This project offers rewards in return for your donation.