1. Mindfully rearrange litter wherever it is found.
2. Take a photo and post it using #trashform.
3. Walk away.

March 10, 2017 4:25 PM Thorndale Ave, Chicago, IL 

Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘litter’ as
a: noun. Rubbish such as paper, cans, and bottles left lying in an open or public place. ‘always clear up after a picnic and never drop litter’ b: in singular. An untidy collection of things lying about.

Merriam-Webster defines it as
a: noun. trash, wastepaper, or garbage lying scattered about 'trying to clean up the roadside litter' b: in singular. an untidy accumulation of objects.

Litter is defined as rubbish, trash, garbage, and waste; words that are all used interchangeably. To understand what litter is, the meaning of these words must also be defined. We can assume from the definitions above that a piece of litter can be a paper, aluminum, glass or plastic object of a personal, convenient, pocket-size scale that has been presumably forgotten; left behind in a public or open place by a human. Outside of the context of trash, litter can also describe numerous objects in an untidy arrangement.

What is rubbish, trash, garbage, and waste but things that we no longer value? What is the cause of litter? I think it is the profuse existence of objects that are made to have no worth once they have served their use. Desire for convenience and a lack of respect for the world we live in also are factors.

I prefer this definition of litter.
a: noun. trash in the wrong place.

Of course this is essentially the same definition as Oxford and Merriam-Webster, however, what does 'the wrong place' mean? Where is the right place? We have been taught that a bag or bin is the right place in a domestic or work setting. On a grander scale, a landfill is right. In essence, these places are what have been deemed safe distances from ourselves and our living spaces. The kitchen trash bin has been conveniently hidden out of site behind cabinet doors in most middle-class American homes. No one wants to observe waste happening. Landfills are hidden places of mythic scale that a person may encounter through media coverage or digital imagery but are not likely to encounter directly.

In the long run, will throwing a few pieces of litter in a recycling or waste bin help in any way? Ignoring the profusion of garbage certainly isn’t a solution either. Even the system of bins and what should go in them is a problem.

By removing the randomness of litter through arrangement, can attention be drawn to these issues? To rearrange litter mindfully suggests that the things are considered when they are moved and handled. Material, shape and color are noted, perhaps text is read, maybe even a personal memory is evoked. Through careful consideration of the litter,­­ information is received and knowledge gained. I believe individual experience with objects that have been deemed worthless by another human can be enlightening.

Taking the photo and posting to social media is a way for multiple people in various locations to participate and be reached.

The act of walking away from the trashform is key. By remaining in the area, the trashform has the potential to draw attention and response. The question remains whether this can be more impactful in bringing awareness to an issue by starting a conversation and critique around the trashform rather than simply tossing the litter into a bin after documentation.

Interpret the script and act as you see fit. Listen to your comfort levels, consider challenging them, and make informed decisions around private or public property. Wear gloves if you do not want to handle objects with bare hands.

March 18, 2017 6:49 PM Elmdale Ave, Chicago, IL