FAQ or “what is a # and why would I use it?”

What should I take photos of?

Take pictures of your favorite beach or park, and the trash you collect and remove.

How does the hashtag work?

By putting a hashtag (#) before a word, you can search for specific words or phrases on social media. Categorizing posts, photos, and messages help group similar topics together from many individuals who are posting about the same thing. For example, including #cleanupyourlocal in a photo description on Instagram allows people to find your photo in a search using the hashtag.

Quick tip: To see other photos of do-goodery, go to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and search for #cleanupyourlocal.

Do I have to use Instagram to take my photo? What if I don’t have Instagram?

No.  If you don’t have Instagram (and don’t want it) you can also #cleanupyourlocal in Twitter and Facebook Posts.

That said,  Instagram provides two key features: hashtags and locating your photos. First, you can search #cleanupyourlocal on Instagram to view all of the photos that have been taken of runoff in one place. Second, we want to know where photos of runoff are taken. When you take a photo in Instagram while connected via Wi-Fi or 3G, your phone logs the coordinates where the photo was taken – this will help us connect your photos to a map! Be sure to update your the settings on your photo to have location services turned on for Instagram.  If you are using Instagram, you can also #litterati and join a worldwide effort for a litter free planet.

Quick tip: If you’re posting a photo later or in a different location, type in the street intersection in the caption or under the Add to Photo Map > Name This Location option.

How do I link my photo with the place where I took it?

By default, adding location is turned off for all photos you upload to Instagram. Additionally, your hashtagged photo will not show up in our search if you have a private profile – only your approved followers can see your photos. To contribute to this project, you have to do two simple but important things:

1. Make your profile public.

  • Go to your profile by tapping the profile icon on your phone.
  • Tap Edit Your Profile next to your profile picture.
  • Make sure the “Posts Are Private” setting is switched off and select done.

2. Allowing Instagram to locate your photo of runoff. In your phone’s settings, select Location Services and ensure that Instagram can access your location.

  • for iPhones: Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Instagram > On
  • for Android: Settings > Location Services > On