Everyone is chipping in to do their part to clean up our planet
There always seems to be online challenges that end up sweeping hundreds of thousands of participants, for good and for bad (we’re looking at you, Tide Pods). But one challenge went viral on social media over the weekend and it’s safe to say this is one we can all get behind.
The new challenge, called #trashtag, isn’t actually new but it gathered steam when one Reddit user posted, “This should be the new challenge to make the world a better place!” next to a before and after picture of a man picking up garbage. The results of his work are astounding and show just how much of an impact a single person can make to clean up the world.
Soon, people from Instagram, Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook were sharing photos of their before and after shots, one more dramatic than the next. Some were of people’s properties but most showed individuals and groups cleaning up parks, streets, roadsides, beaches, and any other litter-strewn place they could find.
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@tetsocollege accepted the #Trashtag challenge. What is this challenge? They're before and after pics of people cleaning public spaces across the world. Grab a bag and pitch in! Now who's next for the #Trashtag challenge? Please feel free to tag us in your pictures of the challenge and we will feature you. Let's clean Nagaland. PC: @east.mojo #YouthNet #PositiveNagaland
— TO112 (@to112life) March 10, 2019
— City Dave (@daavidcabrera_) March 10, 2019
One participant from Arizona summed the challenge up perfectly after she picked up trash from a local campsite. “It’s the only outdoors we have. We all use it for many different things but it is the only one we have. So let’s all do our part and treat it with respect.” Instagram user Cody Hanson explained. “Let’s pick up after ourselves and then pick up extra. It only takes a few minutes of your time to pick up something that’ll far outlast us, humans, if left alone.”
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We can be better than this. I found this plastic bag stuck in a bush near our campsite and decided to put it to use. Inside is every plastic shot gun shell I could find along with every piece of plastic and trash I could see within our campsite. This excludes the countless amount of spent ammo casings and glass bottles thrown into fire pits and used as targets that are nearly impossible to collect. It’s the only outdoors we have. We all use it for many different things but it is the only one we have. So let’s all do our part and treat it with respect. Let’s pick up after ourselves and then pick up extra. It only takes a few minutes of your time to pick up something that’ll far outlast us humans if left alone. We’re the ones who get can pass it along to those who will come after us in better shape than we found it. #flagstaff #leavenotrace #flagstaffarizona #priestdraw #packitout #cleanupafteryourselves #trashtag
The challenge is not new. It was thought to have been started by a lighting company back in 2015. “To keep nature beautiful for everyone to enjoy for decades to come, UCO has launched the UCO #TrashTag Project,” the company said. “The project is a movement that encourages fans and the general public to commit to picking up after ourselves and one another in the wilderness.”
Not only does litter cause massive damage to our oceans, wildlife, and the world, it also costs billions of dollars each year to clean. According to National Geographic, of the 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic that have been produced globally, 6.3 billion metric tons have become plastic waste. “Of that, only nine percent has been recycled. The vast majority — 79 percent — is accumulating in landfills or sloughing off in the natural environment as litter,” they reported last year. And that’s just plastic waste.
That’s why a viral challenge like #trashtag is so important — to bring awareness to the issue and motivate everyone to do their part in taking care of our planet.
— Megan (@bacon_N_megs) March 10, 2019
— Robbie McNeil (@RMcNeil2105) March 10, 2019
— momento (@spirituallythic) March 10, 2019
— Fred Schroeder (@fred_schroeder) March 10, 2019
This is something you could get a group together to participate in or grab your kids and just head to a local park. There is no shortage of litter in our public spaces so why not start today? This is definitely a challenge everyone should get behind.