Last year a movement known as the #Trashtag Challenge went viral, resulting in over 300,000 social shares and thousands of people going outdoors looking for ways to cleaning up their environment.
The idea was to take a photo of yourself cleaning up a local area badly in need of the attention, and then post it on social media with the #trashtag hashtag. The original variation was #basurachallenge before it was translated and caught on in English speaking countries.
And the man that started all this?
Byron Roman and his reaction to his social post that made a much bigger impact than he’d expected:
On March 5, 2019 Byron Roman posted a challenge to “bored teens” everywhere to post photos of themselves cleaning up outdoor areas. Like many of us that have posted ideas or wishes about how the world could be on social media, he didn’t really expect much to come of it.
The post had a runaway effect. Social channels were flooded with photos of people cleaning up beaches, parks, schools, and city streets.
Roman was amazing by the response. In an interview with TIME magazine he explained the inspiration for this concept as follows:
When teens get bored, that’s like the worst thing you can ever have — actually, any person being bored. So, I thought, maybe someone will pick up the challenge and do something positive about it.https://time.com/5549019/trashtag-interview/
One notable example of the effects of the #trashtag movement is a group of teens in Novosibirsk, Russia, having collected 223 bags of litter. 75% of the litter they collected was recyclable.
The effort might even inspire some changes in policy-makers. Mark Butler, policy director of the Canadian charity Ecology Action Center, says, “We need to do more than go behind the people that are littering and clean it up. We need to turn off the plastic tap.” (Source)