Yet another social-media challenge is sweeping across the internet, and no, it doesn’t involve flinging cheese slices at babies. This one has inspired people to pick up garbage in an effort to make the world a cleaner, better place to live.
Known as the #TrashTag challenge, the social media “movement” per se, has inspired people to go out of their way and clean up litter-soaked places to the likes of beaches, forests and public parks.
The hashtag and challenge have been around since 2015, after outdoor enthusiast and activist Steven Reinhold came up with the idea while on a road trip. Reinhold explained in a blog post that while cruising down a highway, a receipt got sucked out of the window of the car and “into the picturesque Owens Valley,” in California.
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“As I steadied our course, my stomach fell to pieces,” Reinhold said. “I should have stopped; I should have ventured out into the desert and removed that heinous relic of my self-indulgent shopping spree.”
But he didn’t. He and his buddy continued on with the road trip “haunted by this inadvertent littering fiasco.” From that point on, he vowed to “gather 100 pieces of trash during the trip.” And from there, he pitched the “#TrashTag Project” to outfitting company UCO Gear, a company he was an ambassador of.
Fast-forward to March 2019, the challenge again picked up steam over the weekend thanks to a few viral posts on Reddit, Instagram and Facebook showing before-and-after photos of garbage-free places.
“Here is a new #challenge for all you bored teens,” reads the meme. “Take a photo of an area that needs some cleaning or maintenance, then take a photo after you have done something about it, and post it. #TrashTag.”
Social-media users began to share their accomplishments, posting photos of cleaner places.
“I don’t have a before-and-after picture, but here’s a couple of pictures of me with my family picking up trash from the road side whenever we made a rest stop,” reads a tweet.
“Decided to pick up trash for my birthday and filled up 4 bags #20 #trashtag,” reads another.
“Usually I’m against doing good deeds just to post it online but in the case of #trashtag i am 100% for it, if that’s what it takes,” reads another tweet. “Good people are good.”
Here’s hoping the #TrashTag challenge picks up steam in your neighbourhood. Here’s a look at others taking the challenge.