Friday, July 19, 2024

#TRASHTAG CHALLENGE: Restoring The Beauty of Nature


If you could do anything, what would you do?  Are you willing to sacrifice in order to do it?  Everyone desires a clean and healthy neighborhood, but how much do we put to achieve a cleaner neighborhood?

The internet globe is at the rife to ensure a cleaner environment with new hashtag trashtag challenge moving individuals to take up a role and restore the beauty of nature.  Most viral challenges revolve around making fun through memes and funny videos but the trashtag comes with the whole benefit of ensuring trash is out of sight.

Figure 1 A boy participates in trashtag challenge, image source visual

For this particular challenge, one is required to identify a polluted area, take a photo of it, take a clean-up action and then take a photo of the clean-up area, post the image of the before and after to social media and inspire several others to take responsibility.

The challenge dates back to 2015 through an outdoor clothing company OCU, who dropped a receipt in a pretty location but out of guilty decided to collect some 100 more receipts.  The noble act gave birth to the #Trashtag project, which seeks to raise awareness on litter pollution and the rise in ocean plastic, as it inspires people to be better stewards of the environment.

The challenge revived through a Facebook post encouraging bored teens to pick up litter. The post by Byron Roman featured an Algerian environmental activist Cruiz who posted photo of a littered woodland area and an after photo of the area after garbage collection.

Figure 2 image of Cruiz an Algerian environmental activist, displaying a littered woodland and his after collection: image posted by Bryon Romano on Facebook

“Here is a new #challenge for all you bored teens.  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.  Here are the people doing it #BasuraChallenge #trashtag Challenge, join the cause.  #BasuraChallengeAZ”


The challenge captured a multitude gathering over 340,000 shares and 94,000 likes. As at 18th, March the #Trashtag Instagram account had 37,342 posts of countless volunteers who had photos of cleaned up parks, roads, and beaches around the world.

Figure 3 image of # trashtag challenge at manila bay, source

Unfortunately, Kenyans seem as not stricken by the viral challenge, compared to recent challenges like the #10 years challenge, Presidential inauguration challenge in 2017 and 2018 among others.  The challenge seems a greater challenge in its self.  Would it be the Practical role holds us back?  Are we lacking intrinsic motivation despite the littered streets and rivers in the country?  Would it be a too busy schedule?

Viral challenges are mostly short-lived, with the fun fading in a week, or a month’s time.  New trends are born and the old is gone.  They say out of sight out of mind.  But how can this noble task retain relevance as the globe seek to reduce pollution?  Does it build the intrinsic value to refuse, reduce, reuse, and recycle products that litter the environment?

How can governments and leaders sustain the initiative?  It is high time they join the challenge and post their challenge too!  Offer support programs for garbage disposal once collected and celebrate those involved.

The global response is fantastic, accepted and many participants hope that it sticks around.  One wrote

“#Trashtag is awesome, never thought I’d support one in a non-sarcastic fashion.  I sure hope this challenge sticks around.”

Another wrote, “I like this #trashtag challenge a lot more than kids choking on cinnamon or eating TidePods.”  “Way to go, humanity.”



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