The latest trend to hit social media is the #Trashtag Challenge which encourages people to clean up their local surroundings. What’s the catch? There’s actually no catch because people are willingly choosing their own “dirty spots” in their community and cleaning the area in order to take before and after photos. Hundreds of pictures showing the efforts of netizens have made it to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – like a contagious bug, it has infected folks from different parts of the globe and all walks of life.
Unlike other senseless challenges that didn’t do much except make people laugh, the #Trashtag Challenge inspires individuals and groups to go out with their gloves and do some serious cleaning in their locality. The positive message brought about by this social media sensation is being sent across nations and it’s incredible that people are jumping on the bandwagon in hordes.
You might be surprised to know that this is not a completely new idea; in fact, it was introduced back in 2015 by an outdoor gear company based in Chicago with the line #Trashtag “Clean Vibes” but it was recently revived through a post by Facebook user Byron Román who dared “bored teenagers” to take the challenge. The post shows a before shot of a young man in black sitting among garbage and an after shot of the same man in blue standing on the same spot. But this time, the area is clean and the garbage has been collected and placed in nine green trash bags with a caption that reads: “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.”
The response has been incredible and what began as a dare is now a worldwide phenomenon. As of this writing, this post received 101,000 likes and shared 333,000 times on Facebook alone and the viral challenge is resonating and driving more people to go out of their comfort zones to help clean up the environment. This social media craze has reached different public places such as streets, parks, roadsides, hills, and mountains.
#Trashtag challenge has gone from land to water
The online challenge began on land but it has now reached the waters around us. It’s great news because water pollution is a huge problem around the world and this kind of collective effort can be a significant help to the marine environment.
The world produces more than three million tons of solid waste every day and many of our trash find their way to the ocean, seas, and other bodies of water which is harming marine life. For instance, this stirring photography by Justin Hofman, Sealegacy taken in Indonesia shows a seahorse clinging to a cotton bud. You see, seahorses ride the ocean currents by holding on to floating objects with their tails and this heartbreaking photo strongly indicates the alarming onslaught of water pollution.
The #Trashtag Challenge may not completely eradicate the garbage in our waters but it can still help alleviate the problem that has plagued the ocean, sea, and other major bodies of water.
This Twitter post by Robbie McNeil shows a facet of a riverside in Washington, DC with trash lying around (before shot) and another photo of his son, Malcolm standing in the same area minus the scattered waste with clear trash bags filled with collected garbage (after shot). As of this writing, this Tweet received 1,214 likes and retweeted 251 times.
Living Lands & Waters, an environmental organization that protects major rivers and watersheds shared a motivating group photo where their group hauled an incredible feat of 14,353 lbs of trash from the Mississippi River.
These are just a few examples but there are more photos circulating online that show how the soft side of humanity is helping Mother Earth.
Divers can take part in this global challenge
When social media fuels community spirit and makes people get off their backsides to make a positive change for the environment, then why not help sustain that passion?
We, at Nemo Diving Center, have always expressed our concern for the marine environment by joining various clean-up dive activities in Dubai. We think that the #Trashtag challenge is a good way to help fight water pollution and protect the marine creatures. Visit our dive shop in Dubai and book a trip with us to join the environmentally uplifting #Trashtag challenge and make a big difference.