Social media challenges aren’t always known to produce positive results. There are countless people who needed to be warned of the dangers of sucking on a shot glass to get Kylie Jenner-style lips or putting salt and ice on their skin to burn it.
A new social media challenge has recently arisen, but you don’t need to face-palm at this one. In fact, the “Trashtag challenge” is one that you can encourage just about anyone to get in on. It’s one of few social media fads you can feel good about it.
The Trashtag challenge is all about helping keep public areas in your community clean. Simply go to a public place where a lot of trash has accumulated and clean it up!
People are taking before and after photos of the area to show what a little bit of time and work can do. The idea was started by outdoor clothing company UCO in 2015, but it has recently experienced a viral uptick.
Social media has finally spawned a challenge we can feel good about. The trashtag challenge is encouraging everyone to do their part to keep their community clean.
The hashtag was first used by outdoor clothing company UCO in 2015. The idea started with people who enjoyed outdoor activities cleaning up areas they frequented and making sure to clean up after themselves.
The recent uptick in the Trashtag challenge came after a Reddit user posted a “before” image of a young man in a trash-filled area and then an image of the area after he’d cleaned it up. The post suggested that young people who like to take selfie-driven challenges should try this one, where they can actually make a difference.
The Trashtag challenge was well-received following the Reddit post. In fact, it ended up trending on various social media platforms.
The challenge comes at a complex time where there’s been a lot of varying opinions on issues related to climate and the environment. With these conversations actively happening, it’s important for people to get involved.
These simple before and after photos are raising awareness of the state of many national parks and recreation areas. Many serious campers will tell you how important it is to leave no trace of your stay behind, but not everyone has gotten the message.
Roadsides have also gotten a lot of love from the challenge. It’s amazing to see how much litter people throw out of their cars (despite the fact that it’s illegal to do so in many areas).
It’s fascinating to see how beaches are getting cleaned up. Ocean plastic is a serious problem, with over 150 million tons of plastic estimated to already be in our oceans, endangering animals and habitats.
National Geographic puts the plastic problem in shocking terms. According to the magazine, if plastic production continues at the rate it has been in recent history and more isn’t done in the way of recycling, by 2050 there will be over 12 million metric tons of plastic in landfills and littering the environment. That’s over 35,000 times the weight of the Empire State Building.
Aside from the environmental benefits, the Trashtag challenge also has people reconnecting with the outdoors as spring begins. With people spending more time outside, they’re realizing how important it is to keep the outdoors clean.
The challenge is also a good way to get young people involved in community service in a positive way. Many organizations are endorsing the challenge.
Some people are comparing the good that can come out of the Trashtag challenge to 2015’s Ice Bucket challenge. Over $115 million was raised for ALS awareness as people challenged each other to have a bucket of ice dumped over their body.
Some people even feel this is the natural continuation of the Marie Kondo-style cleaning spree that began early this year. If respecting and honoring your possessions are important, why not your planet?
The internet has strange and wonderful ways of bringing about change. This might just be the best attempt yet.