People Are Cleaning Up The Planet In Viral #Trashtag Challenge

by : Charlie Cocksedge on :
before and after beach cleanupEMC2_trooper/Reddit

It may not be the most obvious way to raise awareness of an issue, but if a viral ‘challenge’ means people start taking care of the environment, then is one we should definitely encourage.

Internet challenges have come in all shapes and sizes, from the seemingly pointless planking, the seriously dangerous Tidepod challenge, and both pointless and dangerous In My Feelings craze.

And while some viral trends can be hugely beneficial, they can often have downsides too – even the Ice Bucket challenge, which raised millions of dollars for the ALS Association, injured more than a few (clumsy) people.

Now, however, we may just have the internet challenge we’ve all been waiting for – the Trashtag challenge.

It’s not pointless, it’s not dangerous (though I’m sure someone will find a way), and – best of all – it actually has a hugely positive impact on society, which makes a nice change for an internet challenge as – to put it lightly – most of them make you despair for humanity.

To take part in the Trashtag challenge, people have been sharing before and after pictures of an area of land – beaches, fields, lay-bys etc – that were filled with litter and trash, which they’ve then cleaned and picked up all the litter.

Check it out a few examples here:

Not only does the Trashtag challenge encourage people to do some good, it will also shame those people who think it’s fine to just drop litter or leave a pile of rubbish at the beach, for example.

It’s not fine, and it’s why thousands of schoolchildren have been leaving school and protesting climate change recently – because they care about the environment and want to protect it.

As one person taking part in the Trashtag challenge put it:

It’s the only outdoors we have. We all use it for many different things but it is the only one we have. So let’s all do our part and treat it with respect. Let’s pick up after ourselves and then pick up extra. It only takes a few minutes of your time to pick up something that’ll far outlast us humans if left alone. ⁣
We’re the ones who get can pass it along to those who will come after us in better shape than we found it.

So if you’ve ever been in two minds about whether to join in on a viral craze, now’s your time to take the leap – this is one that should actively be encouraged.

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Charlie Cocksedge

Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist and sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.