The viral hashtag #trashtag is aimed at using the bored teenagers to clean up the planet and remove toxic waste from public places.
Viral challenges have been going around for over a decade now and bored teenagers across the world are always ready to try out these redundant challenges. Unlike most of the previous trending challenges, the latest one is surprisingly interesting and helps make the world a cleaner and better place. The #trashtag is a trend with a greener purpose than most others. It requires people participating in the challenge to clean up garbage that has been thrown around in public places. Tens of thousands of people have caught onto the trend over the years. The challenge is very simple to execute. All the participant has to do is take a picture of the location they are planning to clean up, be it a park, a beach, a railway station, trail, basically any place with a lot of litter. They have to then clean up the area and take a picture of what the clean space looks like after they are done. The trend is actually a few years old but it has recently resurfaced and become bigger than ever.
The trend was re-popularized by Facebook user Byron Roman. He posted a couple of pictures on social media after he took up the challenge on March 5. Initially, the challenge was for anyone but Roman knew his target audience very well. He knew exactly whom to target and exactly who would be fired up by a new viral challenge. Here is a new #challenge for all you bored teens, he wrote alongside the pictures. 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 join the cause.
The original post, which appears to have been edited, did not include the hashtag "basurachallenge." Basura is the Spanish word for trash. The edited version of the post has over 316,000 shares on Facebook. Roman even went on to create a separate page for the basurachallenge specifically for Arizona. Román told CBS News he used the alternate hashtag, as it's "the one being used in Latin America." The #basurachallenge has been tagged in nearly 1,700 posts on Instagram. He first came across the idea behind the challenge when he came across a post by travel company Happy Tours GT.
After he saw the post online, he decided to give it a little twist for the better. "Due to teens lately making the news about Tide pods, Bird Box, and now the Momo challenge. Maybe I could inspire a few to do something positive," said Román. He shared a post with a man sitting on a chair, surrounded by trash and called it the 'before' photo. The next picture consisted of the same man standing in the same location, now cleaned up, behind the trash bags. After this, a lot of people have taken up the challenge and shared it across different social media platforms, most of them addressing it towards all the "bored teens."
Since the post, many teenagers have also taken up the challenge and helped clean several public locations across the world. The challenge is trending across all social media platforms. The hashtag has more than 24,000 posts on Instagram, many in the past week. Twitter user @frizhbee posted an image of people picking up trash by the side of the road. She wrote: 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.
Cody Lee Hanson, an Instagram user said: It’s the only outdoors we have, after sharing photos after he completed the challenge. He further continued, 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.
#trashtag #TrashChallenge Around 500 volunteers helped with the cleanup of 5 million kg of trash from this Mumbai beach.https://t.co/7UPGOKsGFDhttps://t.co/QBIMDUU8SThttps://t.co/5O8VJjYGTN pic.twitter.com/xWjsA1JPQ8— Pratika RCC Pipes Hyderabad (@rcc_pipes) March 10, 2019
Originally, the #trashtag concept was introduced as part of a contest hosted by the gear company Utility, Comfort and Originality. It was a part of The Trashtag Project back in 2015. As part of the contest, people were encouraged to clean up garbage and post pictures of their efforts on Twitter. One of the lucky winners was promised a free outdoor gear. However, the challenge that has come back up this year does not have any prize at the end of it. The only prize is a cleaner place and the satisfaction people get from working towards saving the planet.
The challenge has received a lot of praise from people across all social media platforms. It has also been appreciated by environmentalists. People are usually used to pointless and stupid viral challenges and almost everyone takes part in them. One Instagram user said: Freaking love this #trashtag movement. Bout time we got a #challenge actually worth doing, one person wrote on Twitter. Another user declared #TrashTag is the best challenge social media has ever created. We need more challenges like this one. Something that would benefit the internet, the people, and the environment.