The viral ‘trashtag’ challenge is encouraging people to pick up trash—and the before and after photos are amazing

Instagram / @letsdoitnam

Viral posts on social media are often used to entertain and amuse. And honestly, there’s nothing wrong with a hysterical meme or a fierce online debate about something completely frivolous. But sometimes, a worthy cause gets to ride the viral wave of popularity and it makes our hearts just a little bit happier. Like the latest viral sensation to take social media by storm — the #trashtag challenge.

The #trashtag challenge began as most viral posts do: a simple photo and a throwing down of the gauntlet to teens around the world.

Talk about using the power of the internet for a little positive peer pressure and creative motivation! The hashtag post inspired thousands of people to do their part to make the world a nicer place to live. The best part of these posts are seeing the transformations of the cleaned up areas.

From neighborhood streets that needed a little sprucing up, as shared by Twitter user @TO112…

…to a beautiful beach in Belgium that needed a little TLC. This beach area was absolutely covered with garbage before a group of people decided to jump in and join the challenge. As the caption says, “Possibly the best internet challenge of all time.”

Another widely circulated photo is this one showing how one person can make a huge difference. This sand dune was littered with so much junk, it was almost impossible to see its natural beauty. A little time and some sweat equity on this man’s part returned the property to its original glory.

The challenge has reached all over the world. In Namibia, Instagram user @letsdoitnam gave a shout-out to his fellow citizens to help reduce, reuse and recycle. And he’s leading by example, as you can see from his #trashtag post.

Over in India, The Lighthouse Church became a beacon of hope for the environment by declaring “Challenge Accepted” to the #trashtag trend. Church members took to the streets with bags, gloves and sticks to clean up litter around their town. The before and after pictures show such an amazing difference!

Like many “overnight sensations,” though, the #trashtag challenge isn’t exactly a new concept. Back in 2015, the outdoor gear company UCO first launched the #TrashTag Project. The idea was the same: to “clean up, spread the word and encourage others to pack out trash when they spot it on the trail.”

Sadly, the effort lost steam just a little over a year after it started. However, it’s experiencing a revival in 2019 thanks to the social media challenge trend that continues to grip online users.

So get out there and rise to the challenge! Find an area nearby, snap a before picture and then take a little time to clean it up. Then, capture the after shot and you can be part of this trending social media topic!

Good News, News, Science & Nature

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About the Author
Marie Rossiter
Marie is a freelance writer and content creator with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. She lives in southwest Ohio with her husband and is almost a full-fledged empty nest mom of two daughters. She loves music, reading, word games, and Walt Disney World. Visit Scripps News to see more of Marie's work.

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