Over the past years, we’ve seen many challenges flooding the crazy world of social media. From somewhat funny to somewhat dumb to somewhat life-threatening. We’ve seen teens swallowing cinnamon in 60 seconds. We’ve seen them pouring alcohol over their bodies and lighting themselves on fire. We’ve seen kids filling up condoms with water and dropping them onto their friends’ heads. We’ve laughed, screamed, shaken our heads in disbelief, and…tried one or two out ourselves. We’ve seen challenges pop up that have the name tag “good cause” attached to it. And then we laugh and scream and shake our heads in the knowledge we’re doing our bit to save the world.
But every once in a while there’s an outstanding challenge making its way to the light of day. One such challenge is the right now trending #Trashtag. What it’s about? People get up, get out, collect trash and clean up the streets.
The challenge itself is not new. A similar movement first appeared in 2015 when Afroz Shah, who lives in Mumbai, took to the infamous Versova Beach to clean up what is widely considered a public landfill. However, his deed quickly fell into a deep slumber, buried underneath the massive pile of information that is the internet. Forgotten, at least until this March when it was brought back to the sunlight of social media by Byron Román. In a post, he appealed to all those “bored teens” out there writing:
“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. Here are the people doing it #BasuraChallenge #trashtag Challenge, join the cause. #BasuraChallengeAZ”
Along with the post came this picture:
In an interview with the TIME, Byron Román said about his motivation: “When teens get bored, that’s like the worst thing you can ever have – actually, any person being bored,” he tells TIME. “So, I thought, maybe someone will pick up the challenge and do something positive about it.”
And the results are impressive. Not only teens but people of all ages are taking part in the mass clean-up. Armed with gloves and grappler, whole communities take to the woods, beaches, and roads to help clean up their neighborhood.
Here are some more pictures of the #Trashtag challenge:
Let’s just hope that the #Trashtag will not just be a quick trend but rather change awareness so that the cleaned up After won’t once again turn into the messed up Before.