Viral Challenge for ‘Bored Teens’ Inspires Tens of Thousands to Clean Beaches, Parks etc.

March 13, 2019 Updated: March 18, 2019

There’s a not-so-new internet challenge now picking up traction that has people cleaning up the planet  and showing off their efforts online. From litter-filled parks to beaches awash in plastic waste, participants are posting photos from all over the world as part of the viral challenge.

The #Trashtag Challenge has been around for a few years already, but it’s gotten a second wind in the past week—even in the last day or so. The revival came after Facebook user + posted a challenge for “bored teens” who need something useful to do.

Here is a new #challenge for all you bored teens. Take a photo of an area that needs some cleaning or maintenance, then…

Byron Román 发布于 2019年3月5日周二

His instruction are simple:

“Take a photo of an area that needs some cleaning or maintenance,” he writes, “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.”

“Basura,” which means “trash” in Spanish, denotes the Latin American chapter of the challenge. The movement has established an impressive social media presence over the years. Basura Challenge El Salvador has a following of 400,000 people. Their Latin America Instagram has around 1,700 posts.

Basura Challenge El Salvador 发布于 2019年3月11日周一

The inspiration behind the recent trend, apparently, was when Román came across a post by Happy Tours GT on Facebook on March 4th. He posted his own a day later. It was also partially a response to all the harmful and disturbing challenges aimed at teens lately.

“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 Byron via CBS.

Tens of thousands of people, including teens, have answered the call. Challenge-takers have been clearing forests, roadsides, mountainsides, trails, and beaches around the world. They have been posting photos of their activities everywhere from Nepal to California. As a whole, the movement has garnered over 26,000 posts on Instagram and is still growing.

Just check out some of these netizens doing the #Trashtag Challenge from all across the world:

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The movement had previously even caught on in the corporate world with outdoor sporting company UCO Gear jumping on the bandwagon in 2015. Their playful press release tells how their people ambassador Steven Reinhold conceived the initiative while driving after a shopping spree and seeing his receipt fly out the window. Overcome with guilt, he vowed to pick up 100 pieces of trash on his road trip. Following that, he pitched the idea for the movement to the UCO team, and UCO #Trashtag was born.

Everyone from the corporate world to teenage social media users can choose to follow their own trends. With all the negativity on social media and in business, sometimes, there are no good choices to make. So, how about making good use of the positive ones that come our way? Maybe it’s we who decide what to pick up and what to throw away.

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