Viral trends seem to fall into two categories. The first is the totally dangerous and terrible, like the inexplicable Tide Pod Challenge. Because apparently it still must be said, don’t eat Tide pods. The second is the socially conscious that doesn’t always do what it’s intended to do, like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which involved thousands of people dumping buckets of ice water on their heads without actually donating to the cause. The latest viral trend of #Trashtag seems to be in its own category, with the public participating in a safe and easy social movement. You know what, 2019? You’re all right.
I like this #trashtag challenge a lot more than kids choking on cinnamon or eating TidePods.
Way to go, humanity.
— Justin Wadsworth (@readysetradio) March 10, 2019
The #Trashtag trend first started in 2015 with the outdoor gear brand UCO, who tried to get the #UCOTrashTag trend going. The company pledged to pick up 10,000 tons of garbage within the year and challenged their customers to make their own goals with trash pickup.
The hashtag made a comeback in March, with people beginning to use the #Trashtag hashtag to share pictures of themselves, as well as before and after shots, of public areas that had once been covered in garbage and were now clean. We are loving Mother Nature’s new makeover.
— City Dave (@daavidcabrera_) March 10, 2019
The challenge is simple, with people encouraged to post before and after images of garbage-filled areas, using the hashtag to help spread the movement and inspire others to take a few minutes out of their day to pick up trash.
— r/Pics Bot (@Reddit_Pics_Bot) March 10, 2019
— Robbie McNeil (@RMcNeil2105) March 10, 2019
— CoolPics (@CoolPics) March 10, 2019
Join the #trashtagchallenge ! Take a picture of an area that is heavily littered. Then take another photo of it after you’ve collected the garbage and post both in social media under #trashtag.
Of course, then the garbage has to be disposed as environmentally friendly as possible pic.twitter.com/PmAyrvGTTZ
— KALBHENN Fotografie (@sven_kalbhenn) March 12, 2019
The movement is spreading beyond North America, with good Samaritans around the world posting their #trashtag challenge pictures.
— Bomb Voyage (@v0y4ge) March 10, 2019
— Kelllvvviiinnn (@kelllvvviiinnn) March 9, 2019
— Shon Kapai (@KapaiShon) March 11, 2019
The #Trashtag movement isn’t the first time saving the environment has been trending on social media. In late 2018, the Swedish practice of #Plogging, which is picking up trash while jogging, began to gain some traction in Canada and the United States. It appears that #Trashtag has already become bigger than #Plogging, but whether you’re walking, running, biking, or rolling (whatever works!), picking up trash is a great way to make public spaces safer and more accessible.
Did you know that jogging while picking up waste could benefit your health as well as the #environment? Discover “#Plogging” a new eco-friendly workout! #PlasticPollution |@Loopsidernews pic.twitter.com/CdupPzYKgW
— Veolia (@Veolia) March 4, 2019