2020 Garima Pant ( Student of Bachelor in Development Studies )
Short History of Trash Tag Challenge
Trash Tag Challenge was first introduced around 2015. Anenvironmental activist, Steven Reinhold, came up with this idea of Trash Tag when he was on a trip. He wasupset seeing all the trash around while he was travelling. Later he wrote a blog promising to collect 100 pieces of trash in his trip with big ambition and hope to make this world a better, cleaner place to live in. Then he initiated a project named the Trash Tag Project to outfitting company UCO gear where he was working as an ambassador.
As we know everything takes time to reach its success and patience is important. Steven had believed in himself, his hard work and dedication. He believed that he could make some differences. He didn’t lose hope, he believed in the power of each individual potential and continued his project of trash collecting and cleaning campaign. Finally, in 2019 this challenge became viral in social media by a post of one Facebook user named Byron Roman.He had posted a before picture (with a pile of trash) and after picture (collected trash in sacks) with an eye-catching caption “Bored Teens to get outside and clean up their communities”. His post was shared and liked by people thousands of times.
How we are motivated to follow this Trash Tag Challenge
First, we came with this idea after seeing incredible work done by Byron Roman and knowing more about Trash Tag Challenge initiated by Steven Reinhold which had been viral in social media. We realized if their work has inspired us to be a part of this challenge, why to halt to inspire more youths like us? Why not follow their movement of Trash Tag Challenge if it really making a positive change? With these thoughts in mind, we decided to inspire other youths like us from our cleaning campaign of Trash Tag Challenge and to create awareness of a clean environment and healthy life among the people. This topic was especially more concerned and talked by youths from all around the world. This movement really inspired us to accept this challenge and work accordingly. Thanks to our course teacher and coordinator Mr Ujjwal Upadhyay for assigning us with this task.
On the other hand, as being active and responsible youths of the nation, we really wanted to contribute something better for the community. Therefore, this challenge stood up as an opportunity for us to make some positive impacts in the community and at the local level. We actually accepted this challenge as an incredible opportunity to bring the better out of us, to motivate so many energetic and enthusiastic youths who are the future leaders and change makers. We have contributed our time in cleaning campaign without any financial expectations, but we have expected cooperation, to create awareness among people about clean surrounding and healthy life and to inspire more youths to accept this challenge and make differences in their community and in national level. We as students of Development studies at National College it is a pleasure to be a part of this challenge because we always discuss academically sustainable development, global warming, globalization, pollution, climate change, et cetera. We believe what we have already learned and what we are learning should be implemented then only can it make some sense and differences. With these thoughts in mind, to be a part of this great inspiring movement, we students made several groups with each group having 9-13 members. We scattered our groups in different places of Kathmandu and Lalitpur, and especially at public places and heritage sites which were in a miserable condition because of garbage piles. We collected them and handed it to the concerned people for its disposal and proper management. Our work was out of reach from any media because our motto was not to get any attention nor to be viral and to get appreciation and admiration, but our motto was to motivate young youths like us whocan really contribute to their community and can bring some changes. We have frequently heard talks about pollution and climate change but only a few people want to change themselves by controlling their behavior of throwing trash everywhere. Many people may talk and deliver good speeches about a healthy environment, the effect of global warming, urbanization, and pollution but only a few speak with their action which is very important. We want to be the one among those few and encourage more people to be the part of it who believe in action and who wish to make some differences from their level.
The development of any nation is directly depended on community development at the primary level and in the hands of active youth. Countries like Denmark and Singapore recycle municipal solid waste and generate electricity through it. They are changing trashes into treasures. We hope we could adopt those solid management and utilization techniques in the near future to recycle and reuse municipal solid wastes produced every day. It is estimated that the Kathmandu valley alone generates 500 tons of solid waste each day which is enough to generate about 6 MW electricity.
Subsequently, Nepal is going to celebrate the tourism year 2020. We want to make our cities and villages clean and green to convey a good message to foreign visitors. We want to make positive impacts so that they choose Nepal again as their travel destination. This will create a chain of opportunities to Nepalese people and could uplift the economy of the country. The clean and green environment will also directly help the healthy lifestyle of the people. This Trash Tag Challenge has inspired people from all around the world to pick up garbage to make this world a better place to live in. It is the kind of movement we would love to be followers of and put effort to make positive impacts to our fullest potential.
Author : Garima Pant
Class : Student of Bachelor in Development Studies
Edited By : Ujjwal Upadhayay, Sr. Program Coordinator, BDevS