Wednesday, March 27, 2019

#TrashTag Challenge’s Creator, an origin Story just begging for a Nepali Sequel

The inventor of the trash tag has no desire for his idea to disappear in the depth of mass information once again. He decided to share with us his story and motivation to give a second kickstart to his concept sadly already turning out to be “has-been”.

And as for me, I would like to show you that Nepal has an opportunity to become a leading actor in this wannabe environmental cult saga. Ladies and Gentlemen, turn off your cell phone and get ready for a great picture. Oh wait, finish reading this article before running outside with bin bags, gloves, and goodwill.

Will the #TrashTagsurvive?

Last week, we and everybody ells were talking about the latest trending environmental story: The #TrashTag Challenge 

But as usual, the spotlight was quickly turned to another “fresh content”. But I think we will all agree it’s unfair to turn our backs on a what was an unusually good use of the internet, in favor of another cheating billionaire, unconscious politician or this week hot feed: the microwave challenge. And no, we are not going to discuss why turning around butt naked on your kitchen floor is more relevant, or interesting, than picking up and cleaning up the pieces of trash left by a more evolved form of its own species. Desecrating mother’s nature most magnificent bosom, or staining her less-known but no less vital features.

So let me the honor of rebooting what is considered by the environmental fanbase as what should be a classic: the Trashtag challenge.

Because let’s be honest, there is no origin story material in knowing who was the first man to through a piece of cheese on a baby’s face. And I am afraid the answer would turn out to be a more worrying statement than an inspiring story to be shared with future generation (if ever they were given the chance to exist or the prosperity to give a damn).

A question they may ask: Why did our parent’s parents let us 3 feet in the acid water of the melted artic? (read: Humanity has Officially Condemned the Arctic to Disappear)

Steven Reinold, because every story has its proud father figure.

The smiling American on the right side of the previous picture considers himself as an “Adventure Philanthropist”. He belongs to a new creature of good habits, modern-day rare but growing race of ethical travelers. Noticeable as they are those who don’t visit a country only for the guide book pictures but to help improve them.

Steven likes the outdoors, as he proved by investing himself in a variety of outdoor companies and organizations. You may ask yourself why would that make him any different from other mainstream humans who enjoy a Saturday walk in the fresh air: Every hero has to go through a tough “accident” in order to make him special. And I think Steven’s inadvertent accident is self-explanatory to his profound love of nature.

Tell us your story Steven, and why is it worth reading? 

“This whole thing started in 2015 when my friend John Heyward and I were on a USA road trip. A littering accident involved a receipt from an outdoor gear store blowing out of my car window. I was so devastated that I vowed to pick up 100 pieces of trash to atone for the incident.

As I traveled around picking up trash in different locations the idea for #trashtag was born. Then, UCO Gear, one of my outdoor sponsors, jumped in to help springboard the #trashtag project into existence.

The beauty of the #trashtag is that through social media you are connected to nearly everyone on the planet. On one fortuitous day, a man in Arizona reposted a picture of a man cleaning up trash in Algeria. He posted the right picture, at the right time, with the right keywords and all of a sudden people all over the world were cleaning up and posting their efforts with #trashtag’s. Also, after all of the ridiculous challenges that have circulated the internet of late, it was just the perfect time to shift the paradigm.

The impact of the worldwide effort is simply mind-blowing. Honestly, I’m trying to step back and enjoy things and to just be present in this somewhat historic moment. By design, #trashtag was meant to go “viral” but I never dreamed it would reach these proportions. I hope this movement sparks all kinds of conversation conversations and reminds people that they can make a difference.”

Why did it take 4 years for #trashtag challenge to make its comeback?

“The #trashtag project had wonderful success initially and continued to grow organically until it recently went viral. I think after all of the silly “challenges” that have circulated the internet people were ready to get behind a viral trend that was positive.

The trend never really died out. I’m seeing that in reports but I never stopped picking up #trashtag’s now the previous effort is just in the shadow of the viral challenge. I would like to see #trashtag become a staple, not just another internet challenge that fades out. That’s part of the reason I try not to equate it to a challenge, it’s more a way of life.”
Please share your point of view about, new technologies, environment and third world countries. How can they be linked in these modern days and age for the best, and for the worst? 
“The #trashtag phenomenon is proof that we are connected to the entire world. I’ve seen so many clean up efforts in remote places of the world that it is mind-blowing! After only a few hours in Kathmandu, I met a young man named Yubaraj Bidari who had heard of the #trashtag project! He’s a young activist and artist who paints and donates a portion of the proceeds to help the less fortunate in Kathmandu. Seeing his youthful exuberance about helping others and picking up #trashtag’s gave me hope for humanity!”

Nepali is digging it!

Nepal is a sadly infamous polluted country. Despite the beautiful sceneries it offers to its inhabitants and visitors, it doesn’t take long to find the poisonous gifts left behind by random hikers.

From the city corners of Kathmandu to the Everest mountains tops, not finding a bottle or a plastic bag behind a stone or suffocating a floor is a miracle. And if someone bragged witnessing the contrary, he would be called a liar.

But local social media has been proving to all of us that Nepali youth is gradually more concerned about their country’s future. And among the many “acts for tomorrow”, the Trash tag continues to appear in random facebook and twitter feeds.

Tourist such as Steven also joins the worldwide phenomenon on a local foreign level, by cleaning up trails victim of the irresponsible actions made by others.

Nepal, you are now on the right path of change. Some countries are well known for their economy, others for their politic, why not be a famous country for its environmental actions?

The post #TrashTag Challenge’s Creator, an origin Story just begging for a Nepali Sequel appeared first on News, sport and opinion from the Kathmandu Tribune's global edition.


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