All Over The World, Viral #Trashtag Challenge Is Prompting People To Clean Up Littered Areas

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It would not be much of an exaggeration to say that the internet today thrives on hashtag challenges that generally take a second to go viral. In 2018, we have witnessed our fair share of bittersweet challenges – ranging from the dangerous Kiki or Bird Box Challenge to the nostalgic 10 Year Challenge, the idiotic Tide Pod challenge to the empowering Time’s Up. It cannot be overlooked that so far these viral challenges have only provided us with entertainment and sometimes brought forth many risks. However, as we slowly settle into 2019, the social media is again abuzz with another challenge, but this time for creating a better planet to live in. The #trashtag challenge which is circulating all over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at present, urges everyone to clean up a littered area and post a before-after photo.

How the #trashtag challenge started

The trend was launched on Facebook by Byron Roman from Arizona, USA and was immediately picked up by inspired people all over the globe.

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

Posted by Byron Román on Tuesday, March 5, 2019

From Washington to Nepal, do-gooders are rushing to the littered roads, parks or beaches near their home and leaving the place spick and span.

In the past, Byron had also kickstarted the #BasuraChallenge in his home state with an appeal to visitors to stop littering tourism spots in Arizona. He ignited the #trashtag trend with a similar objective in mind.

Interestingly, the challenge is not a new concept. The TrashTag Project, as reported by Mashable, has been round the corner since a travel company initiated it in 2015. However, the trend went viral over the past few days, thanks to multiple reposts and netizens’ obsession with viral challenges. Indeed, the challenge has revealed how keen people are to save the planet.

Here are a few glimpses of the best responses from the #trashtag challenges:

A certain reddit user going by the handle EMC2_trooper deserves respect for perhaps one of the best responses to the #trashtag challenge where the person informed how the challenged inspired them to clean up an entire beach.

Incidentally, to set a blazing example of inspiration, some are sharing photographs of Mumbai’s Versova Beach from 2016 where lawyer Afroz Shah and his team of thousands of volunteers cleaned up the heavily littered beach.

The challenge is also bringing many unsung environmental crusaders to the limelight. Twitter user Asep Saepul from the USA shared about her fiancé who does beach clean-ups every year.

Students from schools and colleges all around the world are also participating in the #trashtag challenge.

Efforts For Good take

Every year, over 1.3 billion tonnes of household waste, mostly comprising plastic, is generated. Of this mammoth burden of garbage, a huge percentage ends up in dumpsites or pollutes the oceans, while another sizeable percentage are littered here, there and everywhere. At an era where social media speaks the strongest and the loudest, such a challenge is extremely laudable. Efforts For Good insists all their readers to participate in the #trashtag challenge and set an example for the society to follow.

Also Read: 28-Yr-Old Science Grad Farmer’s ‘Agriculture Photography Challenge’ Takes Twitter By Storm

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‘Happy Fridge’: The Key To Bridge Food Wastage And Hunger Problem In India

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Rahul Khera and Gautam Jindal, volunteers (aka hunger heroes) at Feeding India, were among the many Delhi NCR residents accustomed to seeing hungry children pick up half-eaten burgers or stale sandwiches from the dustbin and savour those with the brightest smiles. Like many others, they also had the will to promote equitable food distribution but was perplexed about the approach, until they learnt about the community fridge initiative which has gained unprecedented success in Saudi Arabia and few other European countries. Meanwhile, community fridges were already being installed outside restaurants or in public places in a handful of cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Coimbatore and Kochi.

Say Goodbye To Throwing Away Excess Food Because Now You Can Donate The Food To The Needy – Happy Fridge

Thank you for overwhelming response for the Happy Fridge concept. We need more funds from you to install more fridges like this across India. With the limited funds avaialble Feeding India was able to install three fridges only. Kindly donate here http://bit.ly/happyfridge

Posted by The Logical Indian on Saturday, October 27, 2018

Needless to mention, with a shocking 103rd rank in the Global Hunger Index and a food wastage estimate of around Rs 58,000 crore – India was perhaps the best country to implement such an initiative. With Gautam’s help, an enthusiastic Rahul invested his own savings to install a ‘Happy Fridge’ outside his residence at Sun City, Sector 54 in Gurgaon. Set up in 2017 by these Feeding India volunteers, the fridge in Gurgaon has inspired the NGO to scale up the project across India.

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

‘Happy Fridge’ fostered many smiles

It didn’t take long for the local residents to learn about this laudable endeavour. They welcomed it, as wastage of excess food was a recurring problem in almost every household. “Intimating the localities was no mammoth task, thanks to social media. However, it was difficult to spread the word among those who actually needed the food,” shares Rahul, who went from auto stands to slums, inviting rickshaw pullers, ragpickers or roadside vendors to avail the community fridge any time they feel hungry. “The security guards of our residential complex played a huge role in explaining how the fridge works to the beneficiaries,” he adds.

The operational and maintenance costs of the ‘ happy fridge ‘ are being maintained diligently by the community members.

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Making memories, sprouting awareness

“I remember one young man who had arrived from a village looking for some menial day job. Somehow he had run out of his paltry savings and had no money to buy one decent meal a day. For about a month, our happy fridge was his solace, till he earned his first salary from a housekeeping job,” shares a jubilant Rahul.

In another incident, a truck driver returning in the wee hours of midnight was starving after a whole day’s hard work. He had run out of cooking fuel at his home, so our fridge was at his rescue.

“The residents keep all sorts of palatable dishes in the happy fridge, ranging from dry snacks, fruits to cooked meals. Sometimes, they even keep raw vegetables, to ensure not a single bit of good food ends up in their trash while other people go hungry to bed,” reveals Rahul.

On an average, each happy fridge supplies around 10-15 meals in a day. The gratitude and pure smiles of the hungry souls after a fulfilling meal are more than enough to continue to motivate Rahul and his neighbours. In fact, inspired by him, many other communities in the Delhi-NCR region set up community fridges in their areas.

Feeding India will set up 500 Happy Fridges

Since the past few years, Feeding India has been a prominent organisation working in the forefront to solve the hunger problem in India. Primarily, they were involved in redistributing leftover food from weddings and parties among the underprivileged people in different cities of India. Their volunteers, better known as “Hunger Heroes of India”, worked actively to bridge the gap between food wastage and food crisis.

“We used to get a lot of calls from individual households to collect their excess food. However, unfortunately, we lacked the manpower and planning to launch our programme on a door to door basis. We were desperately looking for an alternative when we learnt about the community fridges,” shares Srishti Jain, co-founder of Feeding India.

After interacting with Rahul Khera and other campaigners of community fridges, Feeding India decided to amplify this extraordinary project throughout the length and breadth of India. Presently, they have launched the #FightFoodWaste campaign to install 500 community fridges – nicknamed ‘ Happy Fridge ’. So any passer-by – be it a kid going to school without a lunchbox, or a labourer returning home late at night with no promise of a dinner – can now grab a pack of biscuits or a bowl of ‘dal-chawal’ (rice & lentil soup) to satiate their hunger. Click here to contribute for ‘ Happy Fridge ‘ and ensure India never sleeps hungry again.

Feeding India also urges everyone to make a promise to stop wasting food and instead consider donating it to those in need.

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