The #trashtag challenge started as a simple call to action. It asked people all over the world to mobilize for the environment, find a local area that needed cleaning and to submit pictures of their action. These posts served as a digital stamp of a pledge to move towards a more ecological and environmentally friendly way of life. Within a matter of weeks, the number of posts grew into the tens of thousands and the challenge started garnering a lot of international attention.
With EF schools nestled around the world, hosting thousands of international students interested in playing an active role in their host community, we handed them the challenge and were overwhelmed by the response.
We were once again reminded of the fact that our students champion the principle that despite the many cultures that make up our world, we share the same home and the same goal: to protect it and to preserve it for generations to come.
Here’s a selection of the actions our students took with short captions explaining their activity.
“In Bristol we wanted to show the students that we really appreciate the area around the school and want to keep it looking clean and beautiful. So we took to Queen Square & The Riverside areas to do our clean up. It was a whole team effort and many passers by stopped to look at us in our Hi-Vis jackets and EF hoodies! Hopefully it showed the whole school and local community that even a little team effort can go a long way!”
“We at EF Rome went to Villa Borghese, one of Rome’s public parks, to clean up. What I appreciated the most was that, as soon as I proposed this activity to students, some of them immediately felt deeply involved. They helped me a lot with the organization and I noticed the sincere involvement in doing this. Even if was only a two hours activity, these initiatives help to make them feel responsible of our planet. I chose this spot because is quite close to the school, so they consider it as part of their daily life and it worked, because they cleaned it up as if it was their private house. At the end of this 1st challenge, I feel so proud of being part of this worldwide initiative!#ef #efrome #trashchallenge”
3. San Diego
“We love a clean San Diego. We did our first annual beach cleanup today at Ocean Beach and Dog Beach. Thanks to our 100 student and staff participants for helping with this special day!”
4. Santa Barbara
“Every year, EF Santa Barbara mobilizes for Earth Day. This year, we cleaned the beaches a bit early as we wanted to make sure that all our students were included in the Earth Day celebration before their departures. EF Honolulu and EF San Diego also joined in the beach clean-up this year and we hope that they will continue to join us every year moving forward.”
5. Washington D.C.
“Students from EF Washington cleaned up Takoma whilst learning about the importance of cleaning up dead plants and roots. So much to learn and do.”
“Costa Rica has the objective of being the first plastic free country by 2021. At the moment, however, we need to face reality, take action and educate ourselves. #EFPlayaTamarindo and its students are part of the community and therefore took action and by going and cleaning our beaches! Unbelievable experience showing that much more needs to be done!”
“There is no planet B. Be part of the solution, not the pollution. Can it for a greener planet!”
“During our trip to Alicante, we decided to get involved in the Trashtag challenge. We were at MuchaVista beach in San Juan, 10km from Alicante and we cleaned 100m of beach in just 15 minutes. We found so much trash you couldn’t believe it. Through the process, it was great for the students and us to realize just how necessary these kinds of actions are today.”
“EF Berlin was extremely proud to take part in the Trashtag challenge with all our students working together to clean up our schools surrounding areas. A special thank you to all the students that participated.”
“If you want to help the planet, take action now!”
“Cleaning up the neighborhood!”
“EF Seattle students got into the action helping clean up TESC campus.”
“Every year, this day means a lot to our school and the students here. There is a lot of demand for local community outreach and this is an extremely popular way for our students to do this. We had so many students who helped clean the beach following a big storm that washed a lot of trash ashore. From straws to car tires, it was wonderful to see how we could give back to the local community and how much rubbish we collected. Proudly, the beach looked super clean after we had finished.”
“@EFNice in action for our planet!”
15. New York
“We came to Tarrytown to clean out our parks and green areas. Is always important to give back to the community and take care of our beautiful planet.”
16. Vancouver Island
“Awesome beach cleanup! Over 20 pounds of refuse removed from one of Victoria’s most popular beaches. Our students love the ocean and want to help. Outstanding crew. Thank you to all those involved and let’s keep up the great work!”
“Happy spring!! It’s amazing what you can accomplish in just 30 minutes when you work as a team. Thanks to all the students and staff who helped us clean up our school and neighborhood. Let’s keep striving to keep Boston clean and beautiful.”
“Starting the week with the #trashtagchallenge. Doesn’t get much better than giving back.”
“Students from our Perth school joined Sea Shepherd Perth at one of their regular beach cleans. Students have previously joined with Sea Shepherd in cleaning up the cities Scarborough Beach. This time around Ben the Perth Activity Coordinator was joined by students in cleaning up Leighton Beach in North Fremantle with Around 50 other locals who combined to collect and sort a huge amount of trash.”
20. Miami Beach
“Beach clean up! Trashtag challenge”
“EF Malaga took part in the global trashtag challenge. We cleaned up Pedregalejo beach.”
“Glen’s class went to Mission Bay to participate in the #trashtag challenge. It was a pleasant surprise to see how clean Auckland as a whole actually already is… But small initiatives like these help make it even cleaner. This fun and educational afternoon has also led into the creation of our new Trash Collection club, so let’s get this movement rolling! You make us proud! #efauckland #efmoment”
“Eastbourne went out last week in collaboration with ‘Plastic Free Eastbourne’ last week to collect rubbish on the beach. It’s part of a larger environmental project we are currently running in school.”
“Helping keep the City of Light clean!”