A viral challenge calling on netizens to go outside, pick up trash, and post their ‘before and after’ photos is sweeping through social media, and young Vietnamese people do not want to stay away from the trend.
Challenge for Change, or the #Trashtag Challenge, has become a global viral sensation, inspiring youth to make a difference in their community, one trash bag at a time.
The #Trashtag Challenge is simple – find an outdoor area that has been overrun with litter, gather a group of friends to help clean it, and post 'before and after' photos to social media.
In Vietnam, a country labeled as one of the world’ top polluters, young locals have been quick to jump on the #trashtag bandwagon, posting dozens of photos of freshly cleaned areas in cities across the country, including Vinh, Da Nang, Da Lat, and Ho Chi Minh City, and several more.
|Huong Ly, Vietnam's Next Top Model winner, participates in the #Trashtag Challenge to support good actions that benefit the community. Photo: Supplied|
“I’ve never participated in a challenge on social media, but this time I made an exception,” Huong Ly, winner of Vietnam's Next Top Model, said.
Wanting to make a difference in her own community, Ly convinced her brother to join her in cleaning up the area under the Phu My Bridge in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City.
“I saw all these people partaking in a meaningful trash-cleaning challenge and I just thought that lending a hand to make our surroundings prettier and spreading positivity would help convince others to do the same,” the model explained.
It took the two about five hours over the course of two days to collect all the trash that had been dumped under the bridge by nearby households and restaurants, but Ly says it was worth the effort.
“Everyone can help make each corner of the city clean. If more people participate, the city will be cleaner,” she shared.
|Doan Hoang's 'before and after' photos of cleaning up a riverbank area near the Ong Cay Bridge in District 2, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Supplied|
Doan Hoang, a 22-year-old student at the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City, is another local youth who rolled up his sleeves for the #Trashtag Challenge.
His impressive 'before and after' shots of the riverbank he cleaned near the Ong Cay Bridge in District 2, Ho Chi Minh City are a shining example of just how much a single person can do to make a difference.
“Not everyone can do big things, but we can all do small things with a big love,” the caption of the 'before and after' photos he posted to Facebook reads.
“Together, we can make a big change.”
Hoang acknowledged that he was happy to help improve his community, but was quick to add that permanent change will only happen when people stop littering instead of waiting for others to clean up.
|A group of friends cleaning up an area at Cua Lo Beach in Nghe An Province. Photo: Supplied|
In Vinh, the capital of Nghe An Province in north-central Vietnam, Nguyen Manh Tuan and three friends took it upon themselves to clear Cua Lo Beach of the trash that had accumulated there over the years.
In Da Nang, Huynh Ba Luc, 26, and his cousin spent a whole afternoon filling dozens of trash bags on Son Tra Peninsula, around ten kilometers northeast of the city center.
“There were so many different types of trash, like dishes and bowls, beer bottles, plastic bags, and single-use containers left by the tourists,” Luc said.
This was not the first time he had participated in a clean-up activity. In the past, Lu joined a cleaning event in Tho Quang Fishing Village in Da Nang, but the area became polluted again not long after.
“People’s awareness is still a problem,” he commented.
“I keep cleaning up but they litter right after. I hope that these challenges will raise awareness of this issue,” he said.
|Huynh Ba Luc in Da Nang collects trash on Son Tra Peninsula. Photo: Supplied|
|A backpacking group in Da Lat cleans up during their trip. Photo: Supplied|