by Khánh Linh
HÀ NỘI — For once, an online viral craze is making a positive change to the world, instead of enticing kids to eat washing up liquid.
The so-called #trashtag challenge has gone viral in recent days and inspired people the world over to clean up rubbish in public areas, and Việt Nam is no exception.
The challenge encourages people to clean up littered places and post before-and-after pictures on social media.
The #trashtag challenge began gaining popularity on March 5, after a Facebook user shared a before-and-after photo of a messy area that had been cleaned in an unknown location. The post grabbed attention with more than 330,000 shares on Facebook.
In the past week, thousands of people have posted photos and videos on social media, showing themselves cleaning up rubbish all over the world.
The trend has attracted Vietnamese youths, too.
Many have picked up the challenge, joining the trend to share their cleanup photos at beaches, parks, schools and streets in many areas of the country.
Lê Tiến Anh, a student from the National University of Civil Engineering and his friend decided to clean up an area of Đồng Mô entertainment area in Hà Nội’s suburban Sơn Tây District.
Anh had never previously attempted an internet challenge, but knew he had to get involved this time.
“We have been here for many times and seen that the area has been overrun with garbage. The more tourists come to the place, the more garbage is littered,” he told Việt Nam News.
Anh and his friend spent three hours cleaning the area. The before-and-after photo featuring 35 rubbish bags has been praised online.
“We are happy as we can do something constructive. We hope the challenge will keep spreading to attract more people to join in,” Anh said.
Lê Thành Trung, head of a volunteer club in Hà Nội, received support from Facebook users after he shared his before-and-after photo on picking up rubbish at Ba Vì National Park in Hà Nội’s Ba Vì District, challenging others to do good for society.
As many as 20 volunteers have cleaned up the area around the Old Church – a popular part of the tourism site.
However, as the head of the club with 26 teams of volunteers involved in clean-up work for 26 years, Trung knew that there was a lot of work to do.
“We have done the job for years. There’s a lot to do. Rubbish is everywhere, and people – most are tourists – still litter.
“The trend, with its meaningful and practical call to keep the environment clean, would help motivate people to start cleaning up trash and improve awareness of people about keeping the environment clean,” Trung said.
A Facebook user named Nguyễn Lệ Thu wrote that the challenge was a useful trend for young people, standing out among the many silly and dangerous challenges online.
Another Facebook user named Hà Trang wrote that it was high time to do something to protect the planet. “This trend should become the habit of everybody. It should be done regularly,” she wrote.
Cao Mạnh Tuấn, admin of the Facebook group, Những người thích đi du lịch (Travel lovers), is calling for people to join the challenge to pick up trash at Hòn Gội in northern coastal Quảng Ninh Province in next month.
He has even created the hashtag #donracdulich (cleaning tourism garbage) to attract more Vietnamese people to join in.
“The trend is an excuse for us to clean up at tourism sites,” he said. “Việt Nam’s tourism sector is forecast to develop remarkably in the coming years. What we need to do is to keep the tourism sites clean, then the country will be clean and the Earth will be clean”. — VNS