April 21, 2024
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Trash Caulin Collects Old Litter and New Followers With Each TikTok Clip on Environmental Awareness

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Image commercially licensed from Unsplash

Trash Caulin (aka Caulin Donaldson) is a TikToker documenting his attempt to make the world around him just a little better every day. Every morning, he grabs his camera and a garbage bag to show how one person can beautify nature in seconds. Better still, his cleanup clips on TikTok are inspiring millions to do the same.

Since 2019, this social activist and content creator has spent over 1,000 days picking up trash on beaches, parks, and city streets, all while educating his audience on plastic pollution and the impact their choices have on the environment. During his journey, he has gained an audience of 2 million supporters ready to join him in the effort.

“It only takes a few seconds to clean up the litter you see around you,” observes Donaldson. “Whether your cleanup effort is small or large, it all counts! You can make a difference in this world by simply doing something that makes you happy.”

Trash Caulin’s Toy Box fights plastic pollution on the beach

Growing up in Tampa Bay, Florida, Donaldson has loved the ocean for as long as he can remember. Understandably, many of his videos focus on cleaning the beach. His brainstorm to beautify the sand involves a pair of weapons — one high-tech and one low-tech. The high-tech tool is his influencer platform, while the low-tech tool is just a box — a permanent toy box.   

In the video “Too Many Toys in the Beach Today,” Donaldson finds a plastic shovel on his morning walk. He tosses the sand scooper into his toy box for kids to use during the day. On the next stretch of the beach, he finds a floaty and goggles for the box as well as a pair of broken pickleball paddles for the trash. 

In his video “It’s a Beautiful Day, Here’s What I Found on the Beach Today,” Donaldson finds no toys worth contributing to the box. Instead, he contrasts the beauty of the blue sky and rolling waves with the pile of plastic bags, shriveled band-aids, and other litter on the sand. On a positive note, he arrives in time to prevent a bird from eating plastic garbage. On the other hand, he has to stave off frustration as he sifts through trash and garbage from among the toys he contributed to the toy box.

In his TikTok clip, “All of These Toys Didn’t Make It Back to the Toy Box,” Donaldson is disappointed to encounter an empty box. “Normally, that would be a great thing to find,” he explains. “I would love to see kids taking toys home to play with and away from our beach. However, I only had to climb a sandy hill to see the same toys we cleaned up yesterday strewn across the beach again — some even buried. Please, join in and help me keep our beach clean by putting toys back into the box when you’re finished using them.”

Trash Caulin chooses to maintain Climate Optimism 

In the face of such a large task, it is easy to become discouraged and even bitter. As a teenager, Donaldson remembers feeling angry as he watched how people treated the beach. “I couldn’t understand it,” he says. “People told me this was their favorite place to go, and then I watched them leave trash everywhere.”

When Donaldson attended his first beach cleanup, he was mad, but the supervisor shared a message that changed his life. “He told me, ‘Bro, we’re all mad, but this is a battle you have to fight with positivity.'”

Donaldson changed his mindset and instantly saw a spike in his TikTok engagement and followers. In video clips today, he makes cleaning up trash look like fun. Despite the never-ending supply of litter scattered along the beach, his joyful love of the planet shines through, enticing others to join the crusade. 

About his social media campaign’s success, Donaldson comments, “I know it’s working. I get comments all the time from children who say they are out there picking up trash because I’ve inspired them with these videos.”

Ultimately, Donaldson believes the best way to get others involved is to get them outside. “It seems like people have almost trapped themselves in their homes — especially in these two years after the pandemic,” he observes. “I encourage everyone to go outdoors and find a love for nature. When they do that, they’ll find their passion for protecting it.”

Caulin Donaldson is an example of how the power of a positive outlook and social media content can serve as a catalyst for worldwide change. His videos show just how easy it is to clean up the planet, and more and more followers are getting the message.

By sharing daily cleanup clips with his TikTok following, Donaldson hopes others will join in on the action and make a difference in their communities. To find out more about getting involved in conservation efforts and organizing local cleanups, readers can check out Trash Caulin’s website at Trash, and follow him on TikTok and on Instagram.

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