Preserving the Environment

Got Two Hands and 30 Minutes? You Can Help Clean Up Our World

January 29, 2014
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Got Two Hands and 30 Minutes? You Can Help Clean Up Our World
Agung Parameswara/Getty Images
The Two Hands project wants to inspire citizens to help create a pollution-free environment.

When it comes to social action, we can accomplish much more together than we ever could alone. That’s the idea behind the Two Hands Project, a worldwide collaborative campaign that seeks to eradicate plastic pollution from the environment, 30 minutes at a time. Two Hands is taking a grassroots approach to cleaning up our world, by asking citizens to complete a simple task: pick up (and ultimately recycle) trash for 30 minutes at a time, anywhere in the world. Originally launched in Australia by Paul Sharp and Silke Stuckenbrock, the Two Hands Project has used successful social media campaigns to inspire people from every continent to get involved and upload pictures of their “hauls” to the organization’s Facebook page, which now boasts more than 40,000 “likes.”

The organization is also working with governments and other industries to promote the development of a global reusable packaging and deposit system to replace disposable packaging — one of the main causes of plastic pollution — and a “cash for butts” program to deal with the overwhelming amount of cigarette butts found in the environment. But they’re not waiting for government intervention to realize their goal of a better world. “The broader idea is, you can take your two hands and apply it to anything in your own community that needs fixing; it can be social, environmental, anything at all,” Sharp says. With more than 7 billion people in the world, just imagine how much we could accomplish if everyone chipped in.

MORE: What Would a City With No Plastic Bags Look Like?

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