NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF HEROES

We collected 2,207 tonnes of trash globally

Switzerland, Inwill, 16 Aug 2022 – In the first six months of this year, 26,666 volunteers (of which 8,098 were under 16) completed 1,615 clean-ups, collecting 53,102 kg of trash. We have been collecting data since December 2013, and as of 30 June 2022:

🧹 We have completed 16,525 clean-ups
🌎 We have 159 active chapters in 17 countries
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 438,503 volunteers have joined us, including 111,608 kids
🚯 We have responsibly collected and disposed of 2,207,236 kg of trash
🍶 As part of the Trash Hero Bottle program, 104,688 reusable bottles have been distributed, avoiding 38,211,120 single-use plastic bottles and reducing 1989 tonnes of CO2 emissions
🛍️ As part of the Trash Hero Bag program, 29,445 reusable Trash Hero bags have been distributed, saving 10,747,425 single-use plastic bags

All of this could only be accomplished thanks to the dedication and commitment of our incredible volunteers. We want to thank them very much! Organizing clean-ups and collecting data takes time and energy, and it is the passion of our volunteers that keeps us moving forward. More info can be found on the trashhero.org blog.

We met in Svatý Jan

Svatý Jan pod Skalou, 13–15 May 2022 – Finally we had the chance to see each other live! Thankfully, the two-year pause caused by covid is over, so we picked up where we left off, perhaps with even more energy!

Old friends and new members, including children and a dog, came to the weekend chapter reunion. We did some brainstorming, went for a hike, listened to interesting lectures, sang, and got to know each other a little bit more. This time we did not pick up trash together but helped to take care of the rocky steppes and forest steppes Třesina of the Bohemian Karst Protected Landscape Area. The event included a field trip which enabled us to enjoy the local biodiversity and get a little tan while standing in the direct sun on a steep hill. Our family meeting was attended by Pavel Skala from the Třesina association, our steppe guide who told us more about the local butterflies during his lecture. Other guests were Martin Trávníček from the association Pestré Polabí and Arthur F. Sniegon from the Save Elephants NPO.

At the reunion, we also elected a new chairman – Honza Bareš handed over the position to Karel Švanda. We would like to thank them both for their many years of activity in Trash Hero; and we would also like to add a special thank you to Karel for organizing this reunion. We are already looking forward to our future meetings, some of them already planned: the launch party of an educational trail in Lovosice, a trip to the Jihlava chapter, and the very first European family meeting which will be held in August in the Czech Republic.

And how did it all go? Take a look at the photos.

 

An interactive sidewalk decorates the streets of Lovosice

Lovosice, 7 May 2022 – Our volunteer Martina Lízlová organizes cleanups for Trash Hero Litoměřice, but she also spreads the ideas of education in her residence in Lovosice. After long vicissitudes, we managed to create Trash Hero ecological games right on the sidewalks. They have been painted directly on the ground with special colors that resist wind and rain. Children and adults can thus play outside, while learning interesting facts about nature and its protection, information about the correct sorting trash and subsequent recycling.

You can find this interactive walkway in Sady Pionýrů Park in front of the 1st Primary School. You can find more photos on Facebook LovoSlovo.

Many thanks to Martina for her patience and commitment, to her mother Radka for support and to all the wonderful volunteers who painted crayons according to the templates in their spare time. Last but not least, we would like to thank the company Mondi Štětí, thanks to whose financial support the pavement could be colored on the streets of Lovosice.

The compost bin in Jablonec saved 4 tonnes of mixed waste

Jablonec nad Nisou, 29 Apr 2022 – Trash Hero is not only organizing clean-ups but we are also teaching people about waste reduction. This includes educating children, arranging free water refills at DOLEJ SI businesses, and many other activities, for example community composting which in Jablonec nad Nisou is organized by Veronika Kaššovicová. “The compost bin does not require almost any care. But when there is one compost bin for a housing estate of 5,000 households and lots of them want to use it, I have to constantly take the biowaste away to keep it running. That takes me about an hour a week,” says Veronika.

However, although the arrangements regarding the compost bin are administratively demanding, they bear fruit – people are interested in composting. “It is heart-warming to know that I have saved the city 4 tonnes of mixed waste per year by helping to sort bio waste into the compost bin,” Veronika adds. Right now, she takes care of two compost bins.

In 2021, the Trash Hero Jablonec nad Nisou chapter also organized the establishment of a wildflower meadow and a vegetable patch. The meadow attracted a large number of insects and also was very nice to look at. The vegetable patch yielded at least 15 pumpkins, tomatoes, one zucchini, and about 6 beautiful sunflowers. To establish the patch, the entire contents of the community compost bin were used.

Our volunteers help ZOO Jihlava

Jihlava, 18 Apr 2022 – This year, our heroes from the Trash Hero Jihlava chapter not only organize clean-ups, but they also started unique cleaning cooperation. They were approached by the popular ZOO Jihlava asking whether they could clean up not only the small amount of trash (there is almost none) but also leaves and gravel – simply helping with the spring cleaning. The heroes agreed enthusiastically and since mid-April 2022 five clean-ups have taken place in the zoo. A bonus for the participating heroes is feeding the animals – the bears gratefully munched on the fruit and the seals liked the herring best.

“A lot of people came, especially a lot of mothers with children of different ages,” comments Tereza Vázquez, one of our event organizers. “We found out that a lot of people did not know Trash Hero before. We were therefore really pleased that some of the participants later even came to our regular clean-ups.”

ZOO Jihlava and Trash Hero Jihlava plan to continue working together, organizing clean-ups and various events. The first one will be Earth Day on Sunday 24 April where the heroes will present the children’s book Trash Hero (you will be able to find them in the park in the middle of the zoo, near the turtles). Then they will engage both children and adults in various activities celebrating our planet. “Simply, something great has been created – both heart and mind know that this is the way it is supposed to be – and that it is where we are supposed to be,” says Tereza.

Become a Trash Hero: the Prague chapter educated 215 children

Prague, 14 Jan 2022 – A total of 215 children between the ages of 5 and 10 have completed the Trash Hero storybook program and subsequent clean-up. During the past year, the Trash Hero Prague chapter trained eight groups/classes of children in person and, because of the covid situation, three online. Two of the classes then began composting in worm composting bins loaned by us.

The hands-on learning was a very intense experience for the children. Throughout the programmes, they were really enthusiastic about the whole experience and proud of how much trash they had managed to collect. The children reflected on what changes they can make in their own consumer behaviour and, judging by the teachers’ reactions, they continue to do so even now.

We would like to thank Prague City Council for its financial support and for making the whole programme possible. Special thanks also goes to our volunteers: Šárka Kysilková for managing all the paperwork related to the grant, mailings, and training, Simona Marhounová and PROFID company for accounting assistance, Adéla Níčová for printing the storybooks, Monika and Honza Bareš for educating the children and Zbyněk Hostaš for support, organizing the clean-ups and all related assistance.

Educating children, magnet fishing, and 38 tonnes of waste: 2021 is over

Czech Republic, 10 Jan 2022 – Last year, Trash Hero Czech Republic volunteers collected a total of 38,310 kg of trash. Twenty chapters organized a total of 104 public clean-ups in which 1,234 heroes participated. But our activities were even more varied.

In 2021, we gave online training for children a try, we went to kindergartens and primary schools and got over 300 children excited about nature protection. Magnet fishing events, i.e. hunting for metal submerged in water, were also a success. “This year, we pulled 27 road signs, 18 scooters, 4 bicycles, 8 weapons, and 1 grenade out of the water using magnets,” says organizer Zbyněk Hostaš from Trash Hero Prague.

Trash Hero’s work in the Czech Republic does not only include clean-ups – but the organizers also engage in preventative activities. “We organized a fair-trade breakfast, a workshop on upcycling trash, a lecture at school, a film evening and cooperated on the organization of the collection of winter jackets for homeless people,” says Karel Švanda from Trash Hero Hradec Králové. Our volunteers advocate for the set-up of composting bins. This year, an educational trail for children prepared by Martina Lízlová from Trash Hero Litoměřice/Lovosice is also going to be finished.

We have also established cooperation with organizations such as Tady a teď (Here and Now), TOTEM, Koalice nevládek Pardubicka (Coalition of NGOs Pardubice), Pestré Polabí or Food Not Bombs. We are looking forward to the events of 2022. You might find the full press release in our Media section, or you can take a look at the 2021 Annual Report.

Find three businesses that refill water bottles and get a Trash Hero bottle

Czech Republic, 12 Sep 2021 – We are looking for businesses that refill water bottles for free. Become a hero and help us find them! Just find three places that will agree to be a part of the DOLEJ SI project, and we will give you our stainless steel Trash Hero bottle.

The businesses might include shops, e-shops, bistros, cafés, and hotels. Just send their names and your contact information to lahve@trashhero.org. We will check if everything checks out and then send you a stainless steel beauty.

You can buy Trash Hero bottles at several locations across the Czech Republic (see the Trash Hero map) and hundreds of others around the world, especially in Southeast Asia (map at trashhero.org)). 102,000 bottles were sold worldwide so far, saving 37.3 million single-use plastic bottles! You can find more info in the free drinking water section.

What did our heroes do during a lockdown?

Czech Republic, 9 Apr 2021 – To comply with the government measures, we stopped organizing public clean-ups during the spring lockdown. Now, as of Monday 12 April, the colour yellow is back – the gathering of max 20 people is allowed outside, which is the exact size of our volunteer groups. We are really looking forward to these group events; however, even during the lockdown, our chapters have not been idle.

Ten chapters took part in Ukliďme Česko (Let’s clean up Czechia) by individually collecting trash. 222 people, 64 children amongst them, put on the “yellow jersey” and collected a total of 2.387 tonnes of trash! For example, from Trash Hero Kladno ten people participated in the event and collected 243 kg of waste. The clean-up organisers could not resist cleaning up in the fresh air. Trash Hero Karviná managed to collect incredible 1,338 kg of waste just during three clean-ups. Several members of Trash Hero Prague got interested in magnet fishing and hunting for metal in the Vltava. One of their catches even made the headlines.

While organizing clean-ups, we do not forget about children. During the lockdown, the Prague and Pilsen chapters got acquainted with online education. The heroes from Trash Hero Pilsen teamed up with the Stod Kindergarten/School and presented lectures for the primary and lower secondary schools. Trash Hero Prague then piloted a 5-part course meant for young trash heroes aged 6–10 and continued to teach online lessons for all of the primary school classes. We are excited to continue our activities and looking forward to seeing all of you, not only online.

Heroes in face masks: volunteers collected 38 tonnes of trash

Czech Republic, 10 Jan 2021 – The Trash Hero volunteers continued to pick up trash even during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns. In 2020, 1,551 people took part in the organized clean-ups – among other things, they collected 7,159 plastic bottles, 295 used syringes, and 9,638 beer cans. In total, 38,690 kg of trash disappeared from the streets, parks, and countryside.

The Trash Hero chapters, which currently operate in 19 cities across the Czech Republic, have dealt with the situation in their own way. For example, during the first wave of COVID-19, they collected trash individually as part of the #oneplaceonehero challenge. Then, the restrictions were eased and they focused on clean-ups – but not only. “We tried to continue the trend of organizing interesting clean-up events with a cultural overlap and to establish cooperation with similarly focused institutions and organizations,” says Karel Švanda from Trash Hero Hradec Králové. Although the 2020 season was challenging in many aspects, it was successful. “Despite so many restrictions, we were as busy as ever this year,” says Monika Barešová from Trash Hero Prague. “We organized a total of 65 clean-ups and 24 of them took place as part of World Cleanup Day.”

Trash Hero Czech Republic has been around since 2016 and is part of the global Trash Hero movement. Regular clean-ups are organized by 171 chapters in 17 countries. “We will organize clean-ups as long as it is necessary,” says co-founder Jan Bareš from Trash Hero Czech Republic. “We try to change the thinking of our society – not throwing trash in the countryside but in the bins. We spread the idea that waste sorting is good, but waste reduction is even better.” The full summary can be downloaded as a press release in the Media section.

The Autumn chapter meeting was held online

Czech Republic, 14 Nov 2020 – We were supposed to spend this weekend at the Czech chapter’s reunion in Brno, but due to the current situation we had to adapt… so on Saturday, we went cleaning individually in our own cities, Honza and Monča created educational videos that will be available online for all chapters, and in the afternoon we all gathered for a virtual conference.

The call agenda was really busy – we mainly discussed the successes and troubles of this year and our dreams and plans for 2021. We also shared know-how on picking up trash with children from schools and kindergartens. We kept talking long after the official end of the call.

Organizers, heroes – it was great! We are looking forward to meeting everyone in person in the spring. 💛 More photos from our family meeting can be found on our Facebook page in the Trash Hero Family Meeting album.

Support Trash Hero on DONIO.CZ

Prague, 30 Oct 2020 – Trash Hero could not exist without our volunteers who in their free time organize clean-ups, give lectures in schools and arrange free water refills in restaurants. And that is exactly the way we plan to keep it going. :) However, it is not possible to get by entirely without money. We need it to buy cleaning supplies, first aid kits, T-shirts and to print children’s storybooks. Thanks to our donors, we are able to budget effectively. Every donated hundred crowns give us confidence that we will manage to keep our promises and support all Czech chapters the way they require.

That is why we are very happy that the Donio.cz donor platform has taken us under its wing. You have probably already heard of it – during the first wave of COVID-19, money for lung ventilators was raised through Donio.cz at rocket speed. This “charity hithit” has also launched the possibility of long-term support and Trash Hero Czech Republic is among the first projects. Donating money to non-profit organizations has never been so easy.

How does DONIO work? You decide whether you would like to make a one-off or regular donation, pay by card or transfer… and that is it. Donio then takes care of all the details, such as issuing you a donation receipt for your tax return. Donio saves us a lot of paperwork that comes with donating. It gives us more time to do what we do best – spread awareness and pick up trash. :) Thanks for every donation!

MORE ABOUT THE DONATIONS ON DONIO.CZ

Joining World Cleanup Day

Prague, 19 Aug 2020 – Saturday 19 September will be the third time World Cleanup Day takes place. Trash Hero volunteers across the country will once again join the event and organize clean-ups. Most of them will take place in Prague near the B metro stations – all 24 of them. We are calling the event Ukliďme Béčko (Let’s Clean the B) and it would be great if you could spread the word among your Prague friends. The event is public and meant for everyone, you just need to register via uklidmecesko.cz/map. It is supported by the city districts, Prague Public Transit Company, and Ukliďme svět, ukliďme Česko (Let’s Clean the World, Let’s Clean the Czechia).

And what will we collect? As usual, we will weigh all collected material, from mix to plastic, metal, and glass. This time, World Cleanup Day also focuses on the topic of cigarette butts. Did you know that
● they are the most commonly found waste in the environment?
● 75% of people think a cigarette is made of paper or cotton, but they are made of plastic?
● 6 trillion cigarette butts are left behind each year, of which 4.5 trillion end up scattered in the environment?
● one cigarette contains more than 150 highly toxic substances?
● one cigarette butt can contaminate 1,000 litres of water?
● it takes 15 years for a single cigarette butt to decompose?
● by 2030, there will be more cigarette butts than fish in the sea?

We look forward to seeing you at our clean-ups. After the event, we will announce the results in terms of the number of kilos and cigarette butts collected.

Why are we counting how many kilos of waste, cans, and bottles we managed to collect?

Prague, 31 Jul 2020 – Our clean-ups around the world have three things in common – yellow and black T-shirts, a positive attitude, and collecting such data. 💪 Every Czech chapter also sorts and weighs the collected trash after every clean-up. It is not the most pleasant activity, but in a group of people, it goes by quickly… and the results are worth it! We are often quite amazed by the result of counting the amount of trash collected during a two-hour clean-up. 💛

Statistics is an important source of hard data for us. We know exactly how much and what kind of waste was cleaned up in which city and in which location. But this data is not supposed to serve as a reason to pat ourselves on the back or to compete with the other Trash Hero chapters. We use it to conduct academic research and also share it with other waste management organizations. We also might provide the numbers to state and local government authorities (Ministry of Environment, city/municipal authorities). The statistics point out which locations are problematic and we might use this knowledge to help devise solutions to prevent garbage ending there in the first place (more frequent inspections of the location by the municipality, the installation of bins, more frequent waste collection, etc.).

The last year, we have been doing one more thing – when sorting waste, we put aside cans, returnable and non-returnable bottles. Then we count them and only then we bag and weigh everything. 💪 Why do we do this? These numbers are used to create new strategies for the backup system or to help the reasoning behind initiatives like Zálohujme.cz (Let’s return our bottles). We believe that if there was a backup system in the Czech Republic, at least for bottles and cans, the countryside would be much cleaner and the containers standing under our windows would not overflow with waste. Thank you for following us on our journey! 💛

We published Trash Hero storybooks

Prague, 18 Jul 2020 – Finally! Now we have the most beautiful storybooks. The fairy tale story about a trash hero is accompanied by a handy workbook which will be enjoyed by children of 5–12 years. The book cannot be purchased – we give it to children as part of our environmental school events. However, you may download and print it.

A thank you goes to
- HRG printing company from Litomyšl for the fantastic printing
- Young Block for the beautiful binding
- author Seema Prahbu and illustrator Ewelina Waigert
- volunteers Nicola Borkeszová for the translation from English, Monika Slováčková for the design, Adéla Níčová for the arrangement, Monika Barešová for proofreading, Honza Bareš for all the ongoing editing, Šárka Kysilková for submitting the grant that made the printing possible
- Ministry of Environment and Prague City Council for funding

The yellow Trash Hero family met in Pardubice

Prague, 9 Jul 2020 – Czech Trash Hero chapters have had their third reunion! We gathered and underwent training in Pardubice during the long weekend of 26–28 June. The chosen location was similar to the location of the first reunion in Jihlava last year: we chose a place in the middle of the Czech Republic where there is no Trash Hero chapter yet.

We addressed the organization of clean-ups, communication on social media, first aid, and much more. And it all went well, so we are even more passionate about the Trash Hero projects than before. The icing on the cake was our joint clean-up, also attended by a few residents of Pardubice. We are therefore looking forward to the establishment of Trash Hero Pardubice!

We would like to thank
- Ministry of Environment whose grant enabled us to organize the whole training
- Hotel Signal for providing the accommodation, conference facilities, and huge portions of food
- the City of Pardubice for allowing the clean-up and arranging the waste disposal
- Maruška, David, Šárka, and the whole organizing team for organizing the event
- Michal for photo documentation (all photos can be found on Facebook Trash Hero Czech Republic)
- all heroes who came and joined us. :)

P.S. The fourth Czech family meeting awaits us in mid-November!