Tommy Kleyn was tired of seeing trash along the otherwise beautiful river bank he passed on the way to work each day, so he took things into his own hands.
The Netherlands-based artist decided to bring his grippers and a garbage bag to the Schie waterway to pick up trash one day.
“It took me about 30 minutes to fill one garbage bag with trash, but one bag doesn’t make a dent in a place as polluted as this,” he said, posting his story on Imgur.
“I vowed to fill one bag of trash each day as I passed this spot.”
Kleyn began waking up early for work each day to collect garbage, and was able to clean a small stretch of the bank in six days. He tracked his progress on a Facebook page called Project Schone Schie ("schone" means clean in Dutch), inspiring friends and passersby to join in. They helped pick up enough trash to fill a total of 22 garbage bags across the 100-metre bank, reports Good News Network.
Kleyn's three-month-old son inspired him to take action, reports Take Part magazine, translating a Dutch report from RTV Rinjmond.
“What do I say when my son asks why this is such a mess?" he said.
Now, he's using his experience from cleaning Schie to challenge others around the globe to do the same.
"Take 30 minutes out of your year to fill a trash bag with litter," he writes on his Facebook page, urging followers to collect at least one bag of litter each year.
The project has already received great response. Inspired by Kleyn, residents of Skagen, Denmark got together to collect an impressive 950 kg of litter from their local beach, earlier this week.
Possibly the most rewarding part of the cleanup is this bird that now has a home, thanks to Kleyn.
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