By Alicia Belch - [email protected]

Taking out the trash: #Trashtag challenge comes to NEPA

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Trash is shown in downtown Wilkes-Barre. Starting April 14, Northeastern Pennsylvania residents can post photos of themselves cleaning up trash for discounts at several local business.
Toni Pennello | Weekender

Many of us can agree that taking out the trash is a chore, but whoever said it couldn’t be rewarding?

From April 14 to May 15, local businesses are teaming up with residents in an effort to keep Pennsylvania beautiful with the #TrashTag challenge. Participants are asked to pick a trash-ridden location, clean it up and then post a before-and-after selfie with captions including #TrashTag, #NEPAtrashtagchallenge and other business-specific hashtags in order to received free products, coupons and discounts.

The NEPA-specific #TrashTag challenge was started by Tiffany Cianci, owner and founder of The Salted Pixie Wellness Center, Archbald, in hopes that this temporary reward-based system will instill habitual change and the promise of a cleaner tomorrow. The Salted Pixie will be honoring participants who use the hashtag #PixiePickUp with a 25% discount on all salt sessions.

Local business participant Randy Ryan, also known as Rein Beau, owner and culinary artist of The Kimchi Dude eatery, believes the #TrashTag challenge will have a snowball effect.

“Tasks like improving the quality of our region’s landscape through picking up litter will increase overall morale in our area. Who knows? Maybe participants will be inspired to plant a garden, install solar panels or keep picking up trash even when the promotion has expired,” said Ryan.

For Ryan, who lost over 150 pounds through diet change and increased activity, trash clean-up is therapeutic not only because of the necessary mental and physical involvement, but also because it services the planet.

“I wasn’t logging community service hours or attempting to collect incentives. I just wanted to see the beauty of nature integrated into our landscape,” he said, mentioning the good that fresh air and sunshine does for a person. “I want others to experience what its like to participate in a community service that also directly benefits the participant,” Ryan said.

The Kimchi Dude will be honoring all participants who use the hashtag #KimchiCleanup with a $5 store/menu credit. Other participating businesses in the area include, but are not limited to, The Salted Pixie, Osborne Specialties, Nick D’s Video Game Vault, Purple Pepper Deli and The Angry Irishman. A list can be found on The Salted Pixie’s instagram, @thesaltedpixie.

Those wishing to participate in #TrashTag challenge may pick up free gloves and trash bags at The Salted Pixie, Archbald, and The Curiosity Shop, Scranton. Creativity when cleaning and discarding, such as re-purposing of trash, is encouraged.

Details have not yet been established, but the idea for annual spring and fall #TrashTag clean-ups, as well as networking with local schools, is being discussed.

Trash is shown in downtown Wilkes-Barre. Starting April 14, Northeastern Pennsylvania residents can post photos of themselves cleaning up trash for discounts at several local business.
https://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/web1_trashtag-3.jpgTrash is shown in downtown Wilkes-Barre. Starting April 14, Northeastern Pennsylvania residents can post photos of themselves cleaning up trash for discounts at several local business. Toni Pennello | Weekender

By Alicia Belch

[email protected]