Tommy Kleyn walked past a polluted river on his way to his job in the Netherlands every day. The Netherlands are well known for environmental stewardship, so this polluted river didn’t make much sense. Kleyn decided to take action by picking up the river a little bit at a time after work.
“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. I vowed to fill one bag of trash each day as I passed this spot,” Kleyn said.
Every day, Kleyn documented how the river was transformed by his work by taking pictures and sharing them on a new Facebook page called Project Schone Schie. In just six days, Kleyn had made some impressive progress with his cleanup effort. Eventually the neighbors took notice and began helping him.
“The idea is to motivate people to fill one garbage bag with litter each year. It only takes 30 minutes, it really makes a difference and you will be amazed about how good you feel afterwards,” he said.
Eventually, and as it should have, Kleyn’s story went viral. Other people in the community began following in his footsteps and cleaning up trash on their daily routes too. People all over the world have been inspired.