A 31-year-old sandwich shop manager Daniel Toben from North Carolina gathered seven thousand bags of rubbish all over his life. He may have collected even more as he started to keep a count onlyin the last two years. He has conscientiously put the effort into keeping his local area clean himself and with the help of groups he has originated.
He initiated the cleaning back in 2009 when he was a student. When he observed the rivulet near his residence was clogged up with plastic bottles he considered cleaning it and as time passed other people also joined themselves with his mission. He managed to keep a balance between his full-time job and his cleaning work.
Daniel expressed that he desired to make an influence by embellishing his surroundings. He started this as a hobby. He considered this way to be of help to nature. He spends all his spare time coming up with new clean-up plans. A mobile application named Fulcrum helps him to trace the locations cleaned by him and his team. He tracks the quantity of bags gathered and takes photographs to display the change.
People started noticing his efforts when he shared pictures of himself cleaning the surroundings on Facebook. To buy a truck, to gather more waste he created a GoFundMe page called ‘Mission to Beautify Our Communities.’ Along with collecting waste, Daniel also discovered illegal oil jettisoning areas and recuperated a huge quantity of noxious chemicals like cement epoxies, pesticides, industrial chemicals, antifreeze paints, oil, etc. He also took care of mislaid pets and gave them back to their keepers.
To spread awareness among people regarding his work he has a Facebook page named, ‘The Earth Stewards’ and a TikTok account. He is reaching out to as many people as he can with 225,000 TikTok followers and gained 1.5 million likes.
Daniel can now spend even more time on environmental protection as his job hours have been lessened due to the coronavirus pandemic. He expressed that he never felt at risk due to the virus as he is aloof from other people. It gives him great joy to make places cleaner and secure and it also provides him with a feeling of achievement. He also had a view that cleaning can make a person feel good especially during COVID times when we are all being isolated.
Sharing about his vision, he wants to be a role model to people of his local community. He wants to begin a Public Service Announcement where eminent personalities would motivate the residents to contribute towards cleanliness.
Daniel explained that cleaning is a simple job and it requires only correct gloves and waste bags to do it. Plastic sustains in the environment for 500 years, so when someone cleans it today, they have indirectly saved the earth for 500 years. Cleaning is the need of the hour as the rate of production of plastic is highest in the past fifty years.
He said, “This work is also for the whole human community and planet. Litter and pollution can serve as obstacles to prosperity, and they can be detrimental to ecology. Through removing trash and pollution from our environmental we care for the success of all people, plants, animals, and other beings”
Adopting a simple habit like Daniel can lead to a brighter future.