Seeing plastic pollution or trash along the road can be frustrating for any Green Monster. We try our best to be mindful of the trash we produce and always look for opportunities to recycle or compost the trash that we do produce. Unfortunately, not everyone is so careful with their trash –yeah, we’re looking at you, litter bugs! But that doesn’t mean we should let the inconsiderate actions of others discourage us. It certainly didn’t discourage Tommy Kleyn. In fact, Kleyn was inspired to take action after witnessing the growing mound of litter that lined his route to work.

Kleyn writes on Facebook, “[E]very day, I ride my bicycle to work along the river bank (indeed, I’m Dutch). It’s a nice route to ride, except for one part.”


Rather than just continuing to ride past the trash, Kleyn decided he would stop to collect one bag of trash every day.


Kleyn would get up 30 minutes earlier and spend that time collecting trash.



In the half an hour that he would usually spend lamenting about the trash, he was able to fill an entire trashbag.



Over the course of a few days, the scene started to improve immensely.



Seeing Kleyn’s work, others decided to pitch in and lend a hand.


In six days, Kleyn and his friends cleaned up this portion of the river bank.


On day 15, Municipal garbage men showed up and helped.


When the trash was cleared, local wildlife started to return to the area.




Kleyn launched his own initiative called “Project Schone Schle,” and shared the progress he made on Facebook to motivate others to spend 30 minutes a day helping to clean up pollution.


You can start your own clean-up project and post your photos on the Project Schone Schle page. All it takes is 30 minutes a day!


A big thank you to Tommy Kleyn, the world could use more Green Monsters like you!


All image source: Project Schone Schle/Facebook