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The young Nigerian-Israeli activist who has sparked a litter-picking movement

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Published: 5 October 2021

Last updated: 4 March 2024

Sharona Shnayder grew up in Africa and the US before moving to her dad’s native Israel. Along the way she started Tuesdays for Trash, now seen in 23 countries

WHEN SHARONA SHNAYDER picks up litter off the street, she likes to think she’s also collecting slivers of hope.

At 21, Shnayder is the co-founder and CEO of Tuesdays for Trash, a grassroots non-profit with a presence in 23 countries that encourages people to convene on a weekly basis to clean public spaces of discarded trash. Among those countries is Israel, where she recently immigrated from Oregon.

“Picking up trash is therapeutic and makes a tangible difference,” Shnayder said. “It’s easy to focus on the doom and gloom about climate change, but, instead of dwelling on that sadness and fear, you can use it to fuel hope. I see picking up trash as a gateway for activism. It motivates you to want to do more.”

While picking up litter may not directly cool the planet, Shnayder envisions participants becoming inspired to get more involved in environmental activism, whether it’s supporting candidates who push for laws that can mitigate and reverse climate change or pressuring corporations to move toward more sustainable practices.

Since the United Nations released a climate change report that described the world as being in a “code red” situation, the work feels more urgent than ever, Shnayder said.

“We’re grappling with storms, wildfires and drought. That report is not just a wakeup call, it’s an alarm. We’re in a global emergency, our house is on fire. We can’t reverse all of it, but at least can lessen the consequences,” she said, speaking to The Times of Israel via telephone.

FULL STORY Talking trash: Young Nigerian-Israeli activist sparks litter-picking movement (Times of Israel)

Photo: Sharona Shnayder in Tel Aviv (courtesy)

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