Crowdified! This project has been successfully funded on 29. December 2017. Thanks to the 114 boosters that made it possible!

TrashHero Children's Book

Motivational story & activities to combat plastic waste


Roman Peter
Seema Prabhu
About Trash Hero
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9,750 EUR
of 8,000 EUR
supported project
A simple story and activity book with a powerful call to take action on plastic waste in the environment. Children will be inspired and challenged to change their behaviour, and receive the coveted Trash Hero T-shirt as a reward.
The book and shirt package will be distributed free to children in Southeast Asia, where plastic pollution is reaching critical proportions.
Join us and help to create a new generation of environmental stewards, the Trash Heroes!
There is a rising tide of plastic waste entering our oceans every year, causing havoc with marine life, ecosystems and the food chain. Three quarters of this “plastic leakage” comes from uncollected waste or litter on the land.

Awareness of the issue in Southeast Asia remains low, and education is limited or not put into practice. Children are taught “don’t litter” at school, but don’t seem to make any connection between these words and their everyday habits. The real life consequences of plastic leakage are rarely explored; and there are no positive role models or clear paths to drive behaviour change.
The Trash Hero kids’ book makes the connection between the issue of plastic leakage and the actions required in a thought-provoking and visually impactful way.

The story follows the fictional character of “Trash Hero”, a child dedicated to helping sea creatures escape harm from trash, and his plight as the amount of plastic waste in the oceans increases. He appeals for help and receives it from a group of school children who promise to work together to save the oceans. It is an intentionally simple and “light” treatment of this serious subject, evocatively illustrated by Polish artist Ewelina Wajgert.
The second part of the book contains some easily understood facts about marine litter, drawing and colouring activities and - most importantly - a challenge to become a new “Trash Hero”, through repetition of actions such as joining cleanups, recycling and saying no to single use plastic.

Children will record their actions in the book and then, after gaining a certain number of points (assigned to each behaviour), will be able to claim their very own Trash Hero T-shirt as a reward. These T-shirts are worn with great pride by the recipients.
Look at these proud faces with their brand new shirts*!
(*awarded through our existing cleanup program)
Continued actions are encouraged through further rewards such as a Trash Hero certificate to display on the wall, and the chance to be featured on our media channels as a “Trash Hero of the Year”.

In short, the book harnesses children’s imagination to create a powerful link between fantasy and real world actions, and appeals to their natural desire to help and be useful. It intends to inspire, build self-esteem and provide long-term motivation for change, not preach and point fingers at “bad behaviour”.
Many of the 5 - 10 year old children we are targeting in Southeast Asia do not normally have access to books, or the means to buy them. So we plan to distribute both books and T-shirts free - yes, FREE! This is why we need your help.

Books and T-shirts will be printed in local language, firstly in Thai and Indonesian (Bahasa).

We will also do a print run of the book in English, to be sold (with optional T-shirt) to international schools in Asia and worldwide. Proceeds from these sales will fund subsequent printings in all languages.
The labour and skills overheads for this project - like all Trash Hero projects - is ZERO. Our dedicated volunteers have already prepared the book and its translations; and more volunteers in our local chapters stand ready to oversee the distribution and activities.

**Every single euro you donate will be spent on creating the physical products to put into the hands of children.**

(Plus, for Swiss citizens, your donation is tax-deductible, as we are a registered non-profit organisation.)

We have secured excellent printing deals for both books and T-shirts with Thai printing houses who support our cause. This will keep costs as low as possible - around €4 for a package of one printed book + one T-shirt for a child!

We already have one Thai foundation (Kluaynamthai) who have agreed to fund the entire print run of the Thai language version of the book for children. Here we are seeking the additional printing costs for:

- an English version of the book (to be sold to fund reprints)
- a Bahasa version of the book (to be distributed for free in Indonesia)
- 2000 children’s T-shirts, to be distributed for free along with the local language books in SE Asia.

To repeat, the total cost for one book + one T-shirt is a ridiculously low €4!
So for the price of a coffee you can inspire a child to become a Trash Hero - a lifelong environmental steward for their community and the wider world.

Project cost breakdown

Printing: €1200 per 1000 copies x 3 languages = €3600
T-shirt printing: €2.70 x 2000 shirts = €5400
Distribution costs (shipping) = €200
Total: €9200
Portion already funded by Kluaynamthai Foundation = €1200
Total still to raise: €8000
The book is ready.
As soon as the campaign ends - if we raise enough money - all donors from "Activist" level up will get an exclusive copy of the ebook, before it is publicly available.

Physical printing will be done immediately we receive the funds, so you - and the children - could see the printed book by end of January! T-shirts will be printed in the same timeframe.
The ebook version will be released to the general public by Spring 2018.
- MORE THAN JUST A STORY: encourages collaboration, environmental stewardship; builds self-esteem and self-motivation
- BEAUTIFULLY ILLUSTRATED AND EASILY UNDERSTOOD: designed to inspire action, not preach
- TARGETED MESSAGE: Asian characters and local language text to engage kids in Thailand and Indonesia
- CHARITABLE ENTERPRISE: books and shirts to be given to children free of charge.
- INVOLVES WIDER COMMUNITY: encourages whole-family interaction + the project is fully integrated with local Trash Hero activities
- LOW ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT: printed locally in Thailand on 100% recycled paper
- FINANCIALLY SUSTAINABLE: English print version to be sold to fund reprints
Thank you :)
Roman Peter
Roman Peter
Inwil, CH
Managing Director and Co-Founder

Roman was born in Switzerland, is 33 years old, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in computer science (2006). He worked formerly in the function of Senior IT Security Engineer, before leaving to travel around the world in 2012. Roman co-founded Trash Hero in 2013 with friends in Thailand and has worked full-time for the movement since its beginning without any salary.

Seema Prabhu
Seema Prabhu
Book author

Seema has been a volunteer with Trash Hero in Krabi, Thailand since February 2015, organising 100+ cleanups with the team in Ao Nang.

A writer, originally from the UK, she created the book project after seeing how her own children were transformed by the Trash Hero experience.

"Trash Hero makes young kids feel important and valued. Their actions are celebrated by their community, and this sense of achievement leads naturally to an understanding of their own agency and responsibility towards the environment. It's just so much more effective - and fun! - than traditional classroom teaching."

About Trash Hero
About Trash Hero
Non-profit organisation

Trash Hero is a global grassroots movement comprised of concerned citizens who work together with their local communities to clean and reduce waste. Founded in Thailand in 2013, we now have a total of 42 chapters active in nine different countries around the world, with the biggest concentration in this critical region of Southeast Asia.

For logistical purposes we are registered as a non-profit organisation in Switzerland, under the umbrella of “Trash Hero World”. The movement is run entirely by “hands and hearts” - everyone involved is a volunteer or works pro bono.

The Trash Hero concept is simple: see litter, pick it up. Each chapter organises a regular cleanup, usually at a beach, but also within cities and parks, inviting residents, tourists, schools, and local businesses to participate.

Cleanups are highly VISIBLE (in our famous yellow T-shirts!), INCLUSIVE, generate “can-do” POSITIVE ENERGY, set a GOOD EXAMPLE and are CELEBRATED on social media. In around 2000 individual cleanup events so far, we have engaged communities to remove more than 350 metric TONS of trash from their coastlines and public spaces.

—> See the Trash Hero TedX talk here

In addition to this core activity, we run several projects to prevent the creation of waste in the first place. We have a refillable bottle scheme - essential in Southeast Asia where clean drinking water usually comes in single use plastic bottles - as well as a reusable bag scheme to cut down on single use plastic bags. Many chapters also work with local businesses to reduce the amount of plastic they use on a daily basis - for example cutting out the use of plastic straws in restaurants.

We favour action over campaigning and our slogan is: we clean, we educate, we change.

—> See “What is Trash Hero”?

We have always informally worked with schools, providing hands-on learning at cleanups, and producing education materials for the classroom. Children especially respond to the “hero” concept as it takes a trope they are familiar with and applies it to a surprising subject, one they may be used to hearing about in a boring or scolding tone: “Don’t drop litter, it’s dirty” etc. Trash Hero cleanups on the other hand are a fun, positive experience where their efforts are celebrated.

We have had reports of children in Thai villages “playing Trash Hero” - picking up litter of their own accord - after taking part in a local cleanup. Other kids have been motivated by the “hero” label to raise awareness of waste among their peers.

—> See the Trash Hero kids video

Now we want to take that education process a step further, to inspire this new generation towards long-term environmental stewardship.




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