TrashHero Children's Book
Motivational story & activities to combat plastic waste
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!
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 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.
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)
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”.
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.
**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!
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
Portion already funded by Kluaynamthai Foundation = €1200
Total still to raise: €8000
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.
- 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
- CREATES SMILES LIKE THIS:
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 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."
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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQ0Ur753cKw
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”? https://youtu.be/2uIBU0Op08E
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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Csb2-_Ng33s
Now we want to take that education process a step further, to inspire this new generation towards long-term environmental stewardship.