This Artist is Picking Up Trash Everyday so Please Let’s All Do Our Part

In the quest to make the world a better place, most people think that individual efforts would amount to little or nothing and would therefore just choose to do nothing. Ar-Em Bañas, an artist and a student, does not share that view. She believes that we all have a role and if we do our part we all can have a lasting impact. Last month, she chose to exercise that philosophy by embarking on a special challenge.

Where most people will just thoughtlessly drop their garbage to the streets, Ar-Em is now making it her daily mission to pick up at least one discarded bottle a day, exchanging the bottles she collects with a mall that exchanges trash with cash.

She documents her work and shares photos of her work on social media, hoping to inspire friends to also make a habit of picking up litter or at least not littering. She is calling this project the #CollectABottleADay challenge.

When she first started doing it, she realized that people stared at her, making her uncomfortable and shy. She realized then that it takes courage to do what’s right.

Based on her posts, she has already inspired some family members to also start picking up discarded bottles. Most of the bottles she collected came from Edsa, Ortigas, Makati, and the MRT stations as these are where she lives, studies, and commutes. 

“It’s not about the money,” she admonishes friends who started to give her empty plastic bottles in a bid to help her add to her collection. “I would be much happier if you would shift to using reusable water bottles. That would be awesome!” she says.

This challenge has its own set of challenges, such as being forced to handle bottles with what she suspects is pee inside. Gross, right? But she carries on.


Her daily posts become a sort of window into her life, giving us glimpses of her life.

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How else can we do our part in saving the planet from further environmental degradation? Share examples below!