Estonians know how to gather a crowd. It's simply part of the Estonian mindset to do so when they see a problem. This is easy to see in the Song and Dance celebration, held since the 19th century and regarded as one of the most powerful movements in modern Estonian history. Estonians also took part in the Baltic Way, when over two million people from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania joined hands to protest Soviet occupation. These mass movements drew international attention, just as the World Cleanup Day is doing now. But now they are tackling a truly international issue: the global waste problem.
How it all started
This innovative idea began in 2008. Around 50,000 people united to clean up Estonia in just five hours. On that day, a global grassroots movement was born, and people rallied around the idea of "one country, one day."
The first World Cleanup Day was held on 15 September 2018, starting at 10 am in New Zealand and ending 36 hours later in Hawaii. During these daylight hours, millions of tons of illegal trash were removed from nature all over the world. At the end of the day, more than 18 million people from 157 different countries had come together to clean up the environment.