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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

6/20 - 6/27 Days ... 171 - 178

The first ever International Trash Pick Up Day has come and gone and all I can say is WOW!

I have spent hours looking at your pictures and reading and re-reading all your comments about Trash Day.  You all have left me amazed beyond words.

I really am not sure what to say, or rather type right now, which is odd for me as I usually do not find myself at a loss for words, but I truly am right now.  So I am going to just type for a little while and see what comes up :)

You all have heard me talk about Trash Day a lot the past month or so.  This was one of the Challenges I was the most excited about.  In my head I have all these ideas about cool charities, non profits, and ways to give back; the only thing I was missing was people to help me realize those dreams.

Here in Santa Barbara, I had planned on going down with H.E.E.A.L and a few other friends to clean up a local park which hosts the Summer Solstice festival here every year.  What I did not realize in the initial planning was that the festival was continuing on through Sunday this year which meant the park would be still set up for vendors.  Oh know, would we even be able to get to the park?  I decided I would get up early and do a drive by to scout it out.

When I finally went to sleep on Saturday night, I went to sleep thinking about Trash Day.  I was so excited for it.  I was excited for the opportunity to make a difference, I was excited to do something positive for the local community, I was excited to hang out with friends, and I was really excited to see what we could accomplish as a global effort.  I feel asleep visualizing the day, I had images of people from all over the world: Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, South America, Australia, joining together and pledging a little of their time to make a big difference.  I was so excited when I went to sleep wondering what our global effort would look like.

When my alarm went off Sunday morning, I literally jumped out of bed, grabbed my car keys and went racing out the front door. I had to go scout out the planned meeting spot.  I drove down to the park and was relieved to find it was still easily accessible to the public. I ran home to take a shower, grab some food and do a little work before heading to the gym.  I logged onto Facebook expecting to see a couple pictures up Trash Pick-er-uper's from around the world.  There were none!!!  That's when my mind started wandering...

With 664 RSVP's on Facebook and many of those 664 pledging the help of friends and family, it was beginning to look like realistically we could have a global participation of over 1000.  "Over 1000 people pledging one hour of their day to help clean up our global community, how cool, how amazing that would be, how scary would it be if no one else did it?  Yikes!  I didn't even think of that!  Oh man, maybe I should not have set this up.  What if no one sends in pictures?  What if, what if, what if, what if..."  I carried on inside my head like this for several hours.  Even during my mini workout prior to 8am I was unable to quiet the voice of doubt, or maybe it was the voice of fear inside of my head.

It is funny because I talk a lot about belief in self, have faith, etc..., and don't get me wrong, I believe with all my heart in the 1000 Challenge and what I hope it represents, I believed wholeheartedly in this event, in all the people who had pledged their time.  I just find it amazing how despite that belief that little voice of fear can still find a way to creep inside someone's head and cause them to question them self, even if it is just for a moment.  It is amazing how much influence that voice can hold over us if we allow it.  I am not going to lie, at one point I was so scared that I contemplated hiding inside of a trash can, rather than trying to lead a global trash clean up.  WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!?!

Luckily life has taught me that the voice in my head is nothing but a voice and that the only power it has over me is the power I choose to give it.  Finally I got to the point where I was so fed up with it that I told it to "Shut the F*** Up and leave me alone!"  I immediately turned my "Power Song" on and got myself back into my excited, motivated, eager childlike state of mind - ready to go play with my friends and ready to make a difference in the world.

As the day went on the pictures and reports started to come in, first from California, then from the East Coast of the United States, then France, Canada, Germany, Kenya, North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, people from all over the world were sharing stories of their trash day participation.  And guess what, as many of you already know, people were not only reporting that they felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment doing it, they reported that they had a ton of fun too.  What a difference we all made.

As I worked into the late hours of Sunday night, I could not help but to pause from time to time and reflect on what an amazing day in my life, and hopefully yours, that Sunday June 26th, 2011 was.  Collectively we picked up 100's of bags of trash!!!  Imagine how many 1000's less cigarette butts, bottles, cans, pieces of paper, bottle caps etc... less that is on the ground because of what WE did on Sunday?!  AMAZING!!!  As I continued on my reflection of the day, I was reminded of a few very important lessons:
1.) A tremendous difference can be made by a few determined people. 
2.) Each and every one of us has the power to change the world.
3.) It doesn't take money, power, celebrity status to make a difference.  All it takes is a little time and an unwavering resolve to do good, to contribute to the betterment of society.
4.) Ordinary people can do extraordinary things when they put their hearts and minds to it.
5.) You are the captain of your ship, the master of your destiny, you have the ability to do anything you want in your life, you just have to believe in it.

One of my dreams has always been to start an international beach clean up.  Seeing the success of Trash Day, I believe that next year will be the time to launch this endeavor.  This is an early invite: January 17th, 2012, you are all invited to a trash littered beach, somewhere in the world (to be determined) to join me on my 30th birthday.  The goal is to have the beach clean enough where we can all celebrate in lounge chairs and sipping on umbrella drinks. :)  More details to come.

On that note, I will leave you with this - my deepest thanks goes out to each and every one of you who participated.  I am amazed to see how strong the 1000 Challenge community is growing to be.  At nearly the halfway point of the year, I am eager to see what more we can accomplish together when we combine our powers.  As individuals we are strong, as a global team we are unbreakable, we truly have zero limits :)  What's next?  And what do you think... Trash Day #2, same time next year?

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,



  1. FELICITACIONES!!! JESSE,lograste unir al MUNDO, mi regalo para tus 30 años, será limpiar la playa de Pichilemu acá en Chile el 17/01/2012, es un trato...y SÍ! "al día de recoger basura 2" el 2012, nos vemos. JULIA

  2. It's great you got so many people from all over to participate. I was also imagining that there would not be that many people, I do not post photos, so I thought there would be some comments and a few photos, I was amazed. A few months ago two people who are really serious about their good causes mentioned that it would be great if they could get people together to acheive just what you did, then I guess they got busy, and never got around to it. They would be proud of these people and you, if they don't know about the success of this idea @iansomerhalder and @sophiabush, if they know they didn't mention it in their tweets. Again great job Jesse. Keep up the good work, the world will be a cleaner place.

  3. Ok, you've already set the date so count me in. You have my word! I better make sure my passport is valid just in case it turns out to be an international destination.


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  5. Life goes on despite any drawbacks. All you have to say is "trash" and I'm there! I'll be the one still scouring for trash while you all have your drinks and relax!

  6. As long as the beach is not too far away, I'll be there (beach cleanup day!).