To go viral on the Internet, people are doing a lot of damage to planet Earth. They happily record those followed by posting them proudly. TikTok is one such platform where some bad-for-the-Earth trends are going viral. It is an earnest request to not try them and if possible, stop others from doing such things or report them to authorities. Here are eight bad-for-the-Earth TikTok trends to avoid.
Eight bad-for-the-Earth TikTok trends
1. Toilet overload
This is quite a self-explanatory trend. People following this trend are dumping colorful paints, cleaning liquids, powders, food, etc. down the toilet. Whether it is an act of performance art or meta-commentary on consumption, it hardly matters. It is wasteful, deplorable, and terrible for the environment to say the least.
People should know that cleaning products can be awfully dangerous to both environment and human health. They are not meant to be disposed of or even used in huge quantities. Mixing different types of cleaning supplies can even be lethal.
Whatever had been the motivation behind such acts, they should never be performed again by anybody. If such videos could be deleted then there is nothing like that.
2. Using orbeez
Orbeez or water beads are around for quite some time now. They are made of super-absorbent polymers but they are not plastic, fortunately. They were initially intended and marketed as an agricultural and gardening tool to help retain soil moisture.
These expanding colorful spheres thankfully biodegrade over time. However, two to ten years for them to degrade is a long time to wait while they continue to build up around us in the environment.
The TikTok trend around these beads is their use in huge quantities in pools, bathtubs, and even ponds. They appear invisible until they are handpicked. Although it is a satisfactory watch but extremely bad for the environment.
They pose an obstruction and choking hazard for young children. Not only that orbeez or similar water beads are risky for wildlife too since they could ingest them and suffer or even die. Not to mention, they can clog natural waterways and drainage systems as well.
3. Fast fashion try-on haul
The fast fashion industry is already an environmental disaster in its own right. To tell the truth, it is one of the most polluting industries. Adding to the woes, manufacturers are manipulating consumers constantly to throw out previous year’s clothes and follow the latest trends. This is contributing hugely to an ever-growing waste crisis.
The TikTok trend being discussed here is fashion influencers trying out innumerable clothes as the try-on hauls and reviewing them. Sometimes they buy the apparel on their own, while at other times, fast fashion retailers and manufacturers send them for PR and marketing.
If the content is sponsored, then invariably the creators would give positive feedback leading to a lot of their followers buying those items. Understandably, they use more clothing items than an average person. However, nobody has to follow suit.
Ideally one should make optimal use of everything including clothes. It is advisable to buy sustainable clothing items and use them as long as possible followed by repurposing them suitably.
4. Making art out of resin
Undoubtedly, things made of epoxy resin look stunning, which is why its use has amped up so much in recent years. Human beings love art and art makes us unique. However, things are supposed to be done responsibly including art.
Epoxy resin is a petroleum-based plastic-like product, which is used to make everything from key chains to sculptures. It comes in a pourable liquid form which is cured to transform into solid items.
Needless to say, both the creations and the creation process using this material are hypnotizing, hence the plethora of resin artists reigning on TikTok. However, whether in its liquid state or solid form, the resin is simply an abomination to the environment.
It is extremely important to note that uncured resin emits toxic fumes and must be handled using appropriate safety equipment and that too in a well-ventilated area. It is toxic to marine life as well and could harm them if tossed in the trash or dumped down the drain in its liquid form. Only hazardous waste disposal services or professionals can safely offload uncured epoxy.
As already mentioned, cured or solid resin are equally bad. They are indestructible like any other form of plastic. It would not break down readily but rather sit in landfills for thousands of years unchanged.
A solid waste disposal expert Alaina Wood, told Mashable, “I am not one to judge any artist’s medium choice, but I do worry that because resin crafts have become popular lately, we will eventually see a lot more resin in landfills than we typically do.”
She further added, “I hope that people aren’t immediately throwing away resin crafts, but it is naive to think resin crafts won’t eventually be thrown out.”
5. Big beach digging
Beach digging is generally a satisfying act and harmless fun. But it is no longer so due to the tiktokers. Since bigger is better, people on TikTok, to get more views, are digging huge pits on the beach.
However, it has a massive downside. People are leaving the beach with such huge holes, which is a falling hazard for others. Moreover, they can trap sea turtle hatchlings and other members of the beach wildlife. All these made a huge splash in the local Florida media outlets as multiple news reports surfaced.
6. Bigger dig in a jungle
If digging at the beach is deemed bad then digging in a jungle and that too on a bigger scale is worse. A lot of videos that were earlier posted on YouTube have emerged on TikTok where a few people are seen using primitive technology like hand tools to make living rooms, swimming pools, underground lairs, etc. inside the forest the floor of which remained undisturbed till now.
The authenticity of these videos remains disputed. Moreover, these TikToks do not represent all the people’s power, equipment, and work that goes into these constructions.
Regardless of what they are being done, the results are always massive pits with no drainage system, erosion, and soil displacement. All these atrocities towards nature and the environment are done just for views, which is plain unacceptable.
7. Wasteful theft
Devious licks got a lot of people into trouble. It is a stealing challenge that led to several teenagers facing criminal charges. Devious licks made teens steal huge quantities of plastic spoons, disposable masks, and covid-19 test kits. Larger heists were also reported where lab equipment, soap dispensers, toilets, etc. were stolen.
Eventually, TikTok removed all the devious licks videos for violation of content. TikTok also banned related search terms and hashtags. Regrettably, a lot of damage was already done.
Schools were made to replace all the stolen items whereas the fate of most of the original products remained a mystery. The unreturned contraband was likely to be trashed.
8. Making a frog army
As bewildering as it may sound, a TikTok account that raked up millions of likes, views, and followers recently was due to videos by the content creator about raising a ‘frog army’.
The videos showed a person collecting amphibian eggs from different water bodies and domestically raising them until they transformed into froglets. Then they would be released into the wild. These have alarmed biologists and correctly so.
Although, the videos are deemed to be fake and the veracity remains unconfirmed but it is still a reason for concern. This is because many people seemed to be inspired by the act and wanted to raise an army of their own.
Tierra Curry, a conservation biologist at the non-profit Centre for Biological Diversity told The Guardian, “It makes me cringe. Instead of helping, (this TikTok user is) hurting the animals, they’re releasing all the animals into the environment that they’re releasing them into. It’s creating a vector for disease and invasive species.”
Hope you are not following, supporting, or recreating these eight bad-for-the-Earth TikTok trends. Even if you have been, we wish you have taken a lesson and are now aware of the repercussions. Kindly share this article to make others know as well.