2018: Making It Happen

From January 28th – 30th, the Let’s Do It! Clean World Conference was held in Bursa, Turkey, the first capital of the Ottoman Empire. The focus of the conference was reflected in its’ name: “2018”. “Well, it’s the year of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics,” you might think, and right you are. But Let’s Do It! World has got something even more ambitious in mind: on September 8th, 2018 we will unite 150 countries for one massive World Cleanup Day. But how to make it possible? The answer to the question was provided by our chief motivator Rainer Nõlvak, and head of Let’s Do It! partnerships Kadi Kenk, using a rocket metaphor. Using enthusiasm as the fuel, how do we steer the rocket?

Using enthusiasm as the fuel, how do we steer the rocket? Clean World Conference. Photo: Nele Hendrikson

Using enthusiasm as the fuel, how do we steer the rocket? Clean World Conference. Photo: Nele Hendrikson


First of all, we need ambitious leaders in order to run the massive nationwide clean-ups in all 150 countries. Our agenda for 2016 is to find professionals with strong leadership skills and a clear (& clean) vision. We have a working model, success experiences from many countries, and an international network, which is ready to offer the know-how and support, the starting leader needs to begin the movement. In order to find these leaders, we need to cooperate with organisations like Manpower and our global partner JCI.

Kadi Kenk explains: “Anyone involved in any endeavour is doing it either for direct personal gain, for belonging to something bigger than them, or to want to give something of themselves to a greater cause. The leaders we are looking for, who make the World Cleanup Day happen, are the latter kind. It is a unique group of people, who have a collection of characeristics, skills and experiences, that enable building a successful campaign with huge positive impact. We need strong teams, extensive partnerships, and excellent communicators, to be able to unite the whole world for a one day campaign, and contribute to a plan to also keep the planet clean, once all the trash has been collected.”


To fully understand the scope of the trash problem before the big World Cleanup Day, we need to map the entire world’s waste, using modern technology and volunteers for locating and mapping the trash. Everybody can contribute to creating “the ugliest map ever” by downloading and using TrashOut mobile app. Find out more about mapping the waste and view the map here.

2_LDW CLC Photo-nele-hendrikson

Photos by Nele Hendrikson

Photos by Nele Hendrikson


“Despite the massive civic clean-ups, there is more trash in the world right now than there was in the beginning of Let’s Do It! movement back in 2008. There has been no actual quantitative progress,” says Rainer Nõlvak.

Talking about the plastic waste problem as something Let’s Do It! can tackle (and should concentrate on in the nearest future), Rainer Nõlvak presented the following statistics: only 14 % of plastic waste gets recycled, near 40 % of it goes into landfill and around 25 million tonnes of it “leaks” into ocean. To battle that, Let’s Do It! as an organisation cannot just deal with the “leaks”, but should also get into law-making (for example assemble zero waste toolkits for politicians in order to get the decisions informed), come up with more sustainable packaging ideas, and involve partners from different sectors: organisations, experts, visionaries. On our mission to engage people we should find strength in the knowledge that we have involved almost 14 million people already.

So go on and save the date: September 8th, 2018! We will not only get rid of the trash, but will also start a global debate on how to stop the trash problem once and for all.

In order to find and train the motivated team leaders, Let’s Do It! has launched the first international crowdfunding campaign in the history of the civic mass movement. The aim is to raise seed money for organising the World Cleanup Day 2018 in at least 150 countries.

By Helena Läks