Visit St. Pete/Clearwater and Keep Pinellas Beautiful have teamed up with local TikTok influencer Caulin Donaldson for a new campaign aimed at getting visitors to pick up their beach trash.
What You Need To Know
- Series of TikTok videos show Caulin picking up beach trash for 500 straight days
- Caulin has 1.4 million followers on TikTok
- The Unwind and Be Kind campaign runs from April 1 to May 4
"I feel so incredibly grateful that I am the one that gets to spread this message with the county," said Donaldson, 25. "That we're working together to do this."
In December 2019, Donaldson began a series of TikTok videos that showed him picking up trash at the beach for 500 straight days. The social media influencer, who lives in Redington Beach, has amassed 1.4 million followers.
"It really started taking off in the summer of 2020," he said. "It was just really, really awesome to see how many people genuinely were passionate about this mission and this message."
Caulin said he got the idea to make beach cleanup videos while renting jet skis at St. Pete Beach.
"It was just crazy to me that people would come out there and be like, 'This is my favorite beach in the world,' and then they left all of their trash in the sand when they went home," he said. "It really did feel personal when people come and visit this place and treat it like they don't care about it."
Caulin said he funneled his frustration into something positive, and picking up beach trash on TikTok has since become his full-time job.
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater has teamed up with TikTok influencer Caulin Donaldson, 25, for a new beach cleanup campaign called ‘Unwind and Be Kind.’ Visitors can pick up trash with Caulin weekly from Apr. 1 to May 4. @BN9 pic.twitter.com/u8wQWhbhhL— Josh Rojas (@JoshRojasBN9) March 30, 2022
"This is bigger than me at this point," he said. "I just want to use my platform to raise voices for people who may not have that platform."
Caulin said the most common trash he finds littering Pinellas County beaches are cigarette butts and plastic bottle caps. He wishes cigarettes would be outlawed on the sand.
"Cigarette butts are the number one most littered item globally," said Caulin. "A lot of people don't know that there actually is plastic in these. So, they're not just biodegrading like everybody imagines."
The Unwind and Be Kind campaign runs from April 1 to May 4. Visitors will have six chances to cleanup the beach with Caulin during that time.