MANTEO, N.C. (WVEC) -- Five minutes and a hashtag. That is what an Instagram campaign from an N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island employee is asking of people to help clean up the beaches.
Staffer Leslie Vegas hopes the campaign will rally fellow beachgoers into helping pick up trash and keep it out of the ocean.
"Everywhere we would go, we'd come back with a bag of trash, or two or three bags," said Vegas, who works as the aquarium's Education Animal Aquarist.
In honor of #WorldOceansDay and to celebrate the official start of summer here in OBX, our first contest and 🌊 GIVEAWAY 🌊will be held this weekend! Stay tuned, and let's keep up the work! 🌊♻️ Photo and art courtesy of @smartie_lids_on_the_beach
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Vegas created a new hashtag, #obx5minutebeachcleanup. She is asking that people take five minutes out of their day to pick up some trash, post a picture of it, and use the hashtag to show what a difference can be made in just five minutes.
"The concept is to see what you can pick up in that amount of time," Vegas explained. "Just take five minutes and see what's around you."
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An Instagram page devoted to the challenge reads:
"Be an ocean hero and get to cleaning for 5 minutes!"
Since the launch, a handful of other pictures have popped up using the hashtag and Vegas hopes the movement continues to grow.
"Everyone's got five minutes to see what trash they can find on the beach, even if they are just on their way back to the car," Vegas said.
With 250,000 visitors heading to the Outer Banks every week during the summer season, five minutes can add up.
"Just take a picture and tag it on Instagram and see what kind of difference it can make!"