The idea started on Reddit’s r/trees, a community for cannabis users. In July 2018, user RedArms219 posted a picture of a paper bag full of trash in a park. They titled it “Cleaned up the smoke spot #StonerCleanUpInitiative”:
Within about 24 hours, the post had 22,000 upvotes. Based on anecdotal data, that could mean anywhere from 80 to 500,000 total views.
The idea quickly took off and was followed by several similar posts. While there were some facetious posts (such as one “ent” who decided to clean up their messy coffee table), other posts featured several plastic bags full of garbage, beach cleanups, and even personal efforts to start recycling.