The hummingbird_colibri effect concept comes from an Amerindian legend.


One day, there was a huge forest fire. All the animals, terrified, aghast, watched the disaster helplessly . Only a little hummingbird was busy getting drops of water with its beak to throw on the fire. After a while, an armadillo, annoyed by this derisory agitation, said to him: "Hummingbird, you're  crazy, it's not with these drops of water that you'll put out the fire!"


And the hummingbird said, "I know it, but I'm doing my part."


Pierre Rabhi, fondateur du mouvement Colibri


Walking around Siem Reap, outside the tourist trail of Angkor Wat, revealed a landscape littered with plastic rubbish bags, single use plastic items like drinking straws, iced coffee cups, aluminium cans, plastic mineral water bottles, etc. causing an enviromental and health problem. Of course some people try to recycle their plastic waste instead of burning it in the street or throwing it in the river. Some businesses like the Jaya HOuse River Park Hotel supports recycling with their Community Effort campaign.


And Rehash Trash, a daily workshop that turns dirty roadside rubbish into incredible stylish fashion and home ware goods and provides employement and income to women in need.


During my stay I was lucky to meet up with Sarah Rhodes who Plastic Free Cambodia, an NGO which aims to educate, train, raise awareness and promote action and give advice on how to do without plastic. Her project is looking for solutions to the crisis in Cambodia.







Why 3 items? because more isn't practical. If you are on a walk or on your lunch-break starting a beach clean up isn't really doable but picking up 3 items is almost no bother. .


What do you do with it? I take a photograph so I have a record and I make a note of the location and date then I take it to a bin or a recycling facility. I share the pictures on instagram and twitter so other people can be inspired like I have been inspired by people doing #beachcleanups and #trashchallenge.


Why do you do it? Because it channels some of the anger, sadness and frustration I get when I go somewhere and there is rubbish everywhere.  


Turning this clean-up activity into a socially engaged art_activism makes me feel lighter about doing it, it becomes a creative experience which ultimately has more impact than just me cleaning up in isolation.


What's a hummingbird_colibri effect? It is a concept that comes from an Amerindian legend about a small bird which was trying to stop a forest fire with drops of water.


Can other people join in? Of course, that's the whole point.  Send me your photos with your name, location and date and I will upload them to social media. magaesberg(at)





hummingbird_effect_trashtag Screenshot 2019-03-14 at 14.42.16

hummingbird_effect_trashtag on instagram and twitter

Turn a trash clean-up activity into socially engaged art_activism so it becomes a creative experience to engage people everywhere.

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Beach clean -up

Saturday June 8th 

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