Hong Youngseok

Hong Youngseok

Calling someone a pile of trash is a proper way to address a person who litters. I began taking trash as a serious issue around the time surfing became a habit. There are all sorts of trash in the water, but they wouldn’t have disturbed me as much if I weren’t surfing. When I saw it for the first time, it felt really, really bad. It’s totally different when you actually see them in the water. Anyone who went deeper in the sea, surfers especially, would agree. Hell, it must be worse for the fishes than it is to us.

I know this is obvious, but when you go through something yourself, you can’t help but develop some sort of interest in it. Trash problem is serious, both in and out of water. When you take a look around a beach and its neighborhood, you’ll see piles in the sand and heaps on the streets. On top of the trash that’s being thrown on the beach, some of them drift into the beach and water from around the neighborhood. What matters is not how much difference one person can make, but how the difference starts from one person. It’s the surfers, not the environmental activists, who started the Beach Cleans. Pity too many of those events are one-off, or commercial tie-ups.

It shouldn’t be about cleaning, but about keeping it clean in the first place. Difference starts with me.