South African international surfing champion and World Surf League commentator Rosy Hodge has partnered with #ProtectParadise, a global initiative that supported and led the change on the ban of single-use plastic in Indonesia.
The #ProtectParadise mission aims to engage audiences globally on a clean-up network in over 23 countries and has resulted in 537 clean-ups, 25,000 volunteers and more than three million square metres of beaches cleaned.
As part of this initiative, Corona will be producing limited edition reusable bags designed by Rosy Hodge and other world renowned surfers in partnership with artists Nadia Hernandez, Speto and Gemma O’Brien. These limited edition bags are being produced and are available for pre-order from www.wslstore.com
and proceeds from each bag goes towards the removal of plastic from the oceans.
We chat to Rosy for #CSIMonth to find out more.
How did your involvement in the #ProtectParadise campaign come about?
As part of my work with the World Surf League (WSL), I was given the opportunity to work with Corona and Parley on the issue of plastic pollution.
Can you tell us more about the roll-out of this initiative in JBay this month, will you be involved?
Exciting stuff will be taking place at JBay, the World Surf League opened on 9 July and ends on 22 July. There will be experiences ranging from a movie night airing of a documentary by Frank Solomon. There will be music by the likes of Desmond And The Tutus and Mathew Mole. The two-week-long programme will definitely keep the WSL goers enjoying an all-around entertainment including awesome tricks on the waves by surfing champions from around the world.
Do you foresee a complete ban of single-use plastic in SA anytime soon?
I certainly hope so, we just need to continue spreading the news and awareness and, eventually, people will help advocate for this change. I think the work with Corona, Parley and World Surf League is a step in the right direction, but this is bigger than one initiative. We’ll need the support of the community and corporations.
What do you personally do to live a more sustainable eco-friendly life?
Small changes in habit have been beneficial to me. I always carry a reusable water bottle and coffee cup on every trip. Refusing straws, avoiding foods packed in plastic. Eating at home more to avoid unnecessary use of plastic when you get takeaway foods. Recycling my rubbish and reusing wherever possible. This behaviour extends to me taking my own bags to grocery stores. Taking pride in your beaches and your surroundings to keep them pristine. Pick up trash when you see it and set an example for people.
What do you think is the number one thing that most people can do to make a difference when it comes to protecting the environment?
There are so many ways to be part of the solution. Joining a clean-up is one example and there are many you can join around the world through the Corona x Parley partnership at protectparadise.com
. But, getting to the beach isn’t the only way, avoiding plastic wherever possible is challenging, but makes a big difference. If you can’t avoid it, ensuring it is disposed of properly can help ensure it doesn’t end up on a beach or in the ocean.
How has surfing and working in the surf industry influenced your understanding of our oceans?
As surfers, we have a responsibility to take care of the environment. The awareness of how the plastic impacts the ocean is evident in the trash that washes up on shore, the way it wraps around your arms and legs rope when you are paddling. You can’t help but think of what it is doing to the sea life and ecosystem as a whole.
What have been some of your ultimate surf spots around the world?
I have been very fortunate to travel to some idyllic locations and I can say coming home to South Africa after living in California, you realise what a stunning country this is. The waves are incredible and it makes my heart happy to be back in this beautiful part of the world. I also love Australia and Hawaii.
Any exciting new projects on the horizon?
I am currently busy with the World Surf League. I hope to update you on new projects soon. Until then people can follow me @rosyhodge
on Instagram.Corona will be continuing with the #ProtectParadise initiative locally at the World Surf League in Jeffery’s Bay till the 22 July 2019.protectparadise.com