Voluntour and Standup Paddleboaridng in Taean

(by Samira Eibner)

ESG stands for Environmental Social Governance and helps to make trips more sustainable and eco-friendly. We, Adventure Korea, want to change nature for the better. With so many environmental issues all around the world, like climate change or ocean pollution, it is important to try getting these under control – even if only in small steps. Our Voluntours are part of these steps in order to make a difference. It is a combination of Volunteering and Touring. In this case, people apply to volunteer in helping to clean up the beach – finding microplastics and removing them off the beach. Microplastics are also a big problem, as they not only pollute the ocean, but animals, like fishes, eat them – and in the end, we eat them, as well, when we eat the fish. So Microplastics are a problem for not only nature and animals, but us humans, too. Together with Taean County we want to make a difference. And also reward our volunteers with a certificate and a little fun adventure – this time Standup Paddleboarding – after work is done. 

Last Saturday our Voluntour took place. Together with a group of volunteers we went to the west coast of South Korea. The trip was sponsored by the Taean Government, too – and we are really thankful for this opportunity. 
We started off early in the morning and got to know each other, quick in noticing what a diverse colorful group of people came together to help out on that day. Everyone was in a good mood and ready to give their best in order to make a difference. 

All the Volunteers are motivated to help cleaning up the beach

As soon as we arrived at the beach, we held a little opening ceremony. Then the volunteers learnt more about microplastics, as well as the reasons why it was so important to find them and remove them off the sand. After receiving the needed equipment, we wandered off, closer towards the ocean, in order to find the right spots to search for microplastics in the sand.

Our Volunteers getting instructed and learn about Microplastics

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The Equipment

It was a joy to watch our volunteers devote themselves to that situation and try their best in finding microplastics. They really flourished and we are grateful they didn’t give up, although some groups struggled at the beginning.

Volunteers looking for Microplastics
Volunteers being motivated at work
Volunteers looking for microplastics closely
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Volunteer Group Picture at the Beach

After the great work was finished, we went to a local restaurant to get lunch. There, the volunteers received their certificates for helping out with cleaning up the beach.
Now it was time for the fun part. We moved to another beach to prepare for standup paddleboarding (SUP). Most of them never did it before, so they got a detailed explanation of how to do SUP. After changing up, slipping into the life jackets and getting their paddles, we all went down to the beach, divided into three groups, each group being led by one instructor. First, some photos were taken, then it finally was time to get onto the board and try out SUP.

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Indoor Lesson SUP
SUP Group Picture
SUP Group Picture 2

While many of our volunteers struggled at the beginning – no surprise, because every beginning is difficult and it was hard to keep balance – most of them got used to it quite fast. Although not all of them managed to stand up, some just enjoyed being carried by the waves while sitting on their board. You clearly could see they all savored their time on the water and beach, finally having some time outside of the big city. Afterwards, they also told us how much fun it was, although it was quite exhausting, too.

Getting Ready for SUP
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Volunteers on the boards in the ocean
Two Volunteers on their boards

SUP rounded up the day in such an enjoyable way and we all were glad we came together on that day. Most volunteers fell asleep on the bus after an adventurous day. We – Adventure Korea – are really looking forward to seeing them all soon – no matter if on another adventure or just an enjoyable trip. Thanks to the Taean Government and our great volunteers for making this day so memorable and special. We will remember it for a long, long time and are looking forward to the next Voluntour.

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