Although we enjoy seeing Korean celebrities on stage or in our favorite dramas, we're equally pleased to see them promoting causes they believe in. 2020 has been faced with many problems, but climate change remains one of the most critical issues facing the world today—who recalls the devastating wildfires in Australia earlier this year? More and more Korean celebrities are talking about the environment and using their platform to support environmentalism both in Korea and on a global scale, whether it encourages us to take small eco-friendly actions in our everyday lives or advocates at the level of government policy. Read on to see what 14 stars have done to help the world and most importantly, get motivated by their tips to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle!
To get us started, MAMAMOO gave the issue of climate change a voice through their 2019 hit "HIP," the first K-pop music video to visually discuss the issue. One of the scenes of the MV shows Wheein at a climate rally, dressed in full protest gear and showing signs asking for action on Earth. It's an essential reminder in a song about being yourself that we should support and speak up for causes that we care about.
It's hard to top rom-com queen Gong Hyo Jin when it comes to love for the environment. In 2010, the actress published Gong Hyo Jin's Diary, a collection of personal essays and observations on nature and the environment. This book contains tips and actions that we can all take in our everyday lives to protect our world. But Gong's activism doesn't end there as a model and as someone who cares about the Environment, she was disturbed by the fact that the fashion industry is constantly pushing people to buy new things—so she created a fashion company called "Super Magic Factory" that transforms old materials into new items. In 2019, she gave a keynote speech at the Herald Design Forum on "Do We Need Another Planet?" "She urged us to take more responsibility for our decisions, to become more conscious and to act when we can, and to reflect that the most important thing is to be aware of it at all times."
BTS pulls off their stylish design advocacy as ambassadors for two eco-friendly campaigns in the automotive world. The boys have partnered with Formula E as ambassadors for the world's first electric car racing championship, endorsing Formula E's vision for a world that combats air pollution with more environmentally friendly vehicles.
The group is also the brand ambassador for the renewable energy ventures of the Korean car manufacturer Hyundai. For Hyundai's IONIQ electric vehicle, BTS released a full-length song and music video named "I'm On It." Hyundai's state-of-the-art NEXO model is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell—meaning its only emission is water. BTS' artistic spirit complements Hyundai's efforts in a variety of short videos. As the Hyundai website says, "BTS is inspired by the beauty of nature and has teamed up with Hyundai to create some gifts for the Earth."
The actor has used its platform to contribute to real change, Ryu Jun Yeol is an active climate activist. After filming "Youth Over Flowers" in Africa, Ryu became involved in the environment and has since taken part in environmental campaigns and even written a column in Huffington Post Korea to address how plastics affect marine ecosystems. Ryu made a donation earlier this year to help in Australia's wildfires, and he was a frequent donor to Greenpeace. He also regularly participates in Greenpeace projects and has also narrated a documentary on climate change for the Korean Educational Broadcasting System! Ryu encouraged the Korean government to take measures to eliminate disposable plastics and worked hard to put his everyday life into line with his values, avoiding straws or plastic cups to live a plastic-free life. Ryu also sheds light on environmental issues through his Instagram as follows:
Hey Seoulmates, are you motivated by that? What celebrity you admire with environmental awareness? In the comments below, share your favorite ideas on a more environmentally friendly lifestyle!