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2022 The Sungkyun Times Essay Contest

Kim Da-bin (Editor-in-Chief)

For the 2022 Essay Contest, 43 Kingos from various majors and nationalities applied, showing off their writing skills. This year’s Essay Contest topic was “Are Tumblers Truly Eco- Friendly?: Actions We Should Take as a College Student for a Sustainable Future.” Environmental issues have emerged as severe problems worldwide, and as a result, many efforts have been made to protect the environment. A popular method includes using tumblers instead of disposable cups, which reduces plastic usage. However, there has been a debate over whether tumblers are genuinely eco-friendly. Rather than focusing on their original purpose, nowadays many tend to focus on their aesthetics. Also, outdated tumblers are often thrown away, becoming trash, which ironically harms the environment. Therefore, the Sungkyun Times (SKT) wanted to ask Kingos: “What is the true meaning of environmental protection that you can practice as a college student?” The SKT hopes that Kingos can develop their thoughts through reading the essays presented in the following pages. Thank you to all the Kingos that participated in the 2022 Essay Contest.

Professor Park Yu-jong (English Language and Literature)

This year’s SKT essay contest asked students to present their opinions on a much-debated, yet unresolved problem — can we reduce plastic pollution and ultimately save the earth by using reusable products? While going over the 43 submitted entries this year, my initial thought was, “Wow, students are expressing similar ideas and opinions on this issue. How am I supposed to choose just two essays?” Most essays discussed the viability and effectiveness of using eco-friendly products for building a green future. Many suggested that our attitudes and lifestyles are more important in building a sustainable future than promoting the use of tumblers. Although the reviewers had a very difficult time choosing the winners, Hwang Dae-hyun and Kim So-yeon’s essays were chosen based on the following three criteria: 1) the originality of ideas, 2) creativity, and 3) grammatical clarity. Hwang’s essay was selected because of his idea that “humans are hardwired to seek instant gratification” and how reducing disposable products will take a great time before presenting a positive effect on the environment due to this human nature. The title “#Begone, the Era of Tumblers” of Kim’s essay caught our eyes in addition to the practical suggestions Kim made. Kim suggested that online secondhand platforms and social commerce platforms may be useful in saving the Earth for future generations. Congratulations to the two winners and let us hope that we put our words into action for change to happen!

Hwang Dae-hyun (Statistics)

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be a voice in environmental advocacy. There is much more we can do to pave the way and continue the works of the people before us.

Kim So-yeon (English Language and Literature)

It is an honor to be part of the winners of the 2022 essay contest. I really enjoyed writing about a topic I am passionate about.

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