Blog #1 – Kane Camacho
December 25th, 2016 was my First day working for St. Andrews beach club as a cabana boy/lifeguard. I had only taken the job because one of my close friends had basically offered me a position to “sit on the beach and get paid”. “Sign me up “I said, didn’t even hesitate.
After a few months of working there, they hired a new employee named Bryan. Bryan and I never got to meet or work with each other for about a month since we were both “new guys” so our boss wouldn’t schedule us together. However, my other coworker, Troy, who was training Bryan always had something to say about the new employee.
“Bryan is one one interesting fellow”, “Bryan is a vegetarian”,
“Bryan runs on the beach everyday”. But the one line he always used to describe him was “Bryan hates plastic and doesn’t like to see anyone using it”.
Finally the day came that me and Bryan worked together for the first time. After talking to him for a bit it turns out he was pretty cool! We had a lot of similar interests and just got along with each other very well. Come lunch time, I whip out my plastic bag to grab my sandwich and I just see Bryan staring at the plastic bag in my hands. He gave me a very informative lecture about the way he feels about single use plastic and how it’s destroying our oceans daily. From this day on, slowly but surely I started noticing how much single use plastic we as humans actually use in one day to then be thrown out and never used again. Heck, he even got me to completely stop using water bottles and carry a refillable bottle. He was the only person I had ever met that said they cared about the environment and actually showed and made and difference about it everyday. Whenever we would have lunch breaks he would use his time do go for a short run on the beach and pick up bits of plastic he found while walking. He is so passionate about not using plastic that I started to think that he is some sort of modern day Jesus trying to help the earth and spread his message. I mean he even looked like “Jesus”. Slim build, long hair, beard.
One day Bryan said that he could see us working on a project together in the future. Didn’t know what it was going to be, but I had the same feeling as well.
A few months later Bryan says he wants to walk from Jacksonville to Miami picking up plastic spreading awareness for this issue. 400 miles in 20 days. My Other coworker thought Bryan was completely crazy for wanting to attempt this and said that it wasn’t physically possible. Now I’ve never been one to squash people’s dreams so I hyped Bryan up and would help him think of ways to do this efficiently and effectively. This was the birth of plastic symptoms. Bryan did his first walk solo, then followed up 2 years later and did another walk except this time was around the entire coast of FL and he had a partner this time.
We (Tona) decided to sponsor his walk and made some sweet custom merch that he wore on his walk to promote his non profit organization, Plastic Symptoms. The designs of the current Treat Oceans Nice Again merch was created in collaboration with plastic symptoms to create a T shirt with a powerful message that helps portray what Bryan and his company is all about. Treating Oceans Nice Again.