A college student named Kim Soo-bin in Seogwipo, Jeju Island has been plogging – a term for a combination of jogging with picking up litter – on the island’s beaches since last October. It was her efforts to protect the environment, which were inspired by a large number of disposable products from increased deliveries since the outbreak of COVID-19. Kim tries to cook, rather than getting food deliveries, and uses reusable bottles and containers for coffee or take-outs.
A special team of reports at the Dong-A Ilbo conducted research on changes in consumer awareness caused by COVID-19, along with a big data analysis company, VAIVcompany, and SM C&C’s survey platform, Tillion Pro. According to the survey, the newcomers – a new type of consumers who lead the period of consumption transformation – value the environment and mobile-based online activities.
According to VAIVcompany’s analysis of 10 billion social media posts, the number of times that phrases related to reducing waste were used increased by seven percent from February 2020 when COVID-19 first broke out to January 2021 compared to the year before. The figure soared 292 percent from February 2021 to May 2021.
The number of times that home-cooked meals were mentioned decreased 65 percent in the last four months after their brief popularity with the fourth wave of COVID-19. During the same period, such phrases as working from home, staying home, and hiking were mentioned much less frequently than before.
“With the outbreak of COVID-19, creating new added values that encompass both online and offline in line with environment-friendly and ethical values has become more important,” said Professor of Business Administration Suh Yong-gu of Sookmyung Women's University.