Zachary Merrick to the outside world is mostly known for his role in the band All Time Low as their shy but incredibly talented bassist. Outside of the music world however, one of Zack’s passions is beach cleanups and sustainability. Over the last year I’ve seen him consistently advocate for and post about sustainable causes. He’s used his platform for good and posts often about his daily quick beach cleanups. His dedication to the cause is displayed prominently on his left hand, a tattoo of a treasure chest filled with and surrounded by trash. It’s his constant reminder of why we care about this cause so much. Zack inspires me constantly and I hope he does the same for all of you. -Kalei
What got you involved in beach cleanups and sustainability?
I got involved in beach clean ups and sustainability after meeting Al Smith at a get together in Kailua. I found out we grew up in the same town and even went to the same high school, Towson High. Al invited me to clean the beach one day and I was crushed by how much trash we found in just a few hours of work going up the windward side. Al opened my eyes on why this was happening, how to prevent it and also find economical solutions.
What keeps you motivated?
I am an avid beach goer and love to be active with my workouts at the beach. What keeps me motivated is how much knowledge we can spread to people in order to keep our beaches clean for our community and visitors alike.
For people that want to become involved what do you suggest?
To all the people that want to get involved, there are many outlets to use. Surfrider foundation, 808 cleanups, and Sustainable coastlines just to name a few. You can also just take a walk around with a bucket or bag and pick up rubbish.
What about for those that don’t live near the beach?
Take a walk around your neighborhood or park. You will be amazed by what you find. You also may even be able to reuse or repurpose something you find!
For those that may not see the importance of this issue what do you suggest?
If you don't see the importance of the issue, I think you should educate yourself on the actual issue and then decide your stance. Knowledge is very powerful and I think we tend to do things first before asking or becoming educated on issues that pertain to all of us.
What gets you up out of bed in the morning?
The rays from the sun hit my feet in the morning and get me up as well as remind me why this planet is so beautiful and needs protecting.
What sets HOA apart from the pack?
Hawaii Ocean Ambassadors is my family, we want to teach everyone how to do little steps to help prevent bigger problems as well as have some fun doing it. No stress, no competition, just hard work and dedication to keeping our communities beaches clean.
What strides in your day to day life are you making to reduce your plastic intake?
As a touring musician I have been getting other members of the music world to cut down on single use plastics on stage as well as when traveling. Using your own bags at stores, buying glass and aluminum products over plastic that can be reduced and reused.
What do you suggest for people that want to start reducing plastic in their daily lives?
Try keeping all the plastic you buy that is single use. Live with it and see how it piles up so quickly and really becomes a burden in your everyday life.
If there’s one thing you want people to remember after reading this, what is it and why?
We all share one planet, so we should start taking better care of it before it's too late.