In October last year, Ethan (aka Ebot) took part in a Postcrossing meeting in his hometown of Tampa, Florida, his first time attending one. The postcrossers there were charmed by this young postcrossers’s curiosity about the world, geography and stamps, and his enthusiasm for postcards! They suggested we interviewed him on the blog, so here he is, to tell us all about his favorite postcard, and the green initiative that he started together with his brother some years ago!
- How did you come across Postcrossing? What got you hooked?
I came across Postcrossing as I was searching for pen pals a few years ago. After I looked into it a bit, I was instantly hooked because the thought of sending and receiving postcards from all over the world blew my mind!
- Do you have any other interesting hobbies?
My favorite hobby is playing drums. I’ve been doing it for about 6 years and recently got my own electric drum set which I practice on almost every day!
- Show us your mailbox, your mailman/mailwoman, your post office or the place where you post or keep your postcards!
I store most of the postcards I’ve received in special cardboard boxes I created myself out of shipping boxes.
- Show and tell us about your favorite received postcard to date, and what makes it special.
My favorite postcard I’ve received during my time on Postcrossing is a card from a postal museum in Hungary. The front of the card is amazing with all the vintage postal contraptions and there is a spectacular moon landing themed stamp on the back!
- Have you been surprised by any place that you have received a postcard from or sent a postcard to?
I was surprised to get an amazing card from Kazakhstan after 63 days!
- Have you met any other members in real life?
Yes! I’ve been able to go to two Postcrossing meetup events in my area. One was in October 2019, and the other in January 2020. Both of the events were very fun and I even designed a meetup card for one of them!
- Is there anything that you are passionate about?
My brother and I started our environmental organization called “Green Gasparilla”, about 5 years ago. The Gasparilla Parade occurs every January in Tampa. It is a mock pirate evasion where one main pirate ship and a few thousand other boats pass through the channel throwing cheap plastic strands of beads over the water to people on shore. As you can imagine, not everyone has perfect aim and over 50% of the beads land in the water and sink to the bottom. The goal of our organization is to combat this very harmful pollution, by stopping it and holding diver cleanups.
In the past few years, we have held 3 diver cleanup events with over 30 divers each time. Also, within the past year we have been able to work with the mayor of Tampa to create a campaign called “Bead Free Bay” to educate citizens of Tampa on the proper way to safely celebrate the parade without throwing beads over the water. We even created a PSA video that was posted all over the city’s social media.
Our work is definitely not done, but we have made lots of progress. I hope that this inspires people to speak up and do something if our ecosystem is being exploited in their community.