I am beyond pleased to announce that Swell Skateboards is one of the newest members of the Conservation Alliance where we will be working with peer brands in the outdoor industry to build a new source of funding for groups working to protect threatened wild places throughout North America. So far this group has helped protect 73 million acres and 3,576 river miles, remove or halt 36 dams, purchase 18 climbing areas, designate five marine reserves and we are beyond thrilled to be contributing.
I will tell you why this is particularly important to me. As a self and institutionally designated environmentalist, I am put in a box. A big fat green box, and sometimes it feels like the only people that will listen to me are in a big fat green box of their own. Its worse than that phrase about important words ‘falling on deaf ears’. Its important words falling on perked up ears. That means at the end of the day we all just end up riling each other up and expend so much energy being outraged at the state of the planet until we burn out and run head on into the walls of our box I have renamed hopelessness.
Business are different. Business have voices that permeate boundaries. There are infinite ways for businesses to make meaningful statements, and align their values (and subsequently their consumer’s values) with the environment. It is a lot easier to make good choices when they are offered (to begin with) and easily accessible. I believe that given the option, people will choose to do good. But I also believe that people will choose convenience above all else, so how do you you make environmentalism convenient? Business. If I can just as easily buy a recyclable skateboard as I can one that will end up in a landfill, why not make the better choice?
So what if businesses only offered sustainable options?
Not only does joining this group emphasize our pledge to do our best at promoting wellness for the environment, but it amplifies our voice. We are joining hands with Patagonia, REI, North Face, Cliff Bar and many others to raise money and devote those funds to worthy projects, and impact small businesses couldn’t dream of making on their own. Also, as the Advocacy Director of Swell Skateboards I will be invited once a year to participate in conversations with policymakers on the hill to develop mutual goals for businesses government and the environment moving forward.
It has always been my goal to make a positive difference in the world and this feels like such a meaningful step towards accomplishing that goal. Truthfully, I have always regraded business as the enemy, but now I am starting to realize that this industry has the potential to be the earth’s biggest ally in making change and protecting natural spaces.