Tuesday, March 1, 2016

What's up and next?

Forever Shred was launched on Earth Day in 2011 as a way to share research conducted on two of my personal inspirations, snowboarding and environmental conservation. At that time, there were very few websites that covered the topic of environmental sustainability and snowboarding exclusively and my mission was to bring awareness to environmentally-friendly alternatives used in the industry and to encourage consumers to educate themselves on eco-friendly choices. The majority of my experience had been developing research to address water and land use impacts to natural resources, as part of my career. I played around with the idea of starting a website, but was intimidated and wondered if anyone would care about what I have to say. I was thinking that my “dream job” would be a Sustainability Director for a snowboard company, but those job are pretty scarce so I decided to make my own dream job and publish the research on Forever Shred, and my website was born. The articles range from board materials to off-the-grid applications of living and riding. The most popular articles have been on the concept of sustainability and snowboarding itself, what it means and how the industry is talking about it. I’d have to say that I put the most work into the article on the life cycle analysis of snowboard manufacturing and it gets tons of hits. Judging by feedback, I think that most people are curious to see what alternative materials are being used and understanding the real-life application of sustainability in the industry, whether it’s through ski areas adopting solar power and making energy adjustments or from re-purposing scrap into terrain parks. I try to interview people who are making a difference in the industry, but I also include my own research and thoughts on what some of the alternatives are and why they are sustainable. In the future, I hope to create outreach and educational content that I can pass out at local contests describing how people can learn about issues on their local mountain and make a difference at the community level. I hope that everyone who reads the website takes a second thought about their purchase and the ways companies are trying to be innovative in manufacturing their products and business models.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Marie-France Roy's full edit from The Little Things

Way to go Marie-France! Such amazing riding! Congratulations to Marie-France and Darcy for the awards they continue to receive for The Little Things. It is so promising to see the positive response for such a great cause and awareness.

Check out her full video edit:  Full-part, The Little Things

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Snowboarding's Dead, NC Killed it!

Alex Andrews stopped off in my neck of the woods to film the snowboarding scene around Boone and Banner Elk. Since the late 1960s, North Carolinas ski resorts have been filled with rippers who are willing to ride fake snow, little snow, icy crust, and wonderful (well…) snow. Beech Mountain is located near the former site of The Land of Oz, a theme park that closed in 1980. The Oz fantasy novels by Baum describe a world "protected from civilization by natural barriers" and that there were numerous pockets throughout the land of Oz cut off from the main culture. Yes, yes we are and gladly so.

North Carolina swirls with strange winds and breath-taking scenic views, all-the-while lulling you to its enchanted forests that might as well harbor gnomes and fairies. There is magic here. Riding here is the reason why I ride. Not because I want to go to the best place, or ride the sickest park, or hang with the pros. I want to ride here, then go hang out by the fire.

Take a glimpse of your next ride and shred NC.

Thanks Alex, view it here --------->>>>>>>Snowboarding is Dead

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Marie-France Roy - The Little Things

We all live together.

Most people can relate to our current technology-dependant lifestyle, our everyday grind, and such great advances that are made each year in technology, medicine, and communication. We work our fingers to the bone, it seems, and it is easy to get caught up and lose sight of our role in the world. We often have brief glimpses of our species' relation to other species on this planet. For me, I get blown away by bird migration, spring emergence, and camping. The sounds of nature when you go out for the first time in a while and shake off the city-it is deafening and still at the same time. The feeling you get when you are way up in the mountains and backcountry and you realize that you aren't the top predator. It is the sense of man in the world and it's larger than our living room or metro area.

Now step back and think about us as outdoor enthusiasts-be it snowboarders, skiers, climbers, fisherman, swimmers, paddlers, hunters-we put ourselves into these elements and benefit from those elements and natural resources. It is that connection that feeds our soul and is somewhat ingrained. Water sports-people are literally in the water, hunters wake up early to sync with animals' foraging behavior, and snowboarders' love of powdery snow.

Marie-France Roy and filmmaker Darcy Turenne's film The Little Things is coming out this fall and I am super-excited about it! The film focuses on what we can do to live sustainably with the earth and help the environment, but the focus is on us, her, her friends, and us collectively. The film educates and brings awareness to the actions people are taking themselves each day-the little steps. The Little Things we do. This is important because as human nature demonstrates, the competitive spirit of people often drives an "I do more than you" (I logged more days on the snow, I ran further, I have the best gear, I scored higher), go-big attitude that can prohibit people from trying. People feel it all the time. This film doesn't focus on the go-big. Will it be the go-big that saves us anyway? We can't wait for that…

Marie-France answered my questions about the film and shared her insight. I am so grateful for her to share her thoughts below.

1. Tell me about your approach to the film and its positive message. Where did that come from (choosing to focus on the positivity and small actions one can do)? Why go little as opposed to go big?

In my opinion, climate change is way too big of an issue to be resolved overnight and by one person alone. I believe it is humanity's biggest challenge with so many factors involved and there are still many people unaware of it all or simply feel detached from the natural world. The reality is, we are all part of the problem but we can all be a part of the solution. It will only get resolved if we all come together and act as a team, where everyone does whatever they can. If enough people do the little things they can and care, it will influence our families, our friends, the companies and business around us and eventually our political leaders to make the bigger scale changes that we really need. But we have to start at the bottom and there is still a lot of work to be done there.

2.The two movie teasers are made up of riding and people's stories and actions, but outside of the film what other conversations did the crew and riders have off-camera or conservations you've had in general help to demonstrate how little things you can do for the environment add up? For example the city you live in (or any city or community for that matter), have you witnessed individuals doing little things that caught on and grew into something larger

The movie will be filled with narration and stories from interviews we did with each rider, similar to Dr. David Suzuki in our latest trailer. Each rider brings in totally different perspectives, which shows that each person can make a difference in their own unique ways, depending on their situations and assets at the time. From Tamo Campos telling us about his last 2 years traveling on a veggie bus in Northern BC to learn about the pipelines and extraction projects in Northern BC, Gretchen explaining her 21 Day Reusable Challenge campaign or visit at The White House, Jeremy telling us why and how he founded Protect Our Winters (POW), Mike Basich showing us his handmade home from Sacred Geometry plans in Tahoe or Meghann O'Brien introducing us to her cedar weaving art and her reconnection with her aboriginal ancestor's way of living...etc... I find them all so different and so inspiring.

3.The Kickstarter campaign is a way for people to help. What other support or words of encouragement have you received that you may or may not have expected?

I have had so many of my friends contribute and people contacting me to help out.  For many of them, I had no idea they cared about the cause. A lot of parents expressed their encouragement and their wish for good quality of life for their children and grandchildren. The support has been amazing and it is so scary to stand up for something like that. It's almost become a taboo subject where people don't want to hear about it or you aren't supposed to say that you care unless you have zero footprint. We are all hypocrites in a way and I hope that people realize that if we need to have no footprint in order speak or take the charge, that might just mean Game Over for the Planet. We all need resources and energy to live, it's a matter of using them properly with long-term quality of life in mind. 

4. What has been your favorite thing about filming this movie as opposed to a feature-focus on riding specifically? 

It has been a challenging ride for sure, but such a rewarding one. I wanted to create something to give back to snowboarding while insuring that the next generations can enjoy it like I do. 

5. Any lessons learned? 

I learned so much in so many ways. I learned that big changes will only happen once the people demand it or once the situation gets bad enough that we are left with no other choices. I also learned a lot about the whole public relations side of it. You could be the most exemplary person out there or the most talented snowboarder in the world, but if you don't put yourself out there, nobody benefits from that inspiring potential. With social media these days, we can share knowledge and ideas in no time all the way around the world and I feel like we have to use it for the better good. 

6. What are your hopeful outcomes for the movie?

Our biggest hopes are that people feel inspired positively from these outstanding stories. The last thing we want is that people feel guilty or preached on. That leads nowhere. 

7. Can you describe for us how being outside in nature makes you feel? 

It makes me feel alive and the happiest I could be. I have been spending a lot of time on my computer everyday lately for this film and whenever I get the chance to go snowboarding or go hike in the forest, it's like a recharge of nutrients and energy. Many people forget but we are nature too and we all directly depend on it.  It's where we are meant to be!

All proceeds of the film will go towards Protect our Winters and the David Suzuki Foundation.

Make sure you check out the Kickstarter page here ------->Kickstarter Projects The Little Things Movie and consider pledging. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Be About It Now

Chelsea posted this story on me last year on her amazing blog called Be About It Now.
Please check it out! Just a little bit of background on why I started this blog. Hope you are having a great winter!!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Beyond Boarding

Make sure you check out the good folks at Beyond Boarding to take the pledge towards making positive change through humanitarian and environmental activisim.  I took the pledge towards awareness and education through keeping up this blog. Believe it or not, keeping this blog fresh and updated is the hardest thing for me. That's not to say that tackling my transportation issue isn't easy, but I all ready have an addictive competition to recycle, compost, and have captured the low-hanging fruit at home (that's another post). I could stand to make a capital investment in sealing my ducts (discovered during an energy audit) and it would be awesome to install solar since we have a great system where I live (I currently purchase green power through my distributor)…those things will come.

I would like to continue my efforts in research, so there you go…my pledge to keep this going. I encourage you to make a pledge! Even if it's a small one, the power of one is where it's at.

Check it out here ----->> Beyond Boarding