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.