by Liz Clark
After years of pondering the troubling state of our planet while sailing around the Pacific, I’ve come to believe that all our choices matter. From the laundry soap we choose to the local organic farmers we support to the surfboards we ride—it all matters! Instead of feeling powerless about the way the humans are treating the Earth and each other, we can start focusing our individual energy on positive ways to create change. When we flex our power as consumers to support people and products who share a similar vision and intention for a better world, we start to feel less alone in this battle. This is our opportunity for daily activism. Everyday actions for Earth accumulate, and as subtly, yet powerfully as a rising tide we can begin to make a difference.
I’m constantly looking deeper into my own needs and actions to see where I can do better for the Earth. I started eating a plant-based diet, eliminated cleaning and beauty products that use harmful chemicals, and choosing products with mindful packaging. Before buying something new, I ask myself, “Do I really need this?” And before throwing something away, I think, “How can I reuse this?” In the constant work aboard Swell, I find that the more mindfully I go about fixing, building, or modifying something, the longer it lasts, the more proficiently it works, and the better I feel about it! Even the intention and spirit and in which things are created, truly matters.
Surfing provides us with a deep gratitude for ocean. We are so lucky that there’s always another swell on the way to offer joy, relief, adrenaline, cleansing, exercise, friendships, challenge, and a great reason to immerse ourselves in nature. Surfers can’t help but love clean oceans and fresh air. With all that the sea provides me, I’m so happy to support the search for less environmentally harmful ways to ride waves in return. I’ve watched Jake Moss fine-tune his shaping materials into what are now most certainly some of the most mindful, high-performance eco-boards on the planet. Putting these boards under my feet feels like a positive collaboration with like-minded friends and the ocean itself. It feels right. I believe that matters too.
We have sorely underestimated the value in doing right by the Earth. Many native cultures understood the connection between how they treated their resources and how they thrived as a people. They knew that they were only doing harm to themselves if they took shortcuts or acted without respect for the Source of all life. When we pan out and look from a bird’s eye view, the lines begin to blur. Really, there is no mine and yours. All of it is ours. There is no boundary or separation between us and it. We are that. We all have this one beautiful blue and green ‘ship’ to maintain and keep us sustained–to protect, enjoy, cherish, and celebrate! That’s why the surfboard we ride truly matters.
Visit Liz Clark’s website here to keep up with her amazing adventures!
Liz has been nominated for National Geographic’s Adventurer of the year 2015! You can vote for her everyday until the end of January here. Please help us spread the word about this amazing, passionate woman!