Surfing & Sustainability with Sierra: Q&A
Lauren MacGregor
Lauren MacGregor
Contributing Author

The waves of the Wallex U.S. Open weren't the only force to be reckoned with last week! With Sierra Prescott, LA-based photographer and skateboarder, and the World Surf League, we proved that passion and sustainability can ride the same wave. To celebrate that, we spoke with Sierra about her journey and how it aligns with our collective mission to create a brighter, greener future.

Hi Sierra! Tell us more about who you are, your background, and how you got involved with Boxed Water.

Hi :-) My name is Sierra, I’m a photographer and skateboarder born and raised in Los Angeles. I took my first photo at 5 and picked up a skateboard when I was 9. I am super fortunate to have both lifelong passions morph into a dual career that I’m still growing through and learning more about every day. Over the last decade, my social media presence has connected me with rad brands whom I look up to and get to support— Boxed Water is a BIG one. They are doing so many things right, from being the most sustainable packaging in the water aisle to sourcing their water locally to reduce their overall carbon footprint and additionally by giving back through organizations like 1% For the Planet. Their values align seemingly with mine, making them a brand that I proudly stand by. 

 

Skateboarding and surfing are deeply connected to the thrill of riding waves, albeit in different forms. How did your passion for skateboarding and/or photography lead you to become a part of the surf community and embrace environmental consciousness?

Skateboarding evolved from surfing, inspiring style and tricks along the way. Many of the first skateboarders were also GNARLY surfers, so the two definitely have always been quite synonymous. Similarly, trash is found on/in both our playgrounds. Curbs live next to street gutters and parking lots by nature, and obnoxious bouts of trash get in the way of skating. It’s just about always plastic water bottles and discarded food wrappers. They need to be swept away to clean the skate area, similar to plastic affecting the surf experience and its wildlife. That simple connection was enough for me to go NUTS when I see litter, and absolutely just confused as to how people are still leaving their trash behind or blatantly tossing it out of their vehicles. We have only one Earth, it’s really selfish to trash it. After coming to terms with the current state of the problem, it’s been pretty easy to keep it in the forefront of my mind.

 

Transitioning to a more sustainable lifestyle can be overwhelming at first. What advice do you have for those looking to adopt eco-friendly practices into their daily lives?

Do what you can, everything helps. The big ones always apply, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. That can be applied across the board—shorter showers, reusable canisters and opting ‘no’ to straws and plastic cutlery whenever possible. Beyond that, a lot of knowing what to do comes from being informed. Keeping up on which companies are operating sustainably and shifting over to predominately supporting them is a great first start. Second, limiting single use. Once you become aware of how wildly rampant SU is, it will start to haunt you and making the simple shift to reusable bags and making real time choices will become easier and easier. I genuinely GASP when I see a business still using styrofoam- economics can’t be the only issue anymore! Thankfully, there are programs out there to help businesses make the switch. Knowledge is key.

How do you bridge the gap between your passion for the skate/surf community and your passion for being environmentally conscious?

Very intentionally. It was a conscious shift to want to work exclusively with like minded companies and use my voice to share their message. Touching back on the above, I like the continuous circle, the keeping it ‘in the family’ support of brands, companies, and organizations that are all forward thinkers. Entities and groups working for the earth and not just a paycheck, giving back and taking little. A little goes a long way and if we’re all trying our best, it will show in time. The more I can do to influence others to follow a sustainable lifestyle, the better.

Can you share your favorite environmental organizations should fans want to get involved and/or donate to a good cause?

Clean ups!! Whenever and wherever, and I mean that. Surfrider does a ton of public beach cleanups, and I’ll be hosting east side meet ups. But beyond that, if you know you’re able to wash your hands/have hand sanitizer handy, and you spot some lonely garbage, do a solid and grab it and toss it! I appreciate it so much! Also check out ocean friendly restaurants for loads of resources on supporting ocean friendly restaurants. Ironically, and with no relation, I also donate monthly the Sierra Club, helping them deepen their sustainable quest. Go to https://www.sierraclub.org/ for more info on ways to give and/or get involved.

Where can our community find you online?

Skate Instagram: @sierra_prescott
Photo Instagram: @sierraprescottphoto

P.S. Feel free to reach out if you want to join my urban clean ups :)

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