The California Fires and the Trump Administration

Driving by one of my favorite places in the world, Rincon Point, there is evidence of the fires and floods everywhere. I am happy to see some green coming through, but it also feels pretty hopeless when thinking about what our country’s “leadership” has been doing—or rather not doing—the last few years and how on this path we’re just going to keep seeing more fires, floods, and pollution. I just read this article by National Geographic journalist Sara Gibbens who wrote about 15 ways the Trump administration has changed environmental policies in this article. Here are a few of the highlights, or I guess we should say lowlights. Clean air U.S. pulls out of Paris Climate AgreementTrump EPA poised to scrap clean power plan. You just can’t make coal great againEPA loosens regulations on toxic air pollutionRescinding methane-flaring rulesTrump announces plan to weaken Obama-era fuel economy rules. Fortunately, California and a lot of other states aren’t listening to him.Trump revokes flood standards accounting for sea-level riseWaters of the U.S. Rule revocation reducing protection for federal waterNOAA green lights seismic airgun blasts for oil and gas drilling that disorients and harms whales and dolphinsInterior Department relaxes sage grouse protection, which is really about land use rightsTrump officials propose changes to handling the Endangered Species Act, also really about land use and if it is ok to drill and destroy it.Migratory Bird Treaty Act reinterpretation (same as above)Plans to dramatically downsize two national monuments, like what he did Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah, which he opened for mining and drilling companies in 2017.Executive order calls for sharp logging increase...

Ocean Pollution First Hand

We’ve all read about or seen videos and photos of marine animals suffering the effects of pollution and global warming. We recently experienced something that brought it home in a way none of us had experienced before. It happened during sunset, after the day Luke collaborated with the Wilderness Nature Project in Santa Barbara and organized a day trip to the beach for a group of sixteen 4th graders to help with a beach clean up. We had finished surfing and were doing our normal end-of-the-day trash patrol, when there, not ten feet away, was a baby seal staring at us….with fishing line wrapped around his neck and a huge net dragging behind him as he crawled along on the sand. The plastic line had cut into his body and cuts covered his body where the constant pull of the ropes against him had created large swaths of broken skin. The blood shone through his dark fur. His big brown eyes looked innocent and wise at the same time. “How can you humans do this to us?” he seemed to be asking. Though you are not normally supposed to interact with sea life, we knew that with the sun setting, our phone calls to animal rescue would go unanswered until the next day. And the next day would be too late for this little guy. We knew he did not stand a chance if we just left him alone. My aunt, Nicole MacNaughton, was able to get ahold of a friend who is a naturalist and she suggested that if possible, we gently cover the head of the seal...

5 Things We Love About Vissla

Yesterday was super fun! First we got in a surf at Salt Creek. Then we shot some drone photos for M.M. Studios, and then we got to go tour the headquarters of Stokehouse Unlimited – Vissla, D’Blanc, and Amuse Society where we learned about their cool eco initiatives! Vince de la Pena, their VP of Global Marketing was a seriously awesome tour guide! He introduced us to every single person in the office that day from Chris Evans, the VP of International Business and Sustainability Initiatives, to Rob McCarty, the VP of Design, and lots of other team members. We even got to meet the CEO, Paul Naude, who was really encouraging of our vision of young people making the world a better place. (We did some research and he’s talked about the surf industry being “built on creativity, fearlessness, and the naivete of youth” so maybe that’s why he seemed to like us.) It was really inspiring to meet so many people who are doing what they love for a company that seems like it is returning surfing to its roots: connecting people who love riding waves, the ocean, and talking story. We also got some good ideas for future careers. Here are five things we love about Vissla: They took the time to talk to us, some “kids” who are just starting our dream. We talked about the future of sustainably produced clothing, the true cost of things, and shorts made out of renewable resources such as coconut fiber and recycled items such as soda bottles. Their office is sick! It’s super modern and clean and filled with upcoming designs and samples. And...

Visiting Surfer Magazine Headquarters

For spring break we got to go on a road trip with our moms and our grandma. The dads couldn’t make this one but fortunately we’ve gotten to hang out with some cool dad friends along the way, including our cousin Sean who is about to have a baby. Today we got to visit Tony Perez, a family friend who is also the General Manager of Surfer Magazine, Surfer the Bar, and the Surfer Awards, at his office in Carlsbad, CA. His office is super cool with ping pong tables and a huge skate ramp. Since surfing and lots of the other action sports companies they represent would not exist without a healthy climate and environment, we’ve always appreciated Surfer’s support of environmental causes and campaigns. Why do we like the Surfer team? Beside the fact that they love all the sports we love? They have saved Trestles! And there was a good article in the December issue of Surfer, What will having a pro-industry climate change denier at the head of the Environmental Protection Agency mean for surfers? by Todd Prodanovich. We hope Surfer will continue to do good things for the environment. We love Surfer! For more #companieswelove, visit us at...

Thank you Suga!

  I like to surf. Having a yoga mat made out of wetsuits makes me happy for companies that make cool products. And it will make me want to stretch more so I surf better. Thank you...

Thank You Patagonia

In fifth grade I did a report on the Four Corners – a region of the United States consisting of the southwestern corner of Colorado, southeastern corner of Utah, northeastern corner of Arizona, and northwestern corner of New Mexico. I haven’t been there yet but I hope to go one day and I was thankful that President Obama designated 1.35 million acres of the area as the Bears Ears National Monument. Many companies that wanted to start drilling and exploiting the environment there for their businesses were very mad. The Governor of Utah recently asked Trump to reverse Obama’s proclamation. Patagonia President and CEO, Rose Marcario, said, “Because of the hostile environment they have created and the blatant disregard for the Bears Ears National Monument and other public lands, the backbone of our business, Patagonia will no longer attend the Outdoor Retailer show in Utah.  We are confident that other outdoor retailers and manufacturers will join us in moving to a state that values our industry and promotes public lands conservation.” Lots of other companies joined in the protest and the Outdoor Retailer Show pulled out of Utah so my cousins and I made this video to thank...

Companies We Love

We believe that one of the things we can all do to create a better world is to vote with our dollars. Make sure you know about the way the products you buy are made and that it’s in line with what you care about. Check out our Companies We Love campaign for ideas you might like too!...
We Need an EPA Director Who Cares About the Environment

We Need an EPA Director Who Cares About the Environment

One hundred seventy+ environmental organizations have joined together to oppose Pruitt’s nomination to head EPA. In a letter to supporters, the media and Congress, here’s what they conclude about his nomination: President-elect Trump’s nominee to head the EPA, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, has actively worked against the mission of the agency he has been nominated to lead. He should be rejected by the Senate. Scott Pruitt’s views and actions run counter to the EPA’s critical mission to protect our health and the environment. He is unfit to administer the laws he would be entrusted to enforce. I know we’re just kids, but this just doesn’t make sense. I think we’re going to have to be part of the #checksandbalances that make our country great. We’re talking about ideas and trying to figure out how we can have the most impact. Got ideas? Join EcoKid and let us know! Meanwhile thanks to the NRDC, Moms Clean Air Force, and the hundreds of other organizations who care about clean air, food, water, and life more than they care about...
The Snow is Back

The Snow is Back

I got to go up to Lake Tahoe and Truckee (where I was born!) last weekend during a big storm. It was good to see so much snow. It hasn’t been like that in years due to the CA drought (But there’s no climate change. Not!). I took this photo with my new drone camera above Donner Lake. It was kind of sketchy because of the wind so I had to do it quickly. Check out our friend Jeremy Jone’s organization called, POW, which stands for Protect Our Winters. Just because there is good snow this year we’ve got to all rally together and help stop global warming....
Do the McConkey EcoChallenge with Your School

Do the McConkey EcoChallenge with Your School

We were all lucky to grow up with the famous free skier Shane McConkey as another uncle-kind-of-person in our life. We knew he was a big deal to people in the ski industry, but really we just knew him as the fun dad who liked to run around with us, be goofy, and play the game “Would you rather….” His and our favorite question was always, “Would you rather stay in California the rest of your life with an awesome home, or travel the whole world forever but not be able to come back to California ever?” There were also a lot of questions about “inappropriate” things we probably shouldn’t put here. Shane passed away when we were all really little. His wife, our Aunti Sherry, is awesome and she is doing so much to honor his life and carry on for their daughter, our friend Ayla. Check out The Shane McConkey Foundation and get your school involved in the McConkey...