USA TODAY US Edition
Action sports backing clean air, water, snow
Pro skateboarder Ryan Sheckler led a tree-planting ceremony in Costa Rica on Friday to kick off a reforestation program that aims to plant 35,000 trees in 2011.
The Buy a Shoe, Plant a Tree initiative is the brainchild of Pierre Andre Senizergues, owner and CEO of skateboard shoe manufacturer Etnies (pronounced ET-knees) and was done in conjunction with the La Reserva Foundation and the local Maleku tribe.
“Our goal is to plant 35,000 trees this year and create a forest 10 kilometers long along the river,” Senizergues said. “Allowing the Maleku tribe to profit by having enhanced bio-diversity, cleaner water and more canopy cover on which they rely.”
Increasingly, environmental sustainability is a priority for many action sports brands. “We need clear air to skate, clean water to surf and clean snow to ride,” said Bob Carlson, co-founder of the Arbor Collective, a California-based company that uses sustainable bamboo in its skateboard, snowboard and apparel products.
Skeptics might call such tactics good public relations, but for athletes like Sheckler, there is real value in taking steps to improve the planet.
“When (Etnies) said, ‘Buy a shoe, plant a tree,’ it really hit me. It’s not just for Costa Rica; we’re doing this for the world,” he said.