Each month we ask a new eco-maven 18 questions about his or her life, occupation, and advice for other like-minded people. This month we connected with Tanna Frederick, the face behind Project Save our Surf.
1.What is your name?
2.What is your occupation?
3.Do you have a “green” memory growing up?
There is nothing in my memories that are not green. I spent every weekend and holiday as a kid and family vacation in the woods of Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Badlands… that was the playground for the poor, so to speak, growing up in Iowa. It was a real shock to move to California and find out that due to urban sprawl, over development and the mass produced concrete “jungle,” there is no option for many of the kids except shopping malls and electronic devices to be the “go to” for an outdoor experience.
4.What’s your favorite meal?
My favorite meal is petite filet mignon steak and veggies from my family’s farm.
5.Where on the “green scale” do you fall?
For me I can’t go by a rating system, because I never feel I’m doing enough. I keep my carbon footprint as minimal as possible. I try to inspire and empower under privileged children and teens. My non-profit Project Save Our Surf has 0% overhead. 100% of all proceeds go straight to the organization, providing camps and water filters. Our mission is to educate on clean water and hygiene and give back to others, our eco system and especially the marine life.
6.Where do you turn for your news?
New York Times.
7.What is one environmental change you vow to make in the next year?
To provide 20 more water filter trips with my crew PSOS. The majority of the crew are teenagers from all over the world who selflessly travel to third world countries and provide water filters and supplies to families, schools, villages, and orphanages. We educate and teach the families, schools, orphanages and villages about hygiene and clean water.
8.What’s your favorite book?
My Co-Founder Shaun Tomson book Surfers Code.
9.How did Project Save Our Surf get started?
When I first started surfing I got really sick of surfing in dirty ocean water. It made me realize I need to make a difference in this world and help keep our ocean, eco system and marine life healthy, just like I did in Iowa. I need to be responsible for my backyard.
10.Has the ocean always had a special place in your heart?
Considering I never saw the ocean until I was 17, absolutely the ocean has always had a special place in my heart. I grew up with endless acres of corn and soybean, but the ocean was some mystical, magic ecological mystery to me. When I moved out to California I wanted nothing more then to explore and amour in the “ocean” I only dreamed of.
11.At what age did you begin surfing?
23 years old.
12.Can you talk a little bit about the different programs PSOS offers?
We have our PSOS camps where we provide a beach day taking under privileged children out surfing. We empower them with confidence and self-esteem.
We have our monthly beach clean ups up and down the California coast, where we educate youth, communities and schools on recycling, plastic and marine life. It’s important to educate and get the youth involved, since they are our future.
We also have our water filter programs we’re doing in Vietnam, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Fiji and starting in 2017 a new location in Guatemala. We have been traveling with PSOS crew and teenagers from all over the world to the third world countries. We educate the teens before traveling, teaching them about the water filters, how to install them and teach the families how to use and clean the systems. The teens also raise money to go on the trip and help raise funds for the water filters and supplies. We provide the supplies and water filters to schools, families, villages and orphanages. We work with the social and labor board in most of the countries we visit. The water filter trips are offered to all ages: teens, children and adults.
13.We’ve read a little about the water filter programs on your blog. What countries has PSOS contributed water filters to?
Nicaragua, El Salvador, Peru, Mexico, Vietnam, Costa Rica, Philippines, Thailand and Fiji. In 2017 we will be working with the social and labor board in Guatemala.
14.What’s one tip you can give to readers out there on conserving water at home?
With more and more areas struggling with droughts, conserving water is more important than ever. I always turn the water off when I’m brushing my teeth and washing my hands. I turn it back on when I need to rinse.
15.We’ve done our research on microbeads and the plastic pollution’s affect on our oceans. What have you found is a leading factor in polluting our oceans?
There are 5 huge plastic gyres floating in our ocean. The smallest one is the size of Texas, so many people are unaware of these plastic islands. The “garbage patches” are human creations, so I salute any non-profit that is trying to fight micro beads, plastic bottles, plastic trash bags. People don’t realize it’s the small, day to day tasks that lead to destruction. It’s a small minuscule change that builds up and leads to catastrophic change. If we can all make small changes in our day to day lifestyles, and recognize equality, even if it feels like your doing nothing, you are contributing to a massive wave by dropping your small penny into the eco-system. Projectsaveoursurf.org
16.For those who want to create a beach clean up at their local beach, how do you recommend they get together a group?
17.How can others get involved with PSOS?
Sign up for our monthly newsletters at projectsaveoursurf.org to receive upcoming beach clean ups, camps and water filter trips.
18.What’s next for PSOS?
Our crew is leaving December 26th to El Salvador to provide art supplies to a school we’re working with, water filters to families in the Los Floras area and clothing and sport equipment to an orphanage in La Libertad.