When it comes to environmental stewardship, the world of action sports are often at the forefront. In part this may be because many athletes depend on the natural environment to participate (snow, oceans etc.), yet there is also something to be said for our proximity to nature and how it informs our understanding of its importance. Given this, it is not at all surprising that action sports athletes and companies have taken a lead role where conservation is concerned.
Protect Our Winters (POW), is a non-profit environmental organization comprised of athletes, companies, and businesses who are a part of the winter sport community. POW is on the frontlines fighting climate change through advocacy, public education, and community projects. While now global in their reach, POW has come a long way since 2007, when snowboarder Jeremy Jones (and founder of Jones Snowboards) started it.
When it comes to the environment and climate change, POW means business. With the midterm elections around the corner, and the US at a pivotal point in terms of the kinds of actions leaders are willing to take, one POW funded PSA has an important role in educating and mobilizing voters around climate change. This of course is part of the larger POW project aimed at public education and leadership. For an example of this work, check out their incredibly moving “Dear Winter” piece as it captures our powerful relationship with nature and snow while reminding us of our necessary role as environmental stewards. In addition, as a part of national voter registration day POW partnered with Burton and Kevin Lyons on a custom long-sleeve shirt with all profits going toward POW and the important work they are doing.
In a time when far too many athletes, companies, and organizations are content to sit on the sidelines rather than risk alienating potential customers and fans, POW is taking a strong and necessary stand, stating on the POW action fund website “In a year where taking action on climate is of paramount importance, we’ve chosen to embrace action over apathy. We are turning our passion into purpose and jumping into the political fray.” This is what leadership looks like. In these midterm elections, and beyond, demand this from those who claim to serve you. The sports we love, the places we do them, the well-being of our species, and our planet, demand we act.
Want to help POW take action? Hop on-line and check out their climate activist roadmap, full of individual and collective steps that will make a difference. Wherever you live take action, vote, and be heard on issues of climate change.