While up in Norway we managed to catch a ride with one of the most legendary snowboarders, Terje Haakonsen, at Method Mag’s Legend Session. He is notorious for his “sprocking cat” riding, setting record height airs and filming timeless snowboard video parts. He tears it up a on a surfboard too!

Terje’s strong mindset against foreign entities tarnishing the purity of snowboarding was made most clear by his boycotting of the Olympics. He promotes ethical riding that respects both our lifestyle and the nature on which it relies. That’s why we at RideWithLocal think he makes the perfect role model.

His scrutiny of industry began around the mid 90’s when he left Norway to find that all was not green and clean in this world. He realized the planet is overrun by an illogical process that is slowly destroying it. He remembers back in 1995 when someone jokingly asked in an interview if shopping hurt his credit card and he astutely answered, “No, it hurts the environment.” He knows we are not going to toss out our credit cards and stop shopping, but we can make smarter purchases that damage less or even mend the state of the planet.

Terje surfing at Stad in Norway

As they say: “When Terje speaks, you listen”. Here’s some of his suggestions:

If you want better products you need to demand them. You demand them by buying them. The market is driven by consumers. Believe the hype about organic food. Don’t let quality fall to the way side to save a few cents. We will pay the price for this later. Buy from ecological supermarkets. Support brands that keep solid ethical guidelines and avoid the ones that don’t. Be careful of the brands that create an organic line just to seize a market share. Even big bio products is better than none. Each bio product is one less production that contaminates the watershed and the water is our main resource that needs to be protected to have a healthy environment.

Believe the hype about organic food. Don’t let quality fall to the way side to save a few cents. We will pay the price for this later.

To add to this subject, I think we should stop using the term “organic food”, but “normal food” instead. As for the other non- organic food, that should be referred to as “conventional foods”. But people need to remember that organic labelled food does not automatically mean it’s healthy or good quality. There are “organic” farmers that use loop holes and produce food of low quality or is chemically-ridden so you really need to stay informed and not be a sucker for labels.

Think about what you eat and don’t take it for granted. Meat eating is a big problem with respect to water consumption, greenhouse gases, land use and the health of our waterways when produced at intense levels.

If you are going to eat meat, keep it local.

Locally produced meat has less antibiotics due to the fact that it doesn’t rely on industrial production that leads to health problems in the animals, which then need to be treated with medications. The more antibiotics we use, thestronger the bacteria become and the weaker the effectiveness of the pharmaceuticals become. Keep meat eating for special occasions. Make sure it’s locally produced to support the local industries as opposed to the industrial alternative.

Politics is key to accessing power and industry influence. Industrial methods are the main place where a transformation needs to happen since its effects eclipse those of individuals’ buying decisions. Local politics and associations are a great way to start. I am currently an ambassador for local trash sorting efforts called the Infinitum Movement that are helping create incentives for recycling. In Norway, 87% percent of beverage containers are recycled due to incentives and organized infrastructure. Stricter rules need to be put in place and better education needs to start with the youth to create the right habits. Boycotting brands that don’t respect this is important too. You are responsible for what the result of your purchase does. And avoid plastic bottles (as he sips from his metal refillable bottle).

 Terje’s shaka approved maneuvers from the homies. Photo by Andrey Pirumov

Terje’s shaka approved maneuvers from the homies. Photo by Andrey Pirumov

The most important thing to keep clean is our water. Think of the everyday products and what chemicals and plastics are inside them, like yoursoap. Think about what is in your toothpaste because you put it in your mouth everyday and it will end up in the water too. The waxes we use can also have some pretty nasty stuff and that goes directly into our local habitat and into our drinking water.

We need to be protect the source of the water we drink.

Rent and borrow whatever you can from each other. Try to get a hold something that you might not have like a hand drill from your neighbors. Even buying a 2nd hand snowboard is not a bad idea.

There you go. Try to keep these tips in mind. Buy smart, eat better, get active in local politics, protect the water, borrow or buy second hand and keep it local whenever possible!

Follow all the latest news and projects from Terje at terjehaakonsen.com