Conscious Construction

Photo: Sarah Lee.

Surfboard Manufacturers Driving Change

Originally published in Adventure Sports Journal.

A surfer’s board represents the ultimate tool for communing with nature, and conjures images of azure blue waves curling across rainbows of reef. However, this emblem of environmentalism is tainted by a dirty secret.

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Zero Market

Breaking Down The Problem of Plastic Pollution With the Woman Behind Santa Cruz County’s Newest Sustainable Lifestyle Outpost

Originally published in Santa Cruz Waves.

Ashley Merv doesn’t look like the type of person who roots around in garbage cans—but she does. The 33-year-old owner of The Source Zero, a zero-waste shop and soap refill station, has taken it upon herself to manage other people’s non-recyclable plastic trash.

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Please Don’t Call This Inspiring

Armed with a tandem board and an oxygen tank, Melissa Pappageorgas won’t let cystic fibrosis keep her from the lineup.

Originally published in Santa Cruz Waves.

In the fall of 2015, when Melissa Pappageorgas was immobilized in a hospital bed, all she wanted was to be at the beach, surf, and have a van. Three years later, on a windy afternoon in September, her partner, Joey Rodrigues, waxes their new tandem board while she sits in the back of their camper van. Two passersby stop to gawk, but they’re not looking at the quirky pineapple-shaped handles on the cabinet doors. Their eyes fixate on the oxygen tank standing at Melissa’s feet, then drift to the clear plastic tube running up her multicolored towel-poncho, and the nasal cannula looped around her freckled face. Melissa answers their questions politely, explaining that she has cystic fibrosis, and is on oxygen as a result of complications following a double lung transplant.

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Making Ence: CrossFit Star Brook Ence’s Constant Evolution

Originally published in Santa Cruz Waves.

Juggling a cup of coffee in one hand and Rigs, her labradoodle, with the other, Brooke Ence faces her camera. It’s outfitted with a furry microphone windscreen and mounted on a flexible tripod with legs that resemble strings of pearls. Ence appears to be the epitome of style, confidence and ease as she shoots a quick video update for social media. The 28-year-old CrossFit legend has an online fan base approximately four times the size of Santa Cruz County’s population: 981,000 Instagram followers and 133,000 YouTube subscribers.

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Skin Deep: The Budding World of Cannabis Topicals

Photo: Esteban Lopez

Originally published in Santa Cruz Waves.

The cannabis plant has a plethora of applications that don’t involve getting high. The two best-known compounds in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and pain-relieving effects. When applied topically, THC and CBD bind to receptors in the skin without entering the bloodstream or the brain, which means that they don’t produce the typical psychotropic effects.

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