7 things you should know about Alison Teal, the sustainable surfer

Go back to your roots and fulfil your dream of helping the earth, says Alison Teal, possibly sustainability’s most charismatic global icon to date.

She was born on the floor of a tiny log cabin in the Colorado Mountains. Alison was just 2 months old, when she was taken to Ausangate, one of the highest mountain peaks in Peru. Ever since then, she  has been home-schooled,  wherever her parents’ jobs have taken them. It is not surprising that 20 years later, Alison Teal – adventurer, surfer, film-maker, and model – is making sustainability sexy for people from all over the world.

alison Teal

Courtesy: Sarah Lee Photography

1. For close to 20 years, Teal and her family has lived an off-the-grid existence in Hawaii. Her father, David Blehert (a world-renowned National Geographic adventure photographer) built their self-sustaining Hawaiian home (Hale Kai) powered by a solar electric power system that generates electricity enough for a washing machine, four refrigerator/freezers, power tools, lights, and kitchen appliances.

2. The family travelled the island on an F350 diesel truck that runs purely on vegetable oil and Blehert has even built a vegetable oil fuel station in the island.

Courtesy: Alison's Adventures

Courtesy: Alison’s Adventures

3. Alison earned a scholarship to attend, the University of Southern California’s film school.And was honoured by Meryl Streep for being one of the top emerging female artists.

4. Teal has grown up to be an extreme adventurer, sustainable surfer, and film-maker who travels the world popularising the idea of living sustainably. Teal supports green adventure products that help her in her adventures:  Sustainable Surf , E-Tech, and Odina Surf. Her swimsuits are all made out of 100% recycled material. Her pink surfboards are made out of sustainable soy material.

5. She supports the Waste to Waves recycling program that takes everyday packaging from items such as television sets and furniture, and shows the process of the waste becoming a surfboard.

6. Teal currently  lives in  handmade 100% sustainable Ocean House,  in Hawaii spreading the spirit of ‘Aloha’. As a contestant of the very popular Discovery channel reality show, ‘Naked and Afraid’, Alison’s journey to fame and her life story is nothing short of remarkable.

7. Her short film Rita, chronicles a Himalayan adventure showing how she got her first taste of being inside a school has won international acclaim at numerous film festivals including Telluride.

In an interview, by Anthony Chiaravallo, for Conscience Connection Magazine, Alison was asked what advice she would give to her fans,  to fulfill their purpose and lead a eco-conscious lifestyle, and she says:

“Go back to your roots. It doesn’t mean you have to follow in your family’s footsteps or anything, just your roots inside of you. What was your original root that really made you shine? Made you get that excited tingle of passion inside? If you’re living the life you dream of then you’re helping the earth.”

Looking for some inspiration? Follow her in  Alison’s Adventures as she meets powerful shamans in the Peruvian Andes, replants endangered Coral reefs with Incas, and surprises a New Zealand-cowboy with her pink surfboard.

Here, Alison explains about her dedication towards green products, Like Repreve

Watch this to understand the significance behind her hot pink surfboard and why she carries it to the most unlikely places in the world.


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  • Marko Kraljevic

    The only thing that I don’t get is “not getting paid”. Judging by other (cable) TV shows, sometimes there seems to be $100,000 free-floating money per episode. If you don’t want it, because you’re “achieving something” (whatever, I know :)), then: who made the donation, where? Or the money was gift to the producers. Hey, I’m free to take people out to the middle of nowhere and film them for as long as they want – and I’ll take just half of that. 😉

    *Edit*: The Discovery show, “highest-rated-ever” premiere.