Ever since Lakey Peterson was a little girl, she has been passionate about the environment. Just steps from her “office,” the beach and ocean, Peterson has grown up loving the outdoors near her home in Santa Barbara, Calif.
At 16 years-old, Peterson is an award winning surfer and was the top female pick for the 2011 USA Surf Team.
Rounding out her portfolio as an accomplished young woman is Peterson’s deep concern for her natural surroundings. Through her enthusiasm for surfing and her ocean-focused lifestyle, she strives to make the environment a better place by creating greater awareness of ecological challenges and simple choices that face people every day.
“For me, there isn’t enough awareness about how much damage is happening right now,” Peterson said.
Constantly being tied to the ocean, Peterson finds it disturbing to see a plastic bag float by as she surfs. She feels that it’s important to educate people on the little things they can do to protect nature such as, bringing a reusable grocery bag when shopping or drinking from reusable water bottles.
“I’m closer to nature than the standard person who sits at a desk all day,” she said. “I’m blessed.”
Peterson believes that helping others become more aware can really make a difference. She promotes the environment by volunteering with the Student Conservation Association (SCA), a group of young volunteers helping to conserve natural parks and local communities. She recently helped conserve a park in San Francisco by replanting and fixing plants.
“It has a pretty big impact and it’s inspiring,” Peterson said. “One of the reasons I joined with the SCA was to raise awareness about their organization and others.”
Even at such a young age, Peterson shows appreciation for her life and what she can do to help the environment for the long term.
“I just think it’s amazing that I can go out surfing with friends, and get a little tan and, that I get to do this for a living,” she said. “I definitely want to do this for the rest of my life and I’m only 16.” “It’s like going to Disneyland for a day.”
So, what’s coming up for Peterson? You can see her in a documentary about female surfers created by Nike 6.0, her sponsor.
To keep up with Peterson visit her website or check out her blog, where she gives great eco-friendly tips!