Happy Earth Month, Aerie fam! We are partnering with the Surfrider Foundation again and donating $50K in support of their mission to protect the world’s ocean, waves and beaches for all people. For over three decades, Surfrider’s network has fought to protect clean water, reduce plastic pollution, preserve natural shorelines and ecosystems, and ensure fair and equitable beach access, now and for future generations.
You can make a difference with us! Throughout Earth Month we are giving you multiple ways to help out. Here’s how you can support the Surfrider Foundation:
4.6 – 5.3: Look for PIN pad donations (in stores!) + the cart donation (online!) — treat yourself, treat the planet.
Earth Day 4.22: AE & Aerie will donate $1 per Real Rewards transaction and $2 per credit transaction, up to $35K, with a total donation up to $60K.
Surfrider will use the funds raised to support and grow their high school and college student clubs, and to support training programs for club members. Surfrider’s student clubs focus on initiatives such as reducing plastic pollution by eliminating single-use plastic products on high school and college campuses.
While many of Surfrider’s current student clubs are in coastal locations, by focusing on plastic-free campuses they hope to grow their club network throughout the country. Currently, there are 137 Surfrider clubs across the country; with your support, Surfrider aims to meet their eventual goal of 400 clubs!
To get more information, we caught up with Surfrider’s CEO, Dr. Chad Nelsen, and COO, Michelle Kremer, to hear their perspectives on why and how you should get involved now. Read more below!
What are some of the key ways that Surfrider garners support and builds a community around its efforts?
Michelle Kremer: For more than 34 years, the Surfrider Foundation has been protecting what we all love — our ocean, waves and beaches. What started as a group of surfers that came together to protect Malibu from overdevelopment and pollution has grown into one of the most powerful coastal protection groups in the world. Through our network of chapters, we engage at the local level by offering opportunities for passionate citizens to get involved and play a role in our mission.
Chad Nelsen: Surfrider is made up of incredibly passionate, dedicated and persistent activists. One of our mantras is ‘we rally, we protect and we win’. We recognize that the fight to lasting coastal and ocean protection is a marathon and not a sprint. We are in this for the long haul and have had campaigns that last over a decade, engaging thousands of citizens who share our passion for protecting and enjoying our coasts along the way.
What are the most important ways people can support Surfrider right now?
Michelle: Become a member! https://www.surfrider.org/volunteer
Chad: To get involved locally with Surfrider, you can find your local chapter or student club at surfrider.org/chapters.
How can people get involved with efforts to protect the world’s ocean right in their own communities? In their everyday lives?
Michelle: There are several ways! Wherever you are, keep an eye out for litter hanging out where it doesn’t belong and pick it up so it never reaches the beaches or ocean; be wise with your shopping choices and reduce your plastic footprint by bringing a reusable shopping bag, bringing a reusable water bottle or coffee cup with you while you’re running errands and skipping utensils and the plastic bag when you’re getting takeout from a restaurant.
Chad: Stay informed, share what you learn and make mindful habit choices that support a healthy environment.
What are you most excited about with this Aerie partnership?
Michelle: I am most excited that through the partnership we have the opportunity to educate, raise awareness and hopefully inspire people to take action in their daily lives to protect what they love.
Chad: Growing Surfrider’s support is critical to protect our ocean and coasts. When we have enough people and resources behind us we win every time. Having more members and corporate partners on our side gives us significant political clout, and the critical financial support provides the resources to lead powerful and winning campaigns.
One wish for the world—what would it be?
Michelle: That people would recognize that they can take small actions that add up to big results that lead to positive change; picking up trash, voting, passing on a smile.
Chad: For a just, equitable and inclusive experience for all people in their pursuit of their employment, passion and things that bring them joy.
Both: For our ocean, waves and beaches to be a safe place for all people to enjoy.
So, what are you waiting for? The beaches need you. Shop Real Good Swim and more of the Aerie Collection now and help support Surfrider in preserving the oceans and water today! (P.S. Check out AE’s Real Good tees in partnership with the Surfrider Foundation for even more fun options).