ASEC: Throwing a Better Party

While the Action Sports Retailers trade show oozed cool, the Action Sports Environmental Coalition was on a whole new level of cool. Founded by Frank Scurra, the ASEC organizes all action sports organizations and companies together around green projects. Their goal: green the industry without making it seem like work. At the ASR, I had a chance to chat with Scurra about action sports, and throwing a better green party.

It definitely did not seem like work at the Green the Green room at ASR. The room was filled with really cool green companies, and even better, they brought samples. While the ASC itself was uber-cool, Green the Green was the next level. And it was all coordinated by ASEC. You walk into a room filled with music and where trendy, sporty greens are mingling over organic snack bars and organic green tea. In addition, there was a celebrity poker tournament which lasted most of the afternoon. At times it seemed a little intense, but it was all in good fun. So besides organizing green rooms at conferences, what is the ASEC? Well, it was developed to help guide an industry towards a green future. Many of the surf/skate labels were evolving in this area, said Scurra, but their personal lives and their work was a contradiction. So, ASEC teamed up with MBDC to design a strategy.

Initially the ASEC targeted "low-hanging fruit" — athletes and industry professionals who are already environmental and then work outwards. Then, work with manufacturers and retailers to green their business. The best way Scurra feels to do this is to let the success of ASEC members inspire others and to let their success threaten the market of non-members and therefore they will have to green or die.

Over the last year, Scurra says that the ASEC has really taken off. Lots of new brands are joining, almost all of the major brands have an organic line, the ASEC had a prominent role at the X Games and ASEC also had a chance to present to the Senate on the issue of global warming.

ASEC is also working with students and communities, promoting "Good Wood for the Hood" and "Recycle Your Brain" to educate kids of all ages about use eco products and about climate change. They also have really cool trading cards for different surfers and skateboarders. The cards include personal stats and also cool eco-facts and action items.

On the horizon, the ASEC is running a "30 seconds" campaign where action-sports superstars are asked interviewed and given 30 seconds to say whatever they feel is most important to save the planet and what they think others should do. The spots will run in an ad-campaign to promote action sports and a green lifestyle.

At the end of the day, an attendee jumped on the "stage" with just a guitar and serenaded the poker players as the last few were knocked out. Everyone mingled, sipping their organic tea and talking about the growing industry and oggling at the action stars. All in all, it was a very cool party.

For more information or to join ASEC, check them out online at ASEC.

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