Sustainability Gets Its WheelsMarch 5, 2012
We asked Scott Hansen – training coordinator for the Rainforest Alliance’s forestry program and a skateboarding aficionado – to tell us about his decision to create a line of skateboards made with Rainforest Alliance Certified™ material. He writes…
Skateboards are definitely not new — and neither is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)/Rainforest Alliance Certified paper. In fact, both are quite popular and abundantly available. Combining these two items, however, is entirely new. That’s why I’m so proud of my hobby-turned-business, Grow Anthology.
I grew up in central California and spent most of my formative years outside. For 26 years, I had a wonderful playground and I used it to surf, skateboard, hike and snowboard.
In 2007, I moved to Minnesota to be closer to my wife’s family and began working for the Rainforest Alliance. I had a degree in forestry and was excited to put my education to work at such a progressive organization.Once I stopped whining about not being able to surf, I realized that Minneapolis has an incredible greenway system with paved trails connecting all of the city’s rivers and lakes. Skateboarding on these trails is such a fun way to get exercise and fresh air — plus, it takes me back to my boarding roots.
Last spring, a friend and I started tinkering with the idea of making skateboards out of an innovative material called “pressboard”– a flexible sheet material made of layers of paper coated in resin and pressed together. We purchased some pressboard of varying thicknesses and began building skateboard prototypes.
Our products and processes are a reflection of what we value in life: simplicity, functionality and timelessness. All manufacturing — from log to skateboard — is done in the United States and all finishing, assembly and packaging is done by hand.
We chose the name “Grow Anthology” because we plant a tree for every skateboard we sell. The trees that are cut to eventually become our boards originate from sustainably managed forests — making our tree planting an added bonus to an already eco-friendly enterprise.
We have chosen to use FSC/Rainforest Alliance Certified materials because we believe in a sustainable future. Wood is beautiful, useful, valuable and renewable. We should all work to ensure that coming generations have access to this incredible resource.