Meet Maya Harrison: Environmental activist, surfer, student of environmental justice, and co-founder of the nonprofit surf and garden club called Sea + Soil.

We caught up with her in our latest Hello! Tomorrow series to learn more about her story and stewardship of the earth.

Let's dive in:

  • What does the ocean mean to you?

For me, the ocean means connection- to ourselves, others, our ancestors, the planet, and a reminder that the sea reminds us of the vast relationship we all share. 

  • When did you start surfing?

I had the privilege to come from 3 generations of surfers and ocean folk. The ocean was all I knew growing up. My dad would ride his glider with me at Sano as early as two, and I started competing in club contests at eight. 

  • Where are you from?

I have a few places that I call home. I was born in San Clemente, California, and spent most of my childhood at Trestles with my family. My mom is from Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Mexico, where we would spend summers and travel whenever we got the chance to see our enormous family. I remember playing with all my primos and primas (cousins) in my abuelita's coconut grove and devouring mangos until we got a stomachache. I then moved to Encinitas at 12 and fell in love with the surf breaks and community down south. 

  • How has your Abuelita influenced your connection to the land?

Abuelitas live sustainably. They see every object as having significance, sacredness, and repurposing is a must. I learned so much about resourcefulness from my Abuelita and how she takes care of everything from mending clothes to living minimally and using her traditional ecological knowledge to tend to her land. My ancestors are from the Purépecha tribe, and we come from a long line of farmers and land stewards. 

  • Eco-conscious tip you'd like to give?

Learn to view every object as sacred. The point of sustainability isn't just to replace every object with a new sustainable product; it's to be resourceful with what you have and take care of your current belongings. How can you wash your clothes so they can last longer? Or get creative with your used mason jars? Even when we look at our plastic usage, how can we view the sacredness and all the work it took to create that packaging, and how can we reduce that consumption. When we view our objects with sacredness, we dispose of less, consume less, and are more intentional with ourselves and the planet. 

Keep up with Sea + Soil.