Gretchen Bleiler: Protecting Winters
Originally Posted: CCTV America, October 24, 2015
Professional snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler is one of the most successful and decorated athletes in the sport. She’s won numerous awards, including a silver medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics, and four gold medals at the Winter X Games.
Having spent the last 15 years traveling the colder regions of the world, Gretchen has witnessed the impact of climate change first-hand.
“Now, it’s not even a question of: Is it happening? But it’s: Now what do we do?” says Gretchen.
She’s now committed to a number of environmental causes and to keeping snow on the world’s mountaintops. She serves on the board of Protect Our Winters, a non-profit organization that’s engaging the snow sports community in the fight against climate change. The group uses the appeal of winter sports athletes, like Gretchen, to bring their message to members of Congress.
“I never would’ve imagined myself lobbying on Capitol Hill for our environment,” recalls Gretchen.Gretchen is also an entrepreneur. In 2010, she and her husband created a stainless steel reusable bottle designed for people on the go.“The whole concept is about living a conscious and a sustainable lifestyle,” Gretchen explains. “We were seeing a huge problem in the sustainable marketplace, and it’s these inefficient reusable water bottles.”Mike Walter met up with Gretchen Bleiler at the 2015 Aspen Ideas Festival where they discussed her environmental activism and the importance of “getting into the flow”.