32 – Alison Teal from Naked & Afraid to Protecting our Oceans

November 27, 2016 3 Comments

Alison’s Adventures Maldives “One man’s trash is another woman’s bikini” Photo © Sarah Lee While shooting Discovery Channel’s #1 show Naked and Afraid in the Maldives, I was overwhelmingly shocked by the amount of plastic trash covering the uninhabited, picturesque island. This was only one island - I couldn’t bear to imagine what the other 1,200 islands looked like, covered in trash. To leave the island we actually made a raft out of bottles. As we paddled to our rescue boat, I swore I would come back and do something about the plastic pollution. After returning from “everest of survival challenges” living with NOTHING for 21 days, I devoured a chocolate bar, took a much needed shower and my first thought was: How can I help transform plastic waste around the world into usable items? The scariest thought was that only a portion of the plastic trash was coming from the inhabited islands, it was also coming to the island chain from other countries brought by the ocean currents. Over a year later I retuned to the Maldives, hosted by Shaahina Ali and accompanied by photographers/videographers Sarah Lee and Mark Tipple. Together we set off on a wild adventure back to “my island” wearing all clothing made from recycled plastic bottles from a company called Repreve that transforms plastic into usable thread for world renowned brands like Patagonia, Odina, Teeki, Volcom, and Roxy - and of course my surfboards are Sustainable Surf approved Eco Board made from recycled styrofoam and sunglasses from Zeal Optics. An international icon of natural beauty, my experience in the Maldives presents an opportunity to tell a crucial story about plastic waste and recycling that fits into my “Surf Survive Sustain” mission, of living a non-invasive existence as environmentally responsible as possible. While there, I collected trash in an effort save the highly threatened biosphere (insert manta photo) and then retuned to my Naked and Afraid island to do

Alison Teal has been dubbed today’s “Female Indiana Jones” by Time Magazine. She journeys into ancient cultures with her camera and a pink eco surfboard to uncover and share global secrets of survival, sustainability, health and happiness through her comedic and inspirational film series Alison’s Adventures. Alison was born into this role to world famous adventurer-photographer father and world-renowned yogi mother who took Alison across the globe on their quest for health, wealth and happiness.













Alison was catapulted yet again into the public eye when she accepted the offer to do the Discovery Channel’s “Naked and Afraid” show, garnering the highest survival rating and highest viewed episode ever (it may have been eclipsed by now, but she’s still often-cited as the most skilled survivalist). She has used this platform to continue pushing her agenda for awareness of environmental issues, specifically a film she created about the plastic pollution problem on the Maldivian island where she was marooned for 21 days. You can view it here. Her incredible ability to infuse humor into difficult topics creates an end result that makes watching gut-wrenching issues palatable to best raise awareness.

Today we talk about:

  • Alison’s untraditional upbringing including adventure, education and her relationship with her parents
  • What surfing means to her
  • Alison’s experience on the Discovery Channel’s “Naked & Afraid” show
  • What do you need to know in a survival situation
  • The plastic pollution problem that is killing our oceans
  • Alison’s Adventures film series: Why it’s important to include humor when uncovering very difficult topics
  • Alison’s upcoming Adventure Hawaii – she is opening up her home for a week of fun, adventure, surfing, yoga and more


Register to win a sweet giveaway with some of Alison’s favorite things including $169 eco-friendly Zeal Optics Ace sunglasses made from 100% US grown cotton that decompose after 18 months of hitting the ocean and $169 gift certificate to Skirt Sports to help you keep your body fit and strong.

You can get to know Alison live and in person at her upcoming Adventure Hawaii trip literally at her real-life Swiss Family Robinson style home on the Big Island.

ALOHA! And as always, please let me know what you thought about this episode and any suggestions for future guests. MAHALO!


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Categorised in:


  • Ellen Buckho says:

    Wow, I watched Alison’s film of her trip to the Maldives and it made me cry. I had no idea.

    She’s doing great things in this world.

    • Ellen, I know, her work is very difficult, and somehow she delivers it in a way that allows us to watch it. I also found myself emotional but as Alison said, you have to find the positive throughout or you’ll go crazy. Thank you!

  • amazing! i really enjoyed this podcast- First thing tomorrow I am going for a pick up garbage run on my mountain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *