The mission of WeGotNext, Seedlip's 1% for the Planet partner, is brought to life by their incredible ambassadors & their projects. Seedlip connected with WeGotNext & their ambassadors to explore the infinite definitions of what nature is & how it connects us all through sharing these individual experiences- their roots.
For this installment of this series, we caught up with Niki Choo, endurance athlete, biker, skier, paddler and WeGotNext ambassador.
I. How do you define “nature” and how do you connect to it consistently in your day-to-day?
Nature to me, is green space, trees, fresh air, running water, lakes, mountains. I try and get outside every day at a minimum. Moving to Tahoe was a big part of that for me so I could bike, ski, etc. every day.
II. What advice do you have to inspire others to connect to their roots?
Follow your heart, regardless of where that leads you. Your roots and your ancestors will be there in the background.
III. How does your project with WeGotNext grow from your roots?
I grew up swimming, and went to summer camp, I fell in love with the water, be that boating, kayaking, so paddling from Haines to the Arctic circle is a culmination of my dreams as a kid to do a big bold trip.
IV. How have your learnings from your Masters in Human Development and Psychology influenced your work with WeGotNext and your mission as a whole?
This is a big question! There's so much. I think the thing that resonated most to me was the impact of nature on your brain, your prefrontal cortex needs green trees and irregular shapes to relax (ei, being outside in the city doesn't have the same impact on your prefrontal cortex as does trees and nature), and so many people lack access to nature. It's part of the reason why I started Campsyte (my startup that I ran for 4 years and shut down a few years ago). We were redesigning parking lots to be green spaces so people could work. So many people, typically low SES don't have access to nature and are constantly under stress that it doesn't help them. If we could all have access to nature it would help us out a lot. There was also stuff about education and the inequality of it that really resonated with me in school. But mostly I just wanted to understand our own unconscious bias, how we help these things, how we create a better world for learning and understanding, empathy and including everyone in your circle of concern. All these things are important to me and how I show up for WeGotNext and why it's important to me. I feel like more people need to see BIPOC in the outdoors to know that's possible. To me, it's all integrated and important.
V. What are some key practices those living in urban spaces can integrate into their routines to better support our planet?
Get outside and look at the trees, physically look at them.
VI. If you could invite 6 individuals to a dinner party you’re hosting, who would they be and why? What Seedlip cocktail are you serving?
Six of my closest friends, and I'd probably serve the Cosnopolitan as it’s been more long-time favorite.
Watch Niki's 'My Roots' story below.