DC Presents: JOHN GARDNER’S «SHOUTOUT EARTH» PART
If there’s ever a skater who would choose to drop a part on Earth Day, that skater is John Gardner.
A long time member of the DC family, John lives every day like it’s Earth Day.
We’re constantly inspired by John’s commitment to live a more sustainable life and his unique approach to skateboarding.
DC interviewed Josh, a piece to accompany the release of his ‘Shoutout Earth’ part.
Hey John, so tell us where you’re from.
Well that’s a hard question, I’ve lived in so many places in New Jersey, so I’ll just say I’m from New Jersey.
How did you get into skateboarding?
I got into skateboarding from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. I played that game and I was really into it and then my parents bought me a Variflex skateboard from Walmart or Target for Christmas when I was about 9. It had a Sumatran tiger on it. My mom has video footage of me opening it. I’ve never seen it, but it’s pretty cool that my mom has footage of me opening my first skateboard.
That’s classic. Gotta track that footage down. So, as you started skating, who were the first pro skaters that influenced you?
When I first started I didn’t know any pro skaters. I didn’t really know anybody besides the people I’d see at the skatepark. But if there was a person who was of influence to me first, it was probably honestly Tony Hawk through his video games.
Any standout skate videos that had impact when you were just starting out?
To be honest, and I’m not just saying this because I ride for DC, but the DC Video was one of my first videos, along with Yeah Right. Those were the first two videos I ever had. They influenced my skateboarding so much just from seeing what was possible on a skateboard and seeing how magical the filmmaking aspect of it was too.
And your video part drops on Earth Day, wanna tell us what it’s about?
Yeah, the video’s called Shoutout Earth and it’s just my skateboarding to a song I really like, filmed and edited by my good buddy Chris Ray. It’s a special dedication to the ones that we’ve lost recently.
Some of the spots in your part are actually Earth’s creations. What drives you to find unique spots like that?
That wasn’t intentional to skate a bunch of Earthy spots, but I’m always drawn to those kinds of spots. I mean, skateboarding is so great in the sense that the spots we skate aren’t meant to be skated. Most of those are man-made, but it’s cool to find spots that man didn’t even make. They’re just there for us to skate. I really love finding those kinds of spots.
With a full time job and a global pandemic, did you have to alter your approach to skating and filming?
It’s been the same mostly. But now that I have more responsibility it’s a little more strategic in the sense that I choose spots wisely and I try to just do things that bring me joy. I don’t want to push myself to the edge if I’m not enjoying what I’m doing. I try to only pick things that are going to be fun or challenging, so I can still enjoy my time on my skateboard. That’s how I filmed this one… just had as much fun as possible.
So you’re on the road right now with DC in Sacramento, is it hard to eat well and maintain a healthy balance when you’re travelling?
Not at all, I eat better when I’m on the road sometimes because I come prepared and make sure to pack a lot of fruit, healthy snacks and drink a lot of water. And I’m sure that has something to do with the fact that, since I’m also the team manager of DC, the wheel is in my hand and I have more responsibility.
Are you vegan? How did that come about?
I’d say “plant-based” is a more accurate description of how I eat. I’m not strict but I eat predominantly vegan. That being said, if there are moments where something is going to go to waste or something is being offered by a host, I would rather be respectful in not wasting the food. But I definitely eat mainly vegan.
What efforts do you make in your daily life (when you’re not on the road) to promote sustainability?
Number one, my diet. But I also try to support things that have a smaller carbon footprint. I try to live a minimalist life and not horde material objects. Obviously supporting small business helps. And just educating myself on the things that are causing the most harm to our planet, and then making small steps that can actually make a difference in the long run.
Any good advice for skaters who want to be a little more eco-conscious?
The best advice I can give to anybody who wants to lessen their impact on the Earth is to just tap into themselves. Meditate. Connect with yourself. Learn the inner workings of your mind so that you can be of service to this planet and the people on it.
Finally, what does Earth Day mean to you?
Earth Day is a reminder. We should celebrate the Earth every day, but it’s a gentle reminder that this place that we call home is really really special and we need to take care of it. Hopefully we can all live every day like it’s Earth Day in the future.