Ocea girl Pacha Light may be young, but she's already a leader in the sustainability space.
With Plastic Free July in full swing, we thought it was the perfect time to have a discussion with Pacha to learn more about the importance of sustainability and doing our part to protect the ocean.
Meet Inspirational Surfer & Sustainability Advocate Pacha Light
Pacha, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi! My name is Pacha Luque-Light and I was born in the cloud forest of Ecuador, South America and moved to Australia with my Mum and younger brother when I was 2. I’m currently floating in between both Yaegl Country (Iluka) and Gumbaynggirr Country (Macksville) on the East Coast of Aus.
How do you usually spend your days?
I’m surfing and catching up on projects and trying to lend my voice to environmental initiatives. I love creating and sharing moments in nature- it connects us all!
At what age did you start surfing? What inspired you to start?
My family and I stumbled on surfing when we joined the local Boardriders Club. My brother and I fell in love with surfing but we didn’t have any boards of our own so I decided I would earn funds through ‘busking’. One day I set up my speaker and little sign that read ‘Busking for a board’ at the 2011 Roxy Pro on the Gold Coast. We had no idea that it was such a big comp with pros from all over the world but I gave it a go. Suddenly a teenager came and danced with me - little did I know it was Laura Enever and that she would gift me her back up board for the comp a few minutes later…That day changed my life and solidified a motivation and excitement for surfing. She inspired me to feel limitless and I can never thank her enough.
What is your most memorable surfing experience?
It would be whenever I’d share the lineup with wildlife. To share a wave with a pod of dolphins, listening to whale songs with each duck dive and paddling past cruisey sea turtles is special beyond words. It humbles and reminds you that this blue planet is shared and to enter the sea, you must show respect. It has been a beautiful motivation for conservation in coastline all over the world.
Where is your favourite place to surf?'
I don’t really have one. So many memories and joyous times… Nothing beats a crystal clear day at your home break. With a few dolphins!
Tell us about your relationship with the ocean.
It’s such a complex place for me, constantly changing from a place of pure joy to a challenging and expanding experience. I’ve felt held and safe one session and feeling every rush of life the next. It’s like she know what the next lesson is. For me, she is a mother with endless teachings…
Tell us an interesting fact about the ocean or surfing that people may not be aware of.
I’ve been learning recently about food transportation and the ridiculous reality of fossil fuelled shipping all over the world to be peeled in one country and packed in another. It’s given a big wake up call to the current systems in place - having the first step of recognition in this space and choosing local or growing your own food when possible has felt the most empowering. I think that’s all it comes down to at the moment- finding the stamina to continue having hope about our future. There’s so many amazing answers and although it feels like it’s a gloomy horizon, starting with feeling the power of your own hands is the most amazing way to start.
What does sustainability mean to you?
For me it means a safe and abundant future for all life on this planet. It intersects into our mental, physical and collective health- a reconnection to our inner soul simultaneously with Mother Earth.
What are some simple changes people can make to help protect our oceans and wildlife?
I will always recommend being involved with community projects and have grown up attending Surfrider events - such a beautiful way to take care of your coastline and learn more from like-minded legends. If that’s not possible, I think finding ways to retouch back into nature in your own unique relationship. We take care of our parents, we take care of our Mother Earth!
What will you be doing during Plastic Free July?
I’ve been taking a good look at my consumption and trying my best to just not get something if it’s in single use plastic.
A Plastic Free July hack I’ve learn over the years Is the struggle to find plant based milks not coated in plastic. I make my own oat milk from blended oats with water, salt and a bit of sugar - saving money and limiting single use plastics.
I always travel with my reusable utensils and water bottle- gaining courage to speak up and decline the convenient plastic or not getting it at all.
Another is a beautiful ritual of collection rubbish as you see it - take 3 pieces or as many as you can!
What is your favourite Ocea design and why?
The crystal waters collection sings to my heart with the beautiful hues of the sustainably sourced gems. I also haven’t taken off the pearl choker - a perfect everyday bit of magic. Thank you Ocea!