Cristina Mittermeier

Cristina Mittermeier

Cristina Mittermeier is a conservationist, writer, and photographer. She is deeply passionate about protecting our oceans and educating people about just how important their health is through SeaLegacy, a collective she co-founded in 2014. 

What better time to introduce you to Cristina and her work than on this, World Oceans Day? To find out how you can make a small (but important!) impact read on, and then check out SeaLegacy to learn more about the great work Cristina and her team does. 


Photo credits, here and at top: Anna Heupel

 

How did you start SeaLegacy, and why?

I co-founded SeaLegacy with Paul Nicklen in 2014. We were frustrated seeing the rapid degradation of ocean ecosystems and the small amount of attention and action this issue was getting. We left Nat Geo at the peak of our careers to use our skills as storytellers to shine a light on ocean health. 


Why is clean and conscious beauty important to you?

Beauty and well-being, of both body and mind, go hand in hand. As such, a critical part of everyday life is to think about how we take care of ourselves, our communities and loved ones, as well as our planet. If we are going to make investments in this aspect of our lives, our choices should align with our values. ONDA Beauty provides an easy answer as they have done all the hard work of curating a line of products that checks all the boxes. 


 How can someone make a change to positively impact our oceans and planet?

I think personal change is incremental, and it starts with the desire to learn more. At SeaLegacy, we strive to share our knowledge and passion for the ocean with our audience. From what to eat, to where to donate, to which petitions to sign, every action you take with us goes a long way to creating change. 


 
Photo credit: Joe Leahy

 

You have such a busy full life. Can you share what you do to make sure you're taking care of yourself?

I think that kindness and forgiveness are personal choices, so that is where I start. I forgive myself for not being perfect, and I look at the world around me with a little more kindness and empathy. Everything from there is easy. 


 What is your biggest wellness hack?

Sunblock! Hands down! Protecting your skin from the ever more harmful rays of the sun is an investment in your future. Wear it every day, whether it's sunny or not, and you will never regret it. 


 Do you have a morning or nightly skincare routine?

I am busy, and I live on a boat, so I like simple routines. Clean, protect, moisturize, repeat. Every once in a while, I pamper myself with a face mask, and as often as I can, I get a professional facial. I see it as an investment in keeping my youthful outlook as I allow myself to age gracefully. 


Photo credit: Anna Heupel
 
Can you explain to our readers why caring for our oceans needs to be a priority for all?
Close your eyes and picture our planet. What do you see? Yes, we live on a blue marble, a planet defined by the fact that most of its surface is covered in saltwater. And this saltwater is not sterile; it's alive. This living broth that is the home for trillions of creatures, from microscopic rainforests to deep water menageries to the largest creatures to ever live on our planet, is also what keeps this planet, and us, alive. The delicate composition of its chemistry and the life it houses is what allows this to be the only planet in our known universe to house life. And not just any life- for those of you who think that a couple of fossilized bacteria on Mars is equivalent to "life". With every pulse of life within it, the ocean breathes out oxygen into the atmosphere and captures carbon dioxide as well. It keeps the balance of gases and temperature at the precise rates humans need to survive, and it can only do it if it is healthy and alive. If it is our life support system, why would we not choose to do everything in our might to keep it intact? 

 How can someone help SeaLegacy's mission?

We know that learning about the ocean and how to help is hard work. We try to make it easy, fun and accessible to all through photographs and stories. We also have curated a way for busy people to take simple digital actions every day. The simplest one is to become a member of The Tide- a large community of small-dollar investors in the health and future of our ocean. We invest that money in frontline conservation organizations and individuals making a difference, and we tell you about the progress we are making together. The easiest thing to do to help is join The Tide. 


  What do you envision the future of SeaLegacy looking like?
We are building a movement of ocean lovers, investors and activists so big and powerful to achieve a level of protection for our oceans that is so great that we are no longer needed.  

CRISTINA'S FAVORITE ONDA PRODUCTS
It's so important to hydrate the skin after it's taken a beating after a long
day under the elements. 
"Protecting your skin from the ever more harmful rays of the sun is an investment in your future. Wear it every day, whether it's sunny or not, and you will never regret it."
A match made in skincare heaven: someone as passionate about the ocean as Cristina, and this lightweight serum that's packed with the nutrients from three organic seaweeds. 

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