Most recently known for her role on Discovery Channel‘s hit series “Naked and Afraid,” Alison Teal survived 21 days on a deserted island in the Maldives with no food, water or clothing, and a male partner she had never met before.
After the experience, Alison decided to return to the island where the show was filmed to use her love of filmmaking and exploration to help draw awareness to the issue of plastic trash pollution she found there, which covers the uninhabited island. She thought of the of 1,200 islands which make up the Maldives and decided something needed to be done.
One year after she left, Alison returned with Shaahina Ali and photographers/videographers Sarah Lee and Mark Tipple. One of the islands they visited is called Thilafushi, or “Trash Island,” an island landfill covered entirely by waste. After exploring further, Alison decided the best way to help combat the growing issue of plastic pollution in the Maldives would be to encourage everyone to use recycled products, such as clothing and bikinis made of reusable threads from old plastic bottles.
Now, she is creating a new film to help spread awareness of plastic pollution, titled, Alison’s Adventures: Maldives. Watch the trailer:
Alison Teal is a born adventurer. Her father is David Blehert, a world-renowned adventure photographer for National Geographic Magazine, Patagonia, Eagle Creek, and Teva. He’s famous for getting the impossible “extreme shot” of places on Earth. Her mother is Deborah Koehn, a naturalist and internationally acclaimed yoga devotee and teacher. As a family, they formed a company called Yoga Adventure and host guided trips around the world.
Alison wears clothing made from recycled plastic bottles on a regular basis produced by Repreve. The progressive company transforms plastic into usable thread for world-renowned brands like Patagonia, Odina Surf, Teeki, Volcom and Roxy.
Her surfboards are Sustainable Surf-approved Eco Boards, made from recycled styrofoam.
Alison’s experience in the Maldives strives to document the crucial story about plastic waste and recycling. Her vision, “Surf, Survive, Sustain,” are the elements of her mission to live a non-invasive existence as an environmentally responsible individual, while inspiring others to do the same.
When Alison was two months old, her parents took her skiing on Ausangate, her first adventure at the highest peak in Southern Peru. Since then, she has explored and lived in some of the most remote and beautiful parts of the world.
During her travels, Alison has become friends with many different indigenous people, and created her own growing global family. She was home schooled on-the-go with her parents in places like the peaks of Mt. Everest, and while on camel safaris across the Rajasthan Desert. The first real classroom she saw was in a school on the Himalayas in Nepal when she was 7-years-old.
In 2008, Alison graduated as a summa cum laude of the University of Southern California theatre and film school and University of California Berkeley. Shortly after graduation, her short film “Rita,” a Himalayan adventure showing her first experience of being inside a school, won international acclaim at several film festivals, including at Telluride. The year after, her film about a Moroccan surf adventure called, “Snaked!” won the same award. She produced, directed, shot, edited and hosted the film.
When Alison was 23, she completed her first feature length documentary, “INCANtations.” She earned international recognition after premiering at Patagonia’s Wild and Scenic Film Festival. Soon after, she was named one of the “Top 25 College filmmakers” by MTV. Her film “Rita” was nominated for an MTV movie award in 2007. She eventually became a finalist for Steven Spielberg and Mark Burnett’s show “On The Lot.” Then, she was given the opportunity to work on the Hollywood blockbuster, “Eat Pray Love.”
Today, Alison’s latest project is fully concentrated on the reduction of plastic pollution globally. Visit AlisonsAdventures.com to learn more and help donate to the cause.