How To Be A More Eco-Friendly Surfer in 4 Simple Steps

In 2020, Philadelphia could barely conjure an inch of snow during winter – a state that normally produces an average of 22 inches of snow each season. In the same year, over 20% of Australia’s forest was destroyed by enormous bush fires, killing an estimated 1 billion animals.

It’s always great to kick off on a positive, isn’t it? Apologies for the sobering facts, plenty more to come, I’m afraid…

As surfers, we have an innate duty to nurture mother earth. 

For many of us, she is our bread and butter, a canvas for self-expression, and a healer in times of need. Unfortunately, the very thing that sparked this tumultuous love affair is precisely what’s contributing towards its abuse… 

Surfing.

Surfers extract and burn fossil fuels like it’s going out of fashion (thankfully, it is). Making boards, jumping on planes, buying new wetsuits, killing coral reefs; our poor oceans are doing their best to take the strain from the rising production of greenhouse gases. During the ‘Surfboard Cradle-to-Grave Project’, Tobias Schultz concluded that, “A typical surfer emits 10 tonnes of CO2 per year just from surfing.”

It’s in our interest, and as well as that of the environment, to reconsider our choices and make individual steps towards being a more eco-friendly surfer. 

Hey, take it from the GOAT:

“I think when a surfer becomes a surfer, It’s almost like an obligation to be an environmentalist at the same time.”

Kelly Slater

With over 20 million surfers worldwide and surfing’s appearance in the Olympics on the horizon, there’s never been a better time to advocate smarter, more environmentally-conscious decisions.

1. Reign In Those Air Miles

Eco-friendly surfer don't take the plane

Budget airlines have turned flying into a hot commodity. Now, you can board a plane, ascend 40,000 feet into the clouds, and land in a foreign country for the same price as a four-cheese Dominos pizza (with stuffed crust).
A single flight from San Francisco to Tokyo produces 1.3 metric tonnes of CO2. For reference, the average person in the EU generates 8.4 tonnes of CO2 per year. This means that this one flight alone accounts for over 15% of the average yearly CO2 production. Use this footprint calculator to calculate the carbon-dioxide emissions of your next flight.

Well, to prevent the effects of global warming, the maximum amount of CO2 one person produces per year must be reduced to just 0.6 tonnes.

(That flight from San Francisco to Tokyo is already more than double this.)

If you’re hankering for some waves, try looking closer to home first. You might just discover a hidden gem. If you don’t live close to the ocean, we urge you more than ever to take the following actions.

Strive to Become Carbon-Neutral by Offsetting Your Carbon Emissions

You can find many ways to offset your carbon emissions. For instance, a few aeroplane companies such as Transavia offer you the chance to compensate for your carbon foot-print by paying a small extra fee (the guys at Wildsuits always take this option). 

There’s a bunch of ways to do this daily. Simple acts like switching Google for Ecosia, planting trees or investing in carbon offset projects make a real difference.

2. Ride Shotgun

je prefere une creme solaire non toxique 1

If you drive to your local spot every day alone, you might be causing more harm to the planet than you realise. One article by Outside claimed that a car at full capacity “cuts the carbon footprint per passenger by close to 75 per cent, compared to a solo driver.”

Next time, do the planet (and your bank account) a favour by picking up a few mates on your way to the beach.

3. Use Less Plastic

je suis eco responsable hors de locean dobbyonthemap 1

The lifecycle of plastic impacts the environment at almost every stage of its existence. Plastic is typically produced from oil, gas, and even coal, all of which are non-renewable resources.

“By 2050, the oceans could contain more plastic than fish”

Iberdrola

So, what can surfers do to slow the rising issue of plastic pollution? 

Avoid Cheap Boards

Modern CAD/CNC production enables giant companies to manufacture low-quality boards for a fraction of the price of a hand-shaped board. This production line approach only contributes to the ‘single-use’ plastic-pollution pandemic.

Buy a Reusable Coffee Cup or Water Bottle

If you’re anything like me, your morning routine isn’t complete without a cup of coffee. A great way to avoid using single-use cups and bottles is by keeping a reusable coffee cup or water bottle in your car at all times.

Switch to Recycled or Eco-Friendly Accessories

Tailpads, leashes, fins. It’s all plastic. Thankfully, you don’t need to search far to find eco-friendly solutions. It’s easier than ever before to find recycled plastic or even cork accessories!

4. Switch to Eco-Friendly Wetsuits

Eco-friendly Wetsuits for eco-friendly surfers

Traditional wetsuits are made from neoprene. Neoprene is a synthetic material composed of carbon, petroleum and hydrogen atoms. Furthermore, wetsuits are commonly bonded using solvent-based adhesives which harm the ozone layer and contribute towards climate change.
Thankfully, there are ways to reduce the amount of carbon produced by the manufacture of wetsuits.

Opting for an Eco-Friendly Wetsuit Is The Easiest Way To Make a Positive Change To Your Carbon Footprint

je respecte les lieux 1

The team at Wildsuits have carefully considered every step of the wetsuit life-cycle to produce the most eco-friendly wetsuit on the market. 

Every choice has been optimised for sustainability from the materials we use to the servers our websites run on.

You can find out more information here about the steps Wildsuits are taking towards sustainability, as well as awareness events we’re organising and our recycling process.

Don’t let your daily actions affect the life of your family and other millions of species! Us surfers are the first line of defence against the overconsumption of plastic and excess carbon-print. 

If you’ve stuck with us until now, it’s time to take care of our planet’s health. Next time you go surfing, try building habits that make you a more eco-friendly surfer.

We are always happy to discuss the subject with you in greater detail. Plus, if you have any additional suggestions/questions for us just drop us an email! 

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