For those who love water sports, surfing is the perfect activity to keep connected with the sea. We have created the ultimate eco-friendly surf guide, so you no longer have to worry about what you can do to be more eco-friendly, while you are out in the water!
Even though surfing can look like an innocent fun activity, the surf industry is highly toxic to the environment and the oceans! This is because of the high amount of harmful materials used during the manufacturing process of surf equipment such as boards, waxes, wetsuits, and accessories.
A life cycle analysis conducted by Sustainable Surf showed that switching surfboard manufacturing to more sustainable materials results in a 55% reduction in its carbon footprint over a conventional surfboard, for only about €80 more per board. That, of course, also reduces the board makers’ exposure to toxic substances.
This is just one example of what can be done by switching to a more sustainable model in the surf industry. So, whether you are a beginner or an experienced surfer you can start making greener choices for a more sustainable surf industry and healthier oceans.
Here we show you some steps you can take to become an eco-friendlier surfer. Let’s do it!
Choose greener boards
Surfboards are usually made from polyester resin and polyurethane foam. During the manufacturing process, chemicals are released into the environment resulting in a large carbon footprint.
Not to mention these boards are not biodegradable neither recyclable and are most likely to end up in a landfill.
Demand for more sustainable surfboards is growing quickly so greener boards are made from organic materials like charcoal, wood, bamboo, and cork.
Switch to eco-wetsuits and accessories
Swimsuits are made with neoprene, a highly toxic material that contributes to climate change and that can also cause cancer.
Brands like Picture organic Clothing offer ecological and more sustainable alternatives to regular surfwear and accessories. Instead of neoprene, the suits are made from 80% innovative and more eco-friendly EicoPrene material, 10% recycled polyester, and 10% nylon.
EicoPrene is a material made from 70% limestone and 30% recycled tires, and has the technical characteristics of neoprene but does not contain petroleum. To make the suit as environmentally friendly as possible, Picture uses solvent-free and water-based glue to assemble the individual pieces.
Go for organic surf wax
Surf wax is usually made with petrochemicals, subproducts of petroleum, and other fossil fuels. The petrochemicals pollute the ocean, affecting marine fauna and coral reefs.
There are some affordable environmentally-friendly alternatives to conventional surf wax such as Mother Surf organic waxes. They offer organic alternatives using natural ingredients such as beeswax and other biodegradable materials.
Sunscreen contains dangerous chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate that when dissolved into the water can damage marine ecosystems such as coral reefs.
ILoveEcoessentials Beam Balm Sunscreen is a great alternative to conventional sunscreen as it is safe for your skin and the ocean. It is easily absorbed non-sticky and chemical-free.
Participate in beach clean-up actions
Plastic pollution is a worldwide problem, especially in coastal towns and beaches. Plastic not only damages the land and water bodies but the fauna.
Engaging with local clean-ups is a great way to help your local community and the ocean. If there aren’t any beach clean-ups where you live yet, you can start your own clean-up!
EcoHotels.com has partnered with the Indonesian local initiative Plastic x Change in Bali who aims to fight plastic pollution in 3 ways. Organizing jungle and beach clean-ups, improving the waste management system, and environmental education.
Read more of our blog posts here.
COVID-19 travel recommendations
Before traveling to any of these destinations, make sure to check out the World Health Organization Covid-19 Dashboard for continuously updated information.
For requirements to enter the countries and recommendations on travel destinations, consult the national and local warnings available at the destination.