Unfortunately though, not every habit is good or sustainable. One example of that is our dependence on plastic and fossil fuel.
Since last year, scientists now have increasing proof that plastic pollution has now infiltrated our food supply. It’s also being spread by air and water in the form of microplastic. Meanwhile, the use of fossil fuels by industries has made carbon emission levels in our atmosphere higher than before, accelerating climate change.
As a surfer, it’s not hard to be gripped with a sense of foreboding, especially when we see the impact firsthand on our oceans. I cannot count the number of single-use plastic that I have found in beaches and waves all over the world’s surfing spots. Neither can I fail to ignore that the waters are warmer than usual which means the toxic blooms are appearing more frequently than usual.
And as if that wasn't enough, Japan has resumed hunting whales, my favorite marine mammal. This irresponsible decision will all the more threaten the stability of the world’s whale population which is already being affected because of climate change.
But habits can also be a cornerstone for success. Many successful individuals have adopted efficient habits that helped them in their personal and professional lives. Which is why I think that if there is ever a time to start a sustainable habit, it would be now.
So here are nine simple habits that surfers should be doing to start the new year right and eco-friendly.
1. Walk or Bike to Your Surfing Spot
2. Use Glass Bottles for Drinking
3. Use Organic Wax for Your Surfboard
4. Use Recycled Products Whenever Possible
5. Shift to Alternative Surfboards and Bags
6. Pick up Trash Everytime You Go Surfing
7. Eat Less Meat Before Surfing
8. Go Local Surfing
9. Help Spread Awareness
Walk or Bike to Your Surfing Spot
Everyone needs to walk more these days. Walking is beneficial not only for burning calories but also for putting you in the happy state of mind. More importantly, it cuts your personal carbon footprint by 75%.
If walking isn’t feasible because the surfing site is on the opposite side of town or relatively far away, consider biking. Bikes don’t use fossil fuel so all that you’ll be releasing to the environment is your sweat and expended energy.
Use Glass Bottles for Drinking
Instead of bringing single-use plastic drinking bottles to the beach, switch to a glass drinking bottle instead.
Glass drinking bottles are recyclable. There’s also a demand for recycled glass. Once it’s deposited in the recycling bin, manufacturers recycle it immediately so that in a month or so, it’s back on the shelves. It also has a high percentage of recovery. It’s estimated that about 80 percent of the recycled glass is used for new glass bottles.
Using recycled glass to make new bottles also reduces the manufacturer's carbon footprint. This is because furnaces will be able to run at lower temperatures because the recycled glass is easily melted down to the right consistency.
Use Organic Wax for Your Surfboard
Commercial surfboard waxes tend to use paraffin as a base ingredient. Paraffin is a petroleum by-product, which means that in order to get paraffin, one needs to burn fossil fuel, which in turn causes carbon emissions.
The good thing is that there is now an alternative: the eco friendly surf wax. These eco-waxes use beeswax and natural organic resins so they don’t produce carbon emissions during production and when they gradually dissolve into the ocean, they don’t release toxins.
Use Recycled Products Whenever Possible
Whether it’s your surfboard leash or your rash guard, patronize the use of recycled products. Not only are you supporting the recycling industry, but you’re also creating a consumer demand so that more and more industries will shift towards using recycled products.
Similarly, make a habit of recycling anything that can be recycled. Not only will you save more in costs, but it also saves raw materials and energy. It also helps reduce air, water, and land pollution.
Shift to Alternative SurfBoards and Bags
Modern surfing boards generate a lot of carbon emissions during production. Not only that, they also pose a risk to marine wildlife when they are abandoned at sea.
The good news is there are now advances in surfing technology that use recycled materials or sustainably sourced materials. Not only do these eco-friendly surfboards and surfboard bags benefit the environment but it also shows others that surfing the waves need not be toxic.
The best way to educate anyone is to walk the talk. Actions speak louder than words. By setting an example, we’ll be more likely to convince people to take action for the environment. Like Gandhi said, if we want to be the change, we have got to be the change.
— Derek Dodds, Wave Tribe Founder
Pick up Trash Everytime You Go Surfing
You don’t have to join or organize a beach clean-up just to pick trash on the beach. Making it a habit to pick up small pieces of trash on your way to the ocean is easy and very helpful for the environment.
Something as simple as picking up bits of plastic, general trash, and cigarette butts from the beach will not only help save marine wildlife but also prevent toxicosis in animals and even small children. Cigarette butts, in particular, have nasty chemicals in their filters that pose a high toxicity threat to aquatic environments.
Of course, joining other people cleaning up beaches is also a fun way to meet like-minded folks to save the environment. If you want to learn how to organize a beach clean up, check out this post.
Eat Less Meat Before Surfing
Sorry meat-loving bros, but meat production can produce lots of carbon emissions. Beef production is particularly a top carbon gas emitter.
New research published in the journal Global Environmental Change shows that if enough people adopt a mostly vegan diet that includes small amounts of animal products, it would go a long way towards reducing America’s climate emissions to where they need to be to help the planet avoid catastrophic levels of climate change.
Make it a habit to eat less meat before surfing. Go gorge on organically grown vegetables. Not only does organic farming help the environment but an organic vegetable diet can be a recipe for winners. Just ask a lot of professional surfers who swear by a vegan diet. You can be a winner by eating veggies.
Go Local Surfing
Airplane flights cause a lot of carbon emissions, even more than cars. If you like to travel to international surfing spots, consider reducing your international surfing travels and start hanging out at your local surf.
And when you’re flying, choose an airline with carbon off-set options. And fly direct, if possible. The concept of sustainable flying maybe debatable but there are still options that you can do to make your air travel have way less of an impact on the environment.
Help Spread Awareness
Even though surfers experience the ocean firsthand regularly, not everyone of us is conscious about the various issues affecting our ocean environment. That’s why if the opportunity presents itself, then we should always grab it and educate others about the problem of climate change and its impact on the ocean.
Even better, the best way to educate anyone is to walk the talk. Actions speak louder than words. By setting an example, we’ll be more likely to convince people to take action for the environment. Like Gandhi said, if we want to be the change, we have got to be the change.
That’s what we are doing here at Wave Tribe. By developing surfing gear that’s eco-friendly and stylish, we are showing everyone that surfing green is possible. From our best selling surfboard travel bags to our eco-wax, we make sure that every product carries the Wave Tribe brand of fun and concern for the environment while surfing the waves.
If you want to shift to an eco-friendly surf gear or product this year, go check our website.
More Wave Tribe Reads
Why Oceans are So Important - Everything You Need to Know
How to Make Your Surfing Travel Plans Eco-Friendly
Things You Can Do for Trash Free Seas - The Ultimate Guide
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