8 Ways to Travel Sustainably on Your Next Surf Trip
Despite its apparent closeness to nature, surfing can be rather harmful to the environment. The act of surfing itself is relatively harmless from an environmental standpoint. Most surfers are arguably more environmentally conscious than non-surfers. After all, as surfers, we are often the first to feel the effects of pollution and climate change. Surfing as an industry, however, is downright toxic. Surfboards are made from harmful polyurethane, neoprene production for wetsuits burns copious amounts of fossil fuels, and jet setting around the world to remote surf breaks leaves a gargantuan carbon footprint. As surfers, we’re stuck in a quagmire between following our passion for the ocean and surfing and leaving the place we love and enjoy cleaner than we found it. Fortunately, thanks to a few cutting-edge surf companies and a bit of effort on our end, there is a way to make surfing and surf travel sustainable. Whether you’re visiting us at our El Salvador surf resort in Las Flores or traveling halfway around the world to Indo, we want you to travel sustainably.
1. Eliminate single-use plastics from your luggage Our El Salvador surf resort takes every possible step to make your surf experience as eco-friendly as possible, but a truly sustainable surf trip it starts with what’s in your suitcase. Eliminating single-use plastics from your travel pack may sound like an obvious first step towards sustainability, but a close examination of the average suitcase will reveal excessive single-use plastics that every traveler could do without. Eliminating single-use plastics from your toiletries may be tougher than you’d think. Toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, and toothbrushes . all either contain plastic or come in plastic packing. Thankfully, brands like Human Kind produce plastic-free alternatives to your daily bathroom products, including toothpaste tablets, bamboo toothbrushes, and shampoo bars.
2. Travel with sustainable surf gear Sustainable surf gear might sound like an oxymoron, but with brands like Vissla, Patagonia, Wave Tribe, Firewire, and Outerknown it’s not. Surfers no longer have to choose between their passion and the environment. Patagonia produces the world’s most sustainable, neoprene free wetsuits that are worn by some of the world’s hardest chargers. Vissla, Patagonia, and Outerknown all make sustainable boardshorts out of recycled material. Firewire has several of its top models produced in Timbertek wooden construction. Lastly, Wave Tribe produces eco-friendly leashes, travel bags, and apparel. You’re sure to get a few shakas in the lineup out front of our El Salvador surf resort when you’re using sustainable gear.
3. Offset the heavy carbon footprint of travel In 2020, it’s unfortunately still hard to avoid burning fossil fuels when you’re crossing borders and chasing waves. Plane rides, airport transfers, and boat rides to El Salvador’s many world-class waves quickly add up, in terms of carbon output. Fortunately, it is easy to offset your personal carbon footprint with donations to clean energy organizations that will calculate your carbon footprint. You can find more information about where to donate below. www.offsetalliance.co
4. Participate in local beach clean-upsAt our El Salvador Surf Resort, Las Flores, we love a good beach cleanup. Beach cleanups are often organized by local companies, non-profits, and NGOs. If there’s not a formal beach cleanup set at your destination, don’t let a lack of an official invitation stop you from scouring the sand for plastic and trash. In fact, it’s a great idea to pick up every piece of trash, in and out of the water, you see throughout your trip. The more trash you pick up, the less trash there is in our oceans.
5. Eliminate your food waste Our El Salvador Surf Resort, Las Flores Resort utilizes locally sourced produce, fish, and meat to create a healthy sustainable menu for our guests. You can take that a step further by reducing your personal food waste throughout your trip. To eliminate or cut down on your food waste, say no to anything presented in plastic or paper packaging.
6. Say no to single-use plastics while traveling Las Flores prides itself on our sustainable mission. In the new year, we seek to further reduce our impact by cutting back on plastic use throughout our El Salvador surf resort by 75%. As a guest, you can help fight the use of single-use plastics by refusing them at restaurants, bars, and at the airport. Say no to straws, plastic wrappers, and plastic bags.
7. Fly less While traveling most of the time requires flying, as responsible tourists we can reduce our carbon footprint taking shorter and direct flights in our way to dreamed summer vacations. We usually take that long trip with 2 or 3 stops, in order to save money but we can rather decide on 1 single flight and make our contribution to the planet.
8. Use a reusable bottle Perhaps the easiest way to lean towards sustainability throughout your daily life, and your travels, is to cut out plastic water bottles. Simply bring along a handy, reusable water bottle and fill it whenever you get a chance. Today, many airports, train stations, and bus stops have water bottle filling stations to aid you in your sustainability efforts. At our El Salvador surf resort in Las Flores, we provide a reusable water bottle for any stay of 3 nights or more and there are refill oasis stations around the whole property. If you find yourself traveling to a region where you must purchase water bottles, buy the biggest option possible, and use the large bottle to refill your reusable bottle. That way you cut down on your use of smaller, single-use bottles. Additionally, whenever you go out to eat be sure to fill your reusable bottle at the restaurant to cut down on the number of plastic bottles you require throughout your stay.
Join us in 2020, as we pledge to continue making sustainability a central part of your El Salvador surf experience.