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The Environment

7 Eco-Friendly Accessories Every Surfer & Snowboarder Needs In Their Bag

You might not have heard of these eco alternatives...

Photo: iStock

If you love surfing or snowboarding, the chances are you need either the ocean or the mountains to get your sideways sliding fix, right?

We want the snow to last, the fish to be happy and we don’t want to be having a negative impact on our playgrounds when we paddle out or hit the slopes.

Watch: This Shocking 90 Second Video Will Change The Way You See The Planet

Luckily, a few forward-thinking brands have this in mind when creating their board sport products.

We’ve put together a few eco-friendly action sports bits you need to have in your kit bag….

O’Shea Limestone Neoprene Wetsuit

Price: £99

‘Normal’ neoprene is made from oil. However a neoprene has recently been developed – it is petroleum free and is made from limestone.

As you can imagine limestone has the advantage of being way easier than oil to clean up in the case of a spill. So is it better in the water as well?

It’s way more impermeable than regular neoprene. Limestone neoprene is 98 per cent water impermeable against petroleum-based neoprene which is 65 per cent water impermeable.

The structure of the cells within the material also means that for the same thickness you get a much warmer wetsuit – as well as it being drier, lighter and more flexible!

The improved durability of these wetsuits means they will last longer therefore less of them will end up in landfills and they will have less impact on the environment.

Buy O’Shea 100% limestone neoprene wetsuits here

Badger Sunscreen

Price: £11.45

We spend most days in the line-up or on chairlifts. Did you know UV rays are amplified by the reflection off the snow and water? Even more reason to be slapping on the sunscreen.

When your sunscreen washes off the chemicals do too. Sunscreen containing oxybenzone has toxic effects on young coral including increasing coral bleaching. Don’t stop wearing sunscreen, just buy carefully.

Look out for ‘reef safe’ options or ones with titanium oxide or zinc oxide which don’t harm coral reefs or opt for wearing a good rash vest.

Buy Badger SPF 35 Sunscreen here

Smith Snowboarding Goggles

Price: £140

All plastics used to made our essential snowboarding helmets, goggles, boots, back protectors and wrist guards are all made from harmful fossil fuels.

However, Smith now make goggles with 44 percent renewable bio-based plastics, cutting carbon usage down by a massive 40 percent.

The company’s Phenom model is made with recycled, reground urethane from medical waste. They have also started making sunnies made from castor bean oil and recycled fabric helmet liners to boot.

Buy Smith Snowboarding Goggles here

Wave Tribe Eco-Friendly Surf Products

Price: From £2.50 (not for the surfboard though – sorry!)

Wave Tribe was founded in 2007 by surfers who couldn’t find any eco-friendly surf products in shops – so they created a surf company which put ecology and quality first.

Every product is made with care for the planet, using high quality eco materials like hemp, cork, bamboo and recycled plastics – from balsa wood surfboards with eco expoxy to hemp board bags and recycled leashes.

Check out the Wave Tribe products here

Butta Snowboard & Surf Wax

Price: From £2.20

Not a lot of people know this but the wax used on boards is normally full of perfluorochemicals (PFCs), fluorocarbons and petro chemicals.

These harmful chemicals melted onto your bases will leave traces in the snow and water – hence the need to reapply every so often.

When the snow melts, for example, these chemicals enter the mountainsides and rivers and endanger the local wildlife (such as the cute marmots not to mention the marine life in the oceans).

There are lots of companies now aware of this who are making great alternatives such as UK based Butta.

Buy Butta Snowboard, Surf and Skate Wax here

Odina Bikinis

Price: £102

The use of recycled PET bottles is quickly becoming a new source for your favourite fabric weave. Lots of surf companies are making clothing from recycled plastic bottles.

Odina are based in the USA and make awesome bikinis from plastic bottles and recycled fishing nets from Italy – as worn by Alison Teal here. They are reversible and have unique designed straps at the back.

Seafoam Surf stock Odina bikinis right here in the UK.

Buy Odina Bikinis here

Water To Go Bottle and LifeStraw

Price: £12.99/£22

Being active outdoors means you need to stay hydrated. This can mean guzzling lots of water from single-use bottles.

Even if you are really good at reusing your own bottles, there’s a good chance that during holidays spent in far flung tropical surf spots and mountain ranges, tap water won’t be viable.

You’ll have to buy water bottles each day, often in areas where recycling is non-existent and bottles are burnt or washed out sea.

Water bottles generally hang around for about 450 years before degrading. Avoid leaving a water bottle legacy by investing in a high-tech filter bottle that you can use with suspect tap water abroad by removing nasties such as bacteria, Protoza, E.Coli and Cholera.

When you buy LifeStraw, you also help to save the planet in a different way. For each LifeStraw purchased, a portion of the funds is used to supply
high-volume LifeStraw Community purifiers to children in developing countries.

The first distribution took place in western Kenya in October 2014 when 1,646 LifeStraw Community purifiers were distributed to 301 schools. Now, more than 157,975 students there have safe drinking water. This coming November, another 2,000 purifiers will bring safe drinking water to an additional 203,000 school aged kids in Kenya.

Buy a Water To Go Filter Bottle or LifeStraw here

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