We produce over 300 million tonnes of plastic each year and the ocean has been used as a bin for our plastic debris, chemical sludge and other trash that we have mindlessly discarded into it.
All this pollution has been turning our oceans acidic and the chemicals used to make swim wear, surf wax, sunscreens and even surfboards have been contributing to this.
So surfers have been looking for natural, eco-friendly alternatives (even turning mushrooms into surfboards) that don't harm the environment but without compromising on the surfing or their style.
Here is a pick of our favourite earth-friendly surfing gear that may sound a little whacky but do a great job at protecting the environment.
Plastic Bottle Bikinis
Odina Surf have decided to relieve the sea of the plastic that has been stifling it and have turned some of the recycled plastic into bikinis.
Designed and tested on female surfers, their swimwear range has been made from sustainable fabrics and recycled fibers with everything right down to the organic cotton label being eco-friendly. Even the server that hosts their website is 100% solar powered so they don't mess about when it comes to being green.
They are naturally flexible to let you twist and turn. They are water-repellent. They are durable and absorb odors. They are shorts made from coconuts. What? You heard right- these upcycled coconut boardshorts by Vissla take the husk of coconuts- usually the part that is thrown away- and turn it into something useful. This cuts down on the waste in oceans and landfills and gives a more eco-friendly alternative to polyester and nylon shorts that are just as quick to dry.
If you don’t know what to do with your old board shorts, get involved in the ‘Rizcycle’ scheme that lets you swap your old ones for a new pair made from completely recycled material for a 25% discount. Every pair is digitally printed with natural inks and come with triple stitching for durability. Riz boardshorts raise awareness about the environment even through their design, by printing endangered fish, insects and flowers onto their shorts.
Surf Bags Made From Leaves
Handmade using leaves in Bali, Pandan Bali makes cool bags for your surfboard that are completely biodegradeable and sustainable. The founder of Pandan Bali is also the project manager of Project Clean Ulu Watu which is a marine clean-up programme in Uluwatu to keep the oceans free from rubbish. By buying one of these, you are also supporting local family businesses who have been weaving pandan leaves into products for centuries. Check out their awesome mats that you can use for yoga or a picnic on the beach.
Farm Grown Surf Wax
Avoid paraffin surf waxes and go green with Matunas Surf Wax which is made from organic ingredients grown on the Matunas Farm in California which means it is non-toxic and safe for the environment. It even comes in recycled cardboard boxes printed in soy ink.
Surfyogis Organic Sunscreen
A lot of sunscreens on the market contain chemicals that are not only harmful for the environment but also for our health. Toxic ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium oxide which can cause health problems like hormonal imbalance and allergies. Surfyogis have invented a beeswax-based alternative that is safe enough to eat. We don’t recommend you do but it might be hard to resist with its main ingredients being chocolate.
Yoga Pants Made From 25 bottles
Like Odina Surf, Teeki uses fabric derived from plastic bottles to make these gorgeous yoga pants to reduce the amount of plastic in landfills which take hundreds of years to decompose. They conserve half a gallon of gasoline for every pound of their clothing they make so you can also help them save the environment and reduce your carbon footprint by sporting their yoga pants that come in stunning prints. They are much better than the regular spandex!