As surfers, the natural environment is of paramount importance to us. We all want to be able to enjoy and surf in clean oceans, enjoy fresh air, have clean beaches, be able to continue to surf in waters abundant in fish and other sealife, be able to forever feel the stoke and excitement of having dolphins riding the waves with us, jumping out of the water and playing while we surf and cut turns with them on the face of waves. For us to be able to have this, and for future generations to also be able to have this as well, we must look after what we have and adjust our lifestyles, be environmentally aware and conscious so that we can and others coming into this life in the future can also experience this.
Our natural environment is something that we must forever take care of, treasure and respect. Unfortunately, we only have one planet, one earth, one environment and if we ruin it, we risk destroying it forever and causing irreversible damage that will be devastating for us and our generation but even more so for the future generations that haven't had a chance to live, experience and enjoy what we have.
There are many things that each and everyone of us can to do help protect our environment and reduce the impact that our life styles and way of living has on the environment. If we each do our bit for the environment, no matter how small, we can create a positive reversal on negative impact. By becoming more environmentally aware and through reducing each of our own carbon footprints, we can minimise the detrimental effect we have on our world.
What is our Carbon Footprint? What does it mean?
A Carbon Footprint is a measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of green house gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide.
A Carbon Footprint is made up of the sum of two parts, the direct / primary footprint and the indirect / secondary footprint.
- The primary footprint is a measure of our direct emissions of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels including domestic energy consumption and transportation (e.g. car and plane).
- The secondary footprint is a measure of the indirect CO2 emissions from the whole lifecycle of products we use - those associated with their manufacture and eventual breakdown.
Want to learn more about Carbon Footprints and how to minimise our Impact?
For more information on Carbon Footprinting, how to minimise our individual Carbon Footprint, how to reduce carbon dioxide emmissions resulting directly from your activities, lifestyle and decisions you make and then to offset the emmissions that you make as well as a whole lot of information important in Carbon Footprints, check out their website.
What can we do in our quest for looking after our environment?
We can all look after our environment and do things to become more environmentally friendly. One of the easiest and basic menas of becoming more environmentally considerate is to REUSE, REDUCE, RECYCLE.
If something has more than a single usage, use it more than once. A classic example of this is reusing plastic shopping bags. These can be reused over and over again. An even better idea is to get the Environmentally Friendly shopping bags that most large supermarkets and even now a number of shops - like Rip Curl - have available for customers.
Reducing our usage of non renewable resources is paramount. Using things to their full potential, not wasting them and appreciating them without overusing and abusing them can have an extremely positive impact. Here are some very simple examples. Reducing our electricity usage will reduce carbon emissions from the production of the electricity. Walking, cycling, running, using public transport, carpooling with others and minimising car usage will again reduce carbon emissions and when replced with exercise can and will also have a positive health benefit as well. Reducing consumption of products with large amounts of non recyclable packaging will reduce the amount of rubbish that needs to be collected and taken to landfill dumps.
By recycling, we will reduce the amount of rubbish that needs to be taken to landfills, minimising the impact of rubbish fill on the land. It will also mean, that the recycled products can be reused in the production of other products, meaning less non renewable resources are utilised and wasted.
Rip Curl Goes Green - Planet Resurrection
Fanning signed on as an Enviroweek ambassador this year, hoping to help spread their eco-message and raise funds for this year's program.
"In Australia Enviroweek runs from October 11 to 17 and is all about improving environmental awareness, encouraging behavior change and raising funds for environmental charities. People can sponsor my Enviroweek mission and make a donation at Enviroweek.org"
"When I joined forces with Enviroweek I spoke with Rip Curl about creating a green suit to wear at the Mundaka event to help get the message out there. They'd been developing on a new eco-friendly suit, so it worked out beautifully."
Rip Curl, Fanning's major sponsor, also coordinates a host of eco-friendly initiatives under the slogan - Rip Curl Planet.
The green Rip Curl wetsuit features a new neoprene that uses non-solvent glues in the lamination process, resulting in a major reduction of chemicals polluting the air.
Approximately 800 tonnes of solvents currently evaporate into the air because of current neoprene laminating processes, so this development will be a huge improvement for the environment and will also benefit worker health.
"Wherever we can we are looking for ways to reduce any impact on the environment that our products may have," said Mick Ray, Rip Curl Global Wetsuit Chairman. "The laminating process has always been a particulary toxic one so this initiative of using non solvent based glues is going to be massive in terms of improving working conditions in the factories as well as reducing the amount of nasty pollutants in our air."
Rip Curl also runs a "Project Resurrection" program that sees Rip Curl recycle used wetsuits and production offcuts for re-use in other products. Rip Curl is currently using recycled wetsuits in the production of travel bags and footwear, but the list will continue to grow in 2010.
More Information and Other Websites
There is a multitude of information and plethora of websites giving information, tips and other ideas for minimising our negative environmental impact. Here are just a few that may be of interest, with some specific to the ocean and our surfing environment.