Surfing and the Environment
The connection between Surfing and the Environment
With the ocean as our playground, surfing and the environment are intrinsically connected.
Surfing and the environment has an intrinsic relationship.
As surfers, our playground and where we do our sport is in the ocean, the largest component of the natural environment.
For many of us, one of the greatest attractions if surfing, apart from the thrill and adrenalin of catching and riding waves, is to be out in the ocean, removed from everyday life and immersed in the natural environment. Away from the noise of traffic, the stresses and day to day goings on and away from any issues, surfing allows us this escape. As well as being a fantastic form of exercise and a whole lot of fun, being out in the environment and such an open exposed place allows us to centre ourselves and bring things back into focus.
As a surfer, the cleanliness of the environment, clean water and clean oceans is paramount for us to enjoy our time in the ocean and doing what we love.
It is due to this that so many surfers are inherently so environmentally conscious and concerned about oceans, pollution and the wider environment issues. There are plenty of ways in which surfers can assist in the looking after the environment and helping keep it clean.
The first and most simplest action is if everyone took the mindset to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Reduce, for example, the amount of waste generated, reduce unnecessary consumption and wasted goods/product only using what is needed, reduce the use or and purchase of such items as single use plastic like plastic bags, plastic drinking straws, choose products not prewrapped in unnecessary plastic. Reuse any items that can be reused rather than disposing of them. A classic example of this is refilling plastic water bottles rather than throwing out the bottle and purchasing another one. Even better is to purchase a refillable, reusable drink bottle that can be used over and over again. The last is to use products that can be recycled and once finished with, recycle these products rather than sending them to land fill and waste dumps. This includes not just plastics, paper, cardboard, metals like tins and cans but also white products, electronic products like mobile/cell phones.
Another very simple way of life is to dispose of unwanted materials properly either recycling where possible or throwing them in the trash rather than littering and throwing them anywhere to pollute the environment.
It is so fantastic seeing many, and a growing number of locations surf schools and surf shops organising beach clean ups. This achieves a number of positive outcomes. Firstly, it cleans up the location. Secondly anyone involved hopefully begins to change their mindset and habits and starts to encourages others to be more environmentally conscious in their actions. Thirdly, hopefully the wider community takes notice of this and also starts to have a wider change of habits and increase in community environmental consciousness.
It is amazing and such an exciting time to see how quickly the growth and explosion of consciousness has been in even the second half of 2017 and 2018. There has been a huge growth in exposure and action from individual level, through business and corporate levels to government and national levels. More and more people are consciously being more environmentally friendly in their lives and life styles. This is being helped by business, corporate companies and governments changing their operating policy or legal policies to much more environmentally friendly practices – like banning the use of single use plastic.
A driving force behind this has to be the relentless and continued commitment, passion and devotion of people like Sir David Attenborough and his phenomenal work. A driving force in changing such a massive large scale public awareness and public understanding with his work like the Blue Planet documentaries. There are plenty of surf specific environmental organisations like the Surfrider Foundation
As surfers, we can be very influential and have a large incentive to support and drive this world wide environmental awareness and consciousness to turn around the massive damage and destruction of the natural world