Aloha from the Spanish coastal paradise, Tarifa.
A destination that many dream about in those cold winter months... blue skies, beautiful back drops, and amazing sunsets. Where the sand is as white and soft as flour and the wind tastes of dreams of freedom.
Beach bars reopen, musicians play in the streets, and the blue sky is the back drop for thousands of kites.... The beaches are full... The roads are blocked... Ladies and gentlemen although there are bins along the beach you can also take your garbage with you. It's not that hard and the beach will appreciate it.
It's time for the locals to work and for the tourists to enjoy, rest, recharge, do sports and taste the adventure.
It's a full expression of live. And with life comes responsibility.
So my dear fellow friends, lovers of water sports, beach goers and the rest, let's see how we can make a difference:
Most sunscreen lotions release about 25% of their added chemicals, parabens, titanium dioxide, and oxi benzonites.... Damaging the eco system of the waters.
Every year between 4000 and 6000 tons of solar creams end up in the oceans. And let's not talk about hair conditioner etc etc....
Craig Downs, the American Dr, confirms that the exposure to oxibenzone deforms the reef offspring, damages its DNA and disrupts its endocrine system. Provoking the corral to encapsulate itself and wither away.
Coral reefs have an extremely complex eco system, their main job is to create beautiful beaches and tropical islands, they are crucial in protecting the beaches from erosion, and protecting the coastlines from strong waves, storms and hurricanes.
They also aid in cleaning the atmosphere of carbon dioxide (CO2) by keeping it in their skeleton system, and aid hundreds of organisms that form a vital part of the food chain.
Almost 80% of the corral reefs in the Caribean have disappeared.
There are alternative ways of protecting ourselves from the sun without damaging our ecosystem. At home we use coconut oil to protect our skin from getting burnt, we are super hydrated and we even smell nice. If you prefer cream, ask in an organic store or search the internet since there are already a few brands that are eco friendly and beneficial for both your skin and the planet.
It is your responsibility.
According to the international surfing Association, there are more than 23 million surfers around the world, and Hosteltur states that 1.5 million people learn to surf every year. Quite a lot right?
This means approximately 400.000 new boards per year, 6 million wax sticks and 250 tons of old Neopren suits that land in the ocean per year.
Neopren suits are made of synthetic rubber with petroleum and PVC, which we can directly translate to "moldable plastic and elastic."
These suits not only contaminate the environment, but also contaminate our bodies. While we surf our pores open up and the toxic chemicals of the suit seep into our skin.
Unfortunately there are still very few options in this area. It is true that some companies are now using recycled fabrics, but they have still not found natural materials to make wet suits with the same capabilities as the ones currently on the market.
For now the best we can do is forget about the fancy neoprene suits and look after the ones we already own, rinse them out after every session and hang them to dry in the shade, so they last longer. That is the Bread & Butter for caring for our suits.
Same thing with your bikini or swim shorts. Remember that every time you wash a synthetic fibre it looses micro fires that end up in the ocean. So it's better to use organic or recycled fabric suits of a higher quality. The better the quality the less it leaches into the water. Therefore they contaminate less than others.
It is important to know that 20% of all the foam used to make boards goes to waste. We are talking about polyethylene and Fibre glass. Both extremely toxic substances.
The same goes for the fabrication of fins, most of them are made of plastic with petroleum that unfortunately end up releasing toxins into the water.
When these fires break and release toxins it is the equivalent of pouring a glass of toxins directly into the water.
Fortunately there are already more ecologically conscious options in this segment, same with the wax.
The parafin wax, that small tablet we use to make sure our feet stick to the board better is super toxic for the eco system. So when looking for wax, try and find one with no toxins that is biodegradable. There are quite a few options and are pretty easy to find.
Every small gesture has an impact on the larger whole.
If all surfers started setting an example to our new generation of surfers, they could send out a strong message to the world that it is time for change.
Rip it up! and I see ya in the water