This guest post is written by Marcia Silva, an MBA candidate in Sustainable Enterprise at the Dominican University of California, and a volunteer for Sustainable Surf.
A 6’0 epoxy short surfboard weighs about 5.5 lbs, however it causes over 600 lbs of CO2 to be emitted during the lifecycle of manufacturing, repairs, and disposal. Doesn't sound much? These numbers place surfboards on a comparable emissions level to complex electronics such as cell phones and laptops, due to the high petroleum-based chemical feed stock of surfboards.
Sustainable Surf, a non-profit organization headquartered in Southern CA with an office in San Francisco CA, developed the ECOBOARD project to help surfers choose a high-performance surfboard made from the latest advancements in green chemistry and recycled materials.
Sustainable Surf has used lifecycle impact analysis of surfboard materials to determine which components can significantly reduce the impact of surfboard production on people and the planet. These materials include any resin made with at least 25% bio-carbon content and/or a foam blank made with at least 25% recycled content. A surfboard made with both of these materials can have up to a 40% reduction in total lifecycle CO2 footprint. Surfers can be assured that surfboards verified by the ECOBOARD Project have significant and meaningful environmental benefits such as reduced lifecycle CO2 emissions and reduced toxicity exposures to workers.
FIREWIRE was the first global surfboard brand to offer major green chemistry update and to receive the ECOBOARD Project “verified” logo.
The official launch for the project will happen November 8th in San Francisco; ECOBOARD Project is also launching a campaign to pressure the surfing industry to invest in greener alternatives for surfboards.
Even though it feels great, buying a new ECOBOARD isn’t going to solve all of the world’s environmental problems. However it will send a message to manufacturers that they need to address major environmental problems, which we think is the best place to start in this consumer society.