SURFER MAG: Is It Possible To “Wipe Out” the CO2 Footprint of Your Surf Travel?

How a program called SeaTrees helps surfers mitigate their environmental impact


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Most surfers identify as environmentally conscious citizens, but unless you’re driving to your local break in an all-electric vehicle powered by renewable energy (which some of you are, and thank you), and/or you’ve gone full-Fergal Smith and have given up air travel all together, you’re likely contributing to the global emissions crisis in your fossil-fueled pursuit of waves.

Whether it’s across town or across the world, getting to the surf is the most climate-impactful part of our lifestyle. A roundtrip flight from Los Angeles to Bali releases about 5 metric tons of CO2 per passenger (almost three times what the average Indonesian emits in an entire year), and driving roundtrip from Oceanside to Trestles in a light-duty, gas-powered pickup truck emits about 75 pounds of CO2.

Transportation (including car and air travel) is the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, but of course, a surfer’s emissions don’t stop there. The majority of wetsuits are still made from petroleum-based rubber, and your polyurethane-core, polyester-resin surfboard was born of crude oil.

So is there a way to atone for our surf-related impacts on the environment?

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