Turning Trash Into Treasure For Surfers

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Attention Surfers, Green Go-Getters, and Everyone Else,

There is an overabundance of plastic marine debris and ocean garbage floating around, but what is being done about it?

Kevin Cunningham, a surfer and the founder of Spirare Surfboards, is an excellent example of an individual who has used creativity to yield interesting, practical, sustainable solutions. Mr. Cunningham was extremely distressed about all of the plastic marine debris and ocean garbage that he kept running into while surfing that he felt compelled to do something about it.

He launched a creative project to build surfboards sustainably. His surfboards are made from natural materials: mostly wood, recycled foam, and fragments of all sorts of debris that washes up on shores. As Kevin summarizes on his surfboard project page,

“natural materials form my surfboards; conversely, fragments of man-made debris such as plastic and glass are recycled and reused in the skin of the surfboard. Plastic bags woven into a strengthening cloth, plastic bottles cut up and reassembled into fins, and many other possibilities to be explored.”

By reclaiming and recycling post-consumer materials, such as plastic debris from our oceans, you can contribute to the momentous environmental movement. If you are interested in learning more about Kevin’s surfboard project, please visit his surfboard project page and the official website of Spirare Surfboards.

Manmade plastic debris accounts for the majority of debris found in the oceans and other waterways. Plastics are also the most common types of litter and debris that wash up on beaches. There are many ways that plastics have made every day life more convenient and fluid for you and I, but with this convenience also comes repercussions.

Plastic marine and waterway debris floats in water and takes a really long time to break down. The truth is, plastics never actually go away. They just keep breaking down and down and down until they are considered “microplastics” (less than 5mm in length). These microplastics along with plastic debris in general have both direct and indirect effects on fish and other wildlife. To read more about these effects, check out the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s publication on plastic marine debris.

Because plastics never actually go away and they just keep breaking down into finer and finer pieces, we should be more proactive, like Kevin Cunningham, in finding sustainable solutions to dealing with problems such as plastic litter and debris in general. Come on, it’s not rocket science. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. What ideas do YOU plan on bringing to the table in the fight against plastics?

References:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/408559255/spirare-sustainable-surf-craft

http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/info/pdf/plastic.pdf

http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/rrr/

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