Thursday, February 28, 2008

BYRON 1: Why Buy carbon offsets when you can change your ways for free?

Simple shoes have come up with a way to make things last longer! To reincarnate trash in a new and useful way.  So they came up with ecoSNEAKS - made of materials like recycled car tires, certified organic cotton, and recycled PET(old plastic bottles) a new life as a pair of sneakers!
They collect used car tyres that would normally be sent to a landfill, cut them up, and use them as outsoles on some of their shoes.  
Recycled plastic bottles are collected to create PET (polyethyleneterephthalate)?? yiks!
Organic cotton is probanly the most popular fiber on the planet, when its woven into a textile it is soft and breathable.  
Check out some of theses cool shoes.  Mens and ladies are available, dont forget the kids too!

ANNA 1:Matunas Surf Wax

Matunas surf board wax is the only non-toxic, biodegradable, petroleum free, no synthetic chemicals, eco-friendly surf wax, made using local ingredients in California.



All-natural California clay

Strained beeswax

Wild tree sap

Wild jasmine

Organic raspberry

Other organic fruit extracts


Nothing in this wax will harm you or marine life. Even the labels are made from recycled paper and printed with soya bean ink.


Because Matunas wax is 100% non-toxic you will never have a chemical reaction, allergies, or a chance to rash up. Because it is biodegradable the fish and birds won’t be harmed by it either.


The idea for Matunas surf wax started in 1999, with the concept of making a surf wax that contained organic ingredients that were from local areas in California. The company wanted to use materials that were biodegradable and non-toxic, as well as using a label that utilized recycled materials and soy based inks. Mat Mattoon, the creator of Matunas surf wax, with a background in the environmental field, from UC Santa Cruz, made the surf wax by trial and error, and gathering research from local candle makers.


The operation was first based out of the kitchen of the house he was renting at the time in California. He bought all the ingredients in bulk and cooked them on his stove.


By passing them out to local surf shops, Mat let his friends test out the wax in the water, and eventually Matunas evolved into a larger operation. They use a recycled paper with soybean ink to wrap around the wax. Most of the ingredients the company uses are still the same as the original ones Mat used in his kitchen: beeswax, tree sap, jasmine plants, and riverbed clay, make up Matunas Wax. They use five types of wax, basecoat, cold, cool, warm, and tropical depending on the temperature of your local break. Matunas Wax is very sticky and bumps up great while remaining tacky after surf sessions.


Overall, Matunas has taken about 8 years of their research development and constant testing by both surfers and chemists. Resulting in a product that is healthy for you and the environment. Environmentally friendly products are becoming more and more popular. If there is an eco-friendly alternative then why not choose it.


GABRIELLE 1: UV Natural sunscreen

Ranked #1 Sunscreen by the Environmental Working Group In July 2007!

. Broad spectrum UV A/B/C protection
. Good for up to 4 hours on land or in the water
. No chemically synthesized ingredients; all organic or natural
. No chemical UV absorbers, no titanium, no PABA, no parabens!
. Highest zinc oxide and antioxidants of any sunscreen on the market
. Biodegradable formula. Never tested on animals. Tubes are 100% recyclable
. Non-Comodogenic (won't clog pores). Also rubs in clear, not ghostly white!
. Designed for the outdoor enthusiast - surpassing Australian TGA and American FDA's most stringent requirements for water resistance and sun exposure
. Won't sting or burn your eyes, perfect when you're duck-diving waves. Won't run down your face or sweat off either!
. Safe enough for babies under 6 months!

Ingredients in Classic Sport & Ultra: 23.1% Zinc Oxide, Macadamia Oil, Green Tea, Grape Seed, Vitamin E, Safflower Oil, Sesame Seed Oil, Beeswax, Candellia Wax, Coconut Extract, Carnauba & Candellia Wax.

Ingredients in New Sport: 24.8% Zinc Oxide, Silica, Zinc Stearate, Macadamia Oil, Green Tea, Grape Seed, Vitamin E, Coconut Extract, Lavender, Aussie Sandalwood, Patchouli.

One of the earliest products was UV Baby - it was the first truly natural, high SPF sunscreen in the world that was safe to put on a baby's skin under the age of 6 months. In fact it is still the only one today that can make that claim.

Before UV Natural came along, there was a "glass ceiling" on the SPF level that could be reached by a truly natural sunscreen. There were a number of brands out there with SPF 15-20 but no-one could break that barrier and get to the important levels of SPF 30 or higher.
UV Natural not only broke that barrier but smashed the glass ceiling completely. Anything above an SPF 32-35 (approx) does not offer any more protection, the level of protection plateaus at this level. It is all about being truthful to your market - the brands offering SPF levels in the 40's, 50' s, and higher are only fooling you. They get to charge more for a product that cannot deliver what they're promising.

Monday, February 25, 2008

MIRANDA - One: 'Safe Skate'

The hills and vert ramps were alive with the roar of crowds, the grind of urethane wheels, and the slap of wood as over a hundred skaters ollied and fliptricked their way to gain and/or pain at Wakestock ‘07’s RGX Skatepark.
Most of the seven-ply wood knocking against ramps and pavement was Canadian maple – preferred for skateboard decks because of its strength and durability. Maple is harvested across Canada, including from the Carolinian forests of Southern Ontario where hundreds of old-growth tees make their home. Forests in general are important for pulling down CO2 and releasing clean oxygen to the atmosphere, cooling the air and serving as habitats for a multitude of species, such as the many rare, endangered songbirds of Southern Ontario. Old-growth forests are extra important.
Old growth forests support the greatest variety of both animals and plants, and they spread this diversity to younger forests, which improves the ecological health of all our woodlands. This is why non-profit groups like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and WWF Canada are busting their chops to change logging and land use policies to make sure that old-growth forests are protected.
Miles away from Ontario, in California, skateboard companies are coming up with tree-friendly approaches to making boards with gnarl. For example, Oakland-based Comet Skateboards is committed to only using wood certified as sustainable by the FSC, which are assembled in a solar-powered factory shared with Glissade Snowboards. Comet uses non-toxic and environmentally-safe glues and finishes, and have also teamed up with scientists at Cornell University to develop soy-based resins for their products.
Comet Skateboards is even looking at options beyond wood for their decks, such as carbon fibre and bamboo. Bamboo happens to be stronger than maple, which is no slouch for what’s basically a species of grass. Bamboo also grows back at a rate of four feet a week. What tree can beat that?

But Comet Skateboards isn’t the only company working toward good. Sector 9, a San Diego company, has their own line of beautiful 100% bamboo skateboards. The Gear Guys website calls the Sector 9 Bamboo Surf Camp Pintail Longboard Skateboard 46” Complete a “downhill demon,” and “a natural speed freak.”

It looks like planet-friendly decks can deliver, but what are the skaters doing?
Meet Jen O’Brien. She was the first girl to skate at the X Games and the first winner of Transworld’s best female vert skater award. O’Brien, along with two other skaters – Damon Way and her boyfriend Bob Burnquist co-founded the Action Sports Environmental Coalition (AESC). AESC promotes earth-friendly behaviour among skaters, snowboarders, and other extreme sport warriors.
ASEC has tackled some big projects in its short history, such as greening up the X Games. The LA-based event is now all about recycling, solar-powered music stages, and carbon offsets (hint, hint Wakestock). ASEC has a program for donating skateparks built with FSC-approved lumber to inner city kids called Good Wood for the Hood.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

BYRON 1:watch, listen & see for a good cause

 If anyones in Sydney 
around the 
14th of March you should check out this happening down on Bondi beach.  They will be showing new surf movies by amazing artist's, entertainment by some of our very own aussies and an Art show too blow your sock's off!!!  Best thing is that the event will help raise money and awareness for a group of non-profit organizations, including the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society!  Bonus!  Just getting there can be a tad bummer :(

STACY 1: environmental concerns of the surf skate snow industry

It sports a healthy, outdoorsy image, but surfing is a profit-hungry industry that is only now
becoming planet-friendly, writes Tim Elliott.
Everyone, it seems, wants to be a surfer - or, at least, to look like one. This is good news for the
surf industry, which racked up $11 billion in retail sales last year. Yet for an industry whose identity is so intimately linked to the oceans, surfing has remained curiously aloof from environmental issues. Surfing's base components - fibreglass boards, rubber wetsuits and mass-produced clothes and accessories - are inherently unsustainable, and yet the industry has offered little beyond bamboo boards and organic cotton T-shirts.
"The surfing fraternity is great when it comes to grassroots campaigns to protect beaches and coastal communities, but the industry as a whole hasn't reflected that concern, because, like other industries, it's profit-driven," says Ian Cohen, a Greens MP and co-founder of the Cleans Seas Coalition. Cohen, a surfer, once rammed an eight-metre poo through the doors of Ballina Shire Council chambers to protest against a proposed sewage outfall at Lennox Head, on the state's North Coast. The Surfrider Foundation Australia, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the protection and preservation of the world's oceans and beaches, has been similarly critical. "On the whole, the industry is still dragging its feet," says Stuart Ball, Surfrider's general manager.
Now, however, there are signs of change. In the US, an increasing number of surf brands have
started offering environmentally sound products, including organically sourced T-shirts, hats, shoes and sandals. "And many companies, such as Reef, Sole Tech, Volcom and Sector 9, have altered their business operations to reduce their carbon footprint, from using wind credits for power, to new packaging methods and significant waste reduction," says Sean Smith, executive director of the USIndustry rides wave of change -  packaging methods and significant waste reduction," says Sean Smith, executive director of the USbased Surf Industry Manufacturers Association.
In August the Surfrider Foundation launched Project Blue, a campaign by some of Australia's biggest surf companies to donate part of their sales to environmental issues. One of the initiative's big sponsors is Billabong, whose products include boardshorts that are made from 100 per cent recycled PET bottles.
Like most big surf companies, the bulk of Billabong's $1.2 billion annual turnover comes from clothes (surfboards represent only a fraction of the industry). This is a problem, says a recent report in the magazine Australian Surf Business, because clothing and textile production "is only narrowly behind oil and mining as one of the most polluting industries on the planet".
Clothing production generates large volumes of waste and consumes huge amounts of energy and water, taking up to 200 litres of water and thousands of chemicals to produce, dye and finish one kilogram of fabric. Billabong's clothes are mostly manufactured in Asia, a practice that has drawn criticism for the surf industry, over its outsourcing of environmental responsibility to developing nations. A spokesman for Billabong, John Mossop, says he is "aware of that issue", and that each of the company's off-shore suppliers "must demonstrate they are working to local environmental laws".
An industry leader, Quiksilver, whose global turnover reached $2.73 billion last year, has developed a range of bags and backpacks using Q-Tec, an environmentally friendly alternative to PVC.
"Q-Tec contains no dioxins, no heavy metals and is more durable than traditional PVCs," says Chloe Messner, the manager of the Quiksilver Foundation. "We've also halved the amount of plastic packaging we use in the warehouse, and we are a certified Wastewise organisation, meaning we reduce and recycle as much as possible."
Rip Curl, meanwhile, has employed a purchasing manager to secure certified ecological products (like hemp, ramie and bamboo), and is developing ways to recycle its petroleum-based neoprene wetsuits (they are torn up and made into beanbag filler).
Overseas, alternatives to the notoriously toxic process of manufacturing surfboards are emerging, with the US-based company Homeblown developing the industry's first plant-based polyurethane blank.
Homeblown says that its Biofoam, made from plant oils, not only has a finer and more uniform cell structure than foams made with petroleum-based materials but results in a 23 per cent reduction in total energy demand.
"It is time for the surfing community to walk the walk of environmentalism it often talks about," the company says on its website.
But some industry figures are sceptical. "If you look closely, most of the initiatives are more
marketing exercises than anything else," says Sean Doherty, the editor of the magazine Tracks.
"Overall, the industry is still pretty poisonous."
The Surfrider Foundation's Stuart Ball says surf companies must take the opportunity to lead. "They have to see that going green is the way of the future, and that young consumers will increasingly demand that companies operate in an environmentally responsible manner."
Industry rides wave of change - demand that companies operate in an environmentally responsible manner."
The surf industry churns out around 750,000 surfboards a year. Only a tiny proportion of these are made from sustainable, biodegradable or even non-toxic materials. The surf fashion phenomenon is responsible for billions of pounds of clothing sales each year- much of which is produced from crops heavily sprayed with toxic, carcinogenic pesticides that drain into the soil, rivers, and eventually the sea. We take long-haul plane journeys to far away breaks that put more carbon dioxide into the air than a family would generate at home in three months.

The closure of Clark Foam in December 2005 was perhaps the defining moment so far in the slow awakening of the surf industry to the fact that it too must live by the environmental rules that surfers would like to see other big businesses adopting. Clark was shut down due to the fact he could not comply with tough environmental laws, some of which were a direct result of the campaigning done by the Surfrider foundation as part of their ‘Clean Water Initiative’.

And more change is coming. In the post-Clark landscape, many companies are experimenting with other, more eco-friendly ways of producing surfboards, and there are now more and more companies sprouting up that make organic cotton or recycled polymer clothing, or biodegradable surf waxes and accessories. The Surfers Path ‘Green Wave Awards’ is a new initiative to give recognition to ‘green’ surf companies, and our own work at the EcoSurf Project is focussed on raising awareness of environmental issues within surfing and helping to promote these eco-surf companies.

So what can you do as an designer to help surfing become more environmentally sustainable?