A gathering of green issues, news, and product.
If you’re at all interested in sustainability and the latest from the enviro front lines—and as a surfer, you really should be—we’ve got a website that’s right up your alley. It’s called The Greener Blue (TGB), and it harnesses a deep roster of writers and experts who blog on everything from environmental issues to sustainability to green surfboard tech, and plenty more.
As well, it gathers an impressive amount of green surf products. Even more than simply curating product, there’s also an environmental rating, which gives a scorecard for their products’ environmental impact. While some brands have a few green-friendly products, this is a place you find them grouped together, and rated—a cool idea.
The site was founded by Michael Marckx and Mark Marovich, we caught up with Marovich to find out more about what they’ve got in store for the future.—Casey Koteen
TransWorld SURF: There’s a solid stable of writers from varied backgrounds, what’s the scope of the topics of the blog?
Mark Marovich: We’ve got surf journalists, scientists, photographers, shapers, artists, enviro non-profit folks, surf industry vets, and more. We’ll cover topics as varied as desalination and the plastic gyres, green(er) surfboards and green(er) product design and, over time, an ever-wider range of topics that relate to the lives of surfers of all stripes, in and out of the water.
There’s a product side to the site as well. Given how many “green” products the surf industry makes, is it surprising that no one has properly rounded them up into one place before this?
First, it’s important to understand that there is no product that is truly green, only shades of green.
It’s surprising when all things are equal (price, design, quality) customers choose “green,” but this fact hasn’t played out in traditional surf retail…yet. Most retailers are more apt to go with what’s being heavily marketed or what’s worked for them in the past, especially in this retail climate.
Credit where credit is due though, as many retailers are doing everything from purchasing more green products to dedicating special sections or even entire stores (ASEC – “Green Rooms”). But, to this point, you are correct, nobody has rounded up the complete offerings – apparel to accessories, boards to wetsuits.
Hopefully one day, sustainable products will be the majority and those that aren’t responsibly produced will be forced to re-evaluate their offering or be left behind. Once the consumer is educated and speaks with their moola, the manufacturers will move more of their catalog in the green direction.
More than just rounding them up together, you’re also providing people with a sort of grading scale for how green a product really is. Why is this important?
A third party verification (we’re utilizing Greenopia and their product scorecard and rating system) is far more powerful than a couple of guys in a barn ‘guesstimating’ how green something is. With all the “green” product labels these days, let alone green-washing, there’s growing green-fatigue, so we really wanted to make sure, along with product developer interviews and product reviews, that we had an accredited science-based partner—this is after all hard science—to guide us, and the audience.
Truth be told, this will be a work in progress as getting the brands to submit their products to Greenopia will be a challenge and take some time.
Also in the Surfrider Issue:
Tales From The North Shore
This is not our first rodeo. By now, TransWorld SURF is more than familiar with the ins and outs of the North Shore. But that’s not to say we’ve seen it all—the seven-mile miracle always delivers, and this year we were ready. Our photographers shot the Shore from every angle all for your viewing pleasure. You can pretty much tell people you were there after you soak this issue in.
The Surfrider Issue
The ocean is still under constant threat and on the brink of destruction. So we’re giving the Surfrider Foundation its annual soapbox to hopefully slap you on the head and say, “Hey, step up and help us out!”
Not everyone gets to (or wants to) go the tropics for their surf fix. Some crazy sons of bitches just stay home, put on five mm wetsuits and surf in the snow! Snow shredding is a whole new ball game, and our pal and frosty-faced ripper, Jon Coen, breaks down the joys of freezing your balls off just for a few good waves.
Watch for The Surfrider Issue to hit newsstands February 15th.