Components of sustainability for Surfrider Foundation Eco Challenge & Toolona Street Festival during the Bleach* Festival
As the most sustainable event on the Gold Coast, the Surfrider Foundation Eco Challenge continues to grow, this year partnering with the Toolona Street Festival, part of the Bleach Festival 2016.
The core of the event is its wooden surfboard competition, using the first and most sustainable surfboard on the market, the Alaia (pre-20th century Hawaii). As regular surfboards are made from petroleum based materials their carbon footprint is quite high and the pollutants that come with manufacturing aren’t healthy for humans and the environment. A surfboard produced with more sustainable materials known as the eco-board is making momentum with FireWire, Rob Machado and Kelly Slater and several shapers around the world experimenting, designing and manufacturing certified eco-boards.
The event, together with the Toolona Street Festival, includes many food stalls, market stalls and workshops. And this year they are all going Plastic Free! That means compostable cutlery, plates and cups and Water Swallow’s portable Hydration Station to fill your own water bottle. Boomerang bags will be there to provide you with reusable bags and solid bottles. It reduces the carbon footprint of the whole event and aims to create awareness on a life without single use plastics.
Our efficient waste management station makes sure it sorts the events waste accordingly for landfill, recycling, organics and compostables. Normally compostables and organics end up in landfill, not used to their full potential. At the Eco Challenge, all compostables will be collected by Southern Beaches Community Garden and chipped into smaller pieces and then added to their compost and eventually turned back into the soil. The organics will be collected by BioChar Project Organisation, using the organic waste as an efficient soil amendment. Using the 4 bin waste system at our Sunshine Coast event in 2014 we were able to divert waste away from landfill by 93%!
Our Eco Challenge musicians are powered by the sun, making use of our Solar Busking Stage, provided by the Southern Cross Universities “The Sunflower”. To date we have the lovely Christine Olive, Gold Coast Hula Dance School Na Pua O Australia & The Beat Drummers. Using Sustainable Event Management systems we aim to leave a solar power legacy, increasing the amount of solar panels within our communities, decreasing the dependence on fossil fuels for our energy thirst.
Another legacy of the event is that of BeachCare, that together with your help and coastal community volunteers will weed, plant and water a section of Tugun Beach dunes, south of the surf club. Our dunes are our greatest asset against land erosion and flooding, therefore maintaining and improving our dune system is fundamental to the communities’ safety.
We’ll be promoting to ride your bike to the event and store them safely in the Bicycle Racks provided by the active travel department, City of Gold Coast. No more searching for a place to park and lowering your and the event’s carbon footprint!
Take the Eco Challenge!