As passionate surfers and ocean lovers, our guests and staff know the importance of taking care of what we love the most; the beach and the sea. Working together for a better future we host beach clean-ups every week at all our camps around the world. One strong source of inspiration when it comes to sustainability is our partner and ocean conservation organisation, Nordic Ocean Watch and their #tavaha program. We sat down with Mr. Tavaha himself, Simen Knudsen, for a chat about the ocean and how we can best help protect it.
In the fantastic short documentary ‘Tavaha’ by Danish filmmakers Bjarke Hvorslev and Simon Wittrup, we are given an interesting insight into what drives you and the concept of ‘leaving a positive handprint’. How do you motivate others to start making a difference?
I usually say “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.” The most important thing is the choices you make in your everyday life, so I always suggest picking up a bit of plastic every time you are by the ocean, everything helps! You should also minimize your personal use of plastic by stop using plastic bags & bottles, disposable cutlery, cups, straws, takeaway containers and single-use products in general.
Inspired by Tavaha and a shared love for the ocean, our guests and staff have picked up more than 30 tonnes of plastic since 2017. How would you encourage those who have participated?
That’s fantastic! To put that in perspective, you have actually picked up equivalent to more than 2.3 million plastic bottles in weight! Every small bit of plastic you pick is a big victory for the ocean, so thanks to everyone involved for creating awareness and BIG results at your camps around the world.
The Tavaha film is made at one of our favourite places on the planet, Hoddevik, where the whole community is involved in keeping the bay clean. What are your best tips for those who want to organise beach clean-ups at their local beach?
The only thing you need is a beach, some friends, something to put the plastic in and somewhere to return it. It’s really that simple, and it will make you feel great! Afterwards, make sure to weigh all the plastic everyone has collected and share the results to inspire others with the hashtag #tavaha – the Nordic expression for taking care of the ocean. I invite you to give us a shout on Facebook if you’re planning a beach clean-up and we will help you out with recruitment and other tips. Also, a beach cleanup party is a good way to celebrate afterwards!
As a company originating from the ocean we have implemented meat-free Mondays at all our camps, stopped selling plastic water bottles and using plastic straws. We’re also using solar power extensively, recycling as best as we can and encourage our guests to use coral-safe sunscreen. What else can we as surfers do to make a positive impact?
My advice is to say no to single-use plastic, especially when we travel to countries that don’t have good recycling solutions. This is relevant for a lot of the popular surf destinations, so we need to make a conscious effort here. Also, you need to make sure your cosmetics, shampoo, make-up and toothpaste is micro-plastic free. Follow Nordic Ocean Watch for tips on how to reduce plastic. Finally, eat more greens and less meat. Going more vegan is probably the single best personal contribution for a better planet and a healthier ocean. I would also want to recommend the inspiring sisters in Radical Broccoli for tips on both plastic and vegan food. Other than that I invite you to join us on the beaches for surfing, clean-ups and to enjoy life in the ocean.
Check out the video below to learn more about #Tavaha, Simen’s perspective on plastic pollution and how you can contribute.
To experience Hoddevik and meet likeminded surfers and friends, click here.
All photos from Hoddevik and of Simen are by Simon Wittrup from the amazing video by Bjarke Hvorslev. The pic of our happy campers on the beach-clean-mission is taken by Marthe Muriel.