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When your business is predicated on encouraging international travel, no matter how much you champion ethical practices there’s an uncomfortable truth to face. 

Students have to travel to Babel Fish – here on the far westerly tip of the UK – and in doing so they increase our cumulative carbon footprint. 

“There’s no difference between a pessimist who says, ‘It’s all over, don’t bother trying to do anything…and an optimist who says, ‘Relax, everything is going to turn out fine.’

Either way the results are the same. Nothing gets done.”

Yvon Chouinard

We need to make a conscious choice to compensate for this: not solely for conscience, and certainly not for some calculated commercial gain…but because our ecosystems are in crisis, and inaction is hastening our planet’s climate catastrophe. 

This is heavy stuff, but just because it’s hard to own and accept, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. Gone are the days of pretending we’re not on the cusp of radical changes to the way we all must live. 

Here at Babel we’ve made a choice to act to offset and to change our practices: and we hold true to the belief that these individual actions will work for the collective good. 

1% for the Planet 

Yvon Chouinard – founder of Patagonia and surfer, kayaker and all-round bad-ass – founded 1% for the Planet in 2002. 

It’s a simple idea: commit 1% of annual sales to the environment. Patagonia became the first company to do so. 

1% for the planet member

Babel Fish is also signed up. So, from any sale, from merchandise to a three week Surf & Study course, 1% goes into the ‘for the Planet’ pot where funds are disseminated to accredited projects which protect the environment. 

Find out more here

“What we take, how and what we make, what we waste, is in fact a question of ethics.” 

YVON CHOUINARD

Hot Surf 69 + Multi Use Boards 

Shouting out some other surf-based, local eco initiatives, along the coast in Perranporth the crew at Hot Surf 69 are tackling throw-away consumerism with a campaign against mindless waste and their multi-use board design. 

Based on one of the UK’s longest beaches, the local designers were tired of seeing the epic wastage at their local break. 

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The shocking reality of short term fun: a toxic legacy of plastic waste.

In 59 days, 463 snapped boards were abandoned on or near this one beach: representing £5785 of wasted cash, needless plastic pollution on our coastline and the carbon cost of producing these barely used ‘boards’. 

“Too many beach and surf items are discarded on beaches and coastlines each year,” says Toby of Hot Surf. “Mostly this is due to how poorly made and breakable they are. We make quality boards, of the best tested, durable material: designed to last for years.”

“We’re the leading brand looking into recycled HDPE and have tested it this year in the hope of getting it into the mainstream bodyboard manufacturing process by 2022.”

The ‘Re-stoke’ label signifies the products that they’re stoked to say will stay the course…and 2% of their retail value goes to BEACH CARE to help tackle the cleanup of beaches and research new ways to prevent beach waste going to landfill.

Find out more: @hotsurf69

The Good Greenstuff

We love a passion project – particularly one that protects our oceans. And you couldn’t get closer to home than our mate, Russell, whose commitment to the cause has seen him develop a green version of a product we use so frequently, it’s easy to forget it’s a potential pollutant: surf wax.

Russell started trying to make his own wax on the after his wife Kelly, challenged him to do so as he was spending too much on the stuff!

In the process he realised just how bad for the environment the wax we know and love actually is.

“It took about 2500 attempts before I got a really good bar,” says Russell. “I started handing it to locals and got mixed results. I didn’t give up and kept adapting the recipe and the way it was made until it was good enough to sell. I’m always trying to improving it and have had some very space age eco materials given to me and results are looking good.”

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“I think everyone has a responsibility to protect the environment: if we don’t it’s a downward spiral from here. As for Greenstuff, I hope that it grows as a thriving business, helping to do good things and helping make the oceans plastic-free.”

Check them out: @greenstuffsurfwax

“Everything we personally own that’s made, sold, shipped, stored, cleaned, and ultimately thrown away does some environmental harm every step of the way, harm that we’re either directly responsible for or is done on our behalf.”

YVON CHOUINARD
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Babel Forest

Time 4 Trees is a UK-based tree-planting initiative has also been incorporated into Babel’s eco-positive action plan. 

Not only does this realise a personal eco-goal for me (and Babel Fish), the initiative is supporting the UK’s target to become carbon neutral by 2050. 

The government’s own ‘Committee on Climate Change’ assessed that 1.5 billion trees needs to be the target figure to achieve the now legally-binding national objective. This will require planting over 30,000 hectares of trees every year for the next three decades.

We calculated our CO2 output and have signed up for five years’ worth of sapling planting to offset it. 

A Babel Forest!

Babel Fish Ltd Certificate 1811

Our Kids, Our Climate: Our Choice

If you do fly over to Surf & Study with us when we re-open, or you’re heading off on that much-delayed surf trip either at home or abroad, it’s super easy to offset your trip’s carbon emissions via My Climate through donating to a specific carbon offset project. 

Here’s the link. Actions like these take seconds and need to become second nature for us all, whenever we deepen our environmental footprint.

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Breaking Wave 3
Photo Credit: Jamie Elliott – @_jamie_elliott

Profitable business doesn’t have to cost the earth:

at Babel we want to help save it. 

Peace,

babel fish icon shaka