How One Wave in Costa Rica Changed My Life
Why Surfers Would Make Great Astronauts
In 2002, Yvon Chouinard founded 1% for the Planet and Patagonia became the first business to commit 1% of annual sales to the environment. Today, the 1% for the Planet network consists of over 3,000 businesses and individuals that contribute to environmental nonprofits in over 90 countries. To date, 1% for the Planet has directed over $250 million to these grassroots organizations working toward a better world.
CR Surf Travel Company has been a business member of the 1% FTP since 2012. We give one percent of our revenue to the Costa Rican based non-profit PRETOMA, which has since morphed into CREMA – El Centro de Rescate de Especies Marinas Amenazadas. Their main mission is protecting sharks and sea turtles, but they also focus on creating sustainable fisheries, reducing plastic pollution, educating the public, and pushing for political action to protect marine life in Costa Rica and worldwide.
Specifically they have collected 80,000 signatures asking Costa Rica to stop shark finning in Costa Rican waters. They have protected over 170,000 sea turtles and created two fisheries on the Nicoya Peninsula run by the local fishermen. And they do research on hammerhead sharks on Isla de Coco, sharing their data with the United Nations and scientific journals.
Because we share the ideals of this group, CR Surf also volunteers time in the community. We organize monthly beach cleanups with kids in Dominicalito, taking them to the beach and providing bags and gloves. Luckily many local businesses like Cafe Mono Congo, Spicy Life Hot Sauce, Hona Wellness, and Sumbio World provide drinks and snacks for the kids.
The kids also participated in cleaning an area of the beach in their town that was previously dangerous to visit. The local fishermen helped take down illegally built shacks and Community Carbon Trees donated 50 trees for the kids to plant. This area will soon be turned into a playground for the kids. As a gift for their service, author Joel Harper donated several copies in Spanish of his book All the Way to the Ocean which teaches kids not to litter.
We understand that there is a strong connection between the health of the rainforest and the health of our oceans. For that reason, we support Community Carbon Trees by sponsoring a tree for every client that reserves a trip with us. They not only plant the tree, but take care of it for four years using fairly paid local workers. The non-profit group also employs women to create composted soil and work in the nurseries.
Being 1% better to us means investing in the education of future generations of ocean lovers, showing them how to protect our planet and appreciating all that it gives back to us. Readers can do their part by joining a cleanup or participating in civic activities that help the environment. You can also join 1% for the Planet as an individual or business member. Margaret Mead said it best – “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”