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Vans hosts Sustainability Immersion Day

By Mara Pyzel

Going hand-in-hand with the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing’s sustainability commitment, the sustainably-minded gang at Vans hosted a Sustainability Immersion Day. The multi-stop tour offered an opportunity to showcase the actions being taken both locally and by those in the visiting surf community, in an effort to further reduce the carbon footprint of the contest and our local North Shore community. Eco-friendly efforts included a Kokua Hawaiʻi Foundation-led discussion and activity regarding the plastic pollution hitting our shores, a beach tour and beach cleanup at the coast lining James Campbell Wildlife Refuge guided by Sustainable Coastlines Hawaiʻi, and wrapped up with an informational composting chat and activity at Waihuena Farm located at Off the Wall. Special thanks to Vans and Kahuku Farms for the delicious locally grown lunch that was shared with Vans team rider and advocate for sustainability Nathan Florence. Over lunch, Florence shared the work he and his brothers have been doing to change their habits into a greener way of living: ”Me and John are trying to educate ourselves as much as possible,” shared Florence, who noted that it doesn’t have to be a massive leap – it’s the little changes that add up. “Start micro with a reusable water bottle,” Florence advises. The team at Vans agrees, noting that, above all, it is about mindfulness and awareness – the rest will begin to come naturally.   

Here are a few stats from Rachael Roeh, Operations & Waste Diversion Manager at Sustainable Coastline Hawaiʻi (SCH) the organization on board for the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing’s on-site waste management:

“Last year SCH diverted 60% of the waste generated at the VTCS ’18 away from the landfill and incinerator. This year our goal is 70% or more.”

“We are working with Waihuena Farms and Greenrows Farms this year to effectively compost food waste and compostable take-out containers.”

“It is important to engage the community. When we work together and have fun in the process- we feel empowered to be better stewards of our oceans, environment and coastlines.”

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