For many summer seasons, sustainability in our surf camps in France and Spain has been a key issue for us here at Star Surf Camps. Before the beginning of each summer season, we take a good look at our day-to-day practices in all our surf camp destinations, and we evaluate how we as a surf holiday provider can become more sustainable. When we are camping in our surf camps in France or Spain every summer, our surf camp teams and surf holiday guests are literally immersed in nature 24/7. It is impossible not to want to strive towards best practices in taking care of mother nature.
There are plenty of tourism or travel companies out there that love to make a point about being sustainable. However, the very nature of our industry more often than not begins with C02 emissions when we take a flight or a bus, for example, to our chosen surf holiday destination. Now the waves are not going to stop rolling in and the world’s not going to stop traveling or surfing. That’s why it is our responsibility as a surf holiday operator to do our part and to try and make our little surf camps as ecological as possible. That we still have a long way ahead of us, we know. But we are trying to make little improvements each year.
Below we have summarized the areas we have been working on improving over the past years to become more sustainable in our surf camps. Many of our improvements towards more sustainable surf holidays have come from you, our guests, leaving us feedback with great suggestions.
Keep them coming and we will keep improving – promise!
Thank you guys & stay safe!
Your Star Surf Camps Team
Natural Surf Camps from Local Materials
Here at Star Surf Camps, one of the ways we strive to become more environmentally-friendly is through utilizing the wonderful natural materials we have access to close to our surf camp locations.
Our Moliets Surf Camps and Moliets Surf & Yoga Camp, for example, are situated in traditional French pine forests and we have an abundance of pine at our disposal. All our chill-out areas as well as our communal dining areas are created from solid pine wood. All wood is treated to ensure its lifespan is maxed out.
We’re also massive fans of bamboo in all our surf camps! This material is an absolute winner. It is the most environmentally-friendly and sustainable wood out there. It’s adaptable and resilient, it requires no fertiliser and self-regenerates from its own roots. On top of that, it gives our surf camps the charm and tropical coziness everyone loves.
Where does our surf camp bamboo come from? No, we do not have our bamboo shipped halfway around the world before we use it to build our surf camps. In France, we have a good friend (and yes, his name is Pierre!) who owns a chateau just a 20-minute drive from our surf camps in Moliets. Pierre has a flourishing bamboo forest that he looks after on his land. Each year in the Spring, our surf camp team helps him chop down the overgrown bamboo areas.
Vegetarian & Vegan Meals
The production of meat puts a huge strain on the environment which is one of the reasons that vegetarian and vegan diets are becoming more popular. We see this trend in a lot of our surf camp guests who are conscious of global sustainability. Whether you choose a vegetarian or vegan diet based on environmental reasons, animal welfare or health choices, here at Star Surf Camps we salute you and have got you covered.
Cooking for large groups of surf holiday guests in our surf camps, we have started to feel a social responsibility to help promote a vegetarian diet. So, in order to reduce our surf camps’ meat consumption, we have started to cook vegetarian and plant-based meals for all our surf holiday guests in the surf camp once a week. We knew that our guests are hungry when they come back from a day of surfing and beaching. Our onsite surf camp chef uses fresh, high protein ingredients like beans and sweet potatoes and cooks at super tasty dishes, such as coconut curries and multi-bean chilies. Needless to say these go down a treat.
For all-year-round vegetarians, vegans and surf holiday guests with special dietary requirements, you can request our veggie/vegan food option during the booking process of your surf holidays!
Reusing & Recycling
Reusing and recycling are key to a more sustainable future. All of our surf camps have a number of freshwater drinking taps dotted around where you can fill your glass directly or use a reusable water container to store up for a day at the beach. The pipes are well underground giving us fresh and cool water with unlimited demand. It’s also a popular hangout spot of the surf camps to chat, flirt or gossip!
We encourage all our surf holiday guests to bring their own reusable water bottles and Tupperware boxes when they come on surfing holidays with us. Should you forget yours, don’t worry. We stock eating bowls made from bamboo that are shaped like traditional Tupperware boxes with a fresh seal lock and bamboo knife and spork. Super stylish and made from bamboo fibers, these are perfect for taking leftovers to the beach for lunch or preparing a fresh salad in the morning to take down to the beach. We love Keep Cups, too. Check them out here!
We can all play our part in reducing plastic waste. As mentioned above, we encourage all our surf holiday guests to bring their own Tupperware box for lunches or leftovers, drastically reducing the packaging waste we reduce. But it’s not just keeping plastic waste to a minimum, it’s also giving back to Nature by improving the environment we live in. That’s why we organise regular beach cleans with our surf camp guests. Read more about one of our beach cleans on Fuerteventura here!
Supporting Local Economy & Ocean Charities
Sustainability does not always mean looking after our environment and having a minimal impact on our natural surroundings. For us, it also means being connected to the local area of our surf camps we are lucky enough to be welcomed into.
We’ve never wanted to be an all-inclusive surf camp. We want to support the local shops, bars, cafés and restaurants that rely on surf holidaymakers like yourself. And in turn, we also want you, our guests, to immerse yourself in the local culture and its delicacies. That’s why in our surf camps in France and Spain we have made the decision to implement three “Eat Out” nights per surf holiday week for you to enjoy and support the local economy. We believe enjoying the local cuisine is part of your surf holiday experience with us here at Star Surf Camps, and you get to support the independent businesses when you do so. That’s sustainability!
And, where and when we can, we always try to make contributions and use our platform to help raise awareness for environmental and social charities that look after our ocean. We often seek help from amazing organisations like Surfers Against Sewage and the Plastic Project.
No more Airbeds
Airbeds have been the standard in surf camp lodging, at least where you are camping. They are readily available, cheap, easy to clean, easy to store and more hygienic than a traditional mattress. After our first few years of running surf camps, we quickly realised that long summer seasons and hot temperatures were taking its toll on the plastic product. We’ve tried different companies, but most airbeds wouldn’t even last us for one season, thus producing lots of plastic waste each year.
Something had to change which sparked a brainstorm. We contacted a manufacturer of hospital beds and talked through comfy airbed alternatives that could be cleaned easily and have a longer lifespan. The initial investment was more than 5x the cost of airbeds, but we are proud to say these allergy-free, memory foam and, most importantly, super comfy mattresses have been worth the investment. They have stood the test of surf camp time and, with the exterior cover designed for hospitals, they are very hygienic and easy to clean. So, if you care about getting a good night’s rest after a long day of surfing, you will be super happy we’re sure!
Sustainable Travel Options to our Surf Camps
Here at Star Surf Camps, we believe that, collectively, we can really reduce our carbon footprint when travelling to and from our surf camps. When planning your surf holiday travels, keep in mind that there are many different travel options apart from taking a plane.
Travel by Boat: Check out Brittany Ferries who offer crossings of the British Channel.
Long-distance Coach Travel: We can help you organise your long-distance coach travel to our surf camps from all over Europe through our partner company. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info! Alternatively, both Eurolines and Flixbus offer cheap long-distance coach travel options to our surf camps.
Using International Rail: Cheap international rail fares can be found here.
Car Share: Since many of our surf holiday guests like to road trip to our surf camps, check out our dedicated Car Sharing Facebook group where individual travellers can link together, meet up and share the journey down to France