Green Gift Monday Partner Q&A: Surfrider Foundation

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Published on December 6th, 2010  |  Discuss This Article  

The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over 50,000 members and 90 chapters worldwide.

A lifelong outdoor sports enthusiast, Matt McClain can often be found surfing, snowboarding or simply relaxing in the places he works day-in and day-out to protect; as both the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Surfrider Foundation, and on the Board of Directors of Protect Our Winters.

Why did you choose to participate in Green Gift Monday?
Our organization’s roots run deep into the surf and action sports community, who tend to be by-and-large very gear-oriented. One could go so far as to say that swimwear, sandals and sunglasses are necessity items for most beachgoers. As such, we thought that Green Gift Monday was a great opportunity for us to highlight some of the products and manufactures that not only fit within our culture, but through sustainability and social responsibility, help the Surfrider Foundation fulfill our mission of protecting our world’s oceans, waves and beaches.

What’s your favorite holiday movie or TV special?
I like Scrooged with Bill Murray. I think that a lot of us in the environmental community can identify with the “Scrooge” character. Which is not to say that we are cynical exactly, more like skeptical…and certainly understandable after seeing so many of our environmental laws eroded over the years. But just as this week’s decision by the Obama Administration to reinstate the executive moratorium on offshore drilling has showed us, the holidays are a time for miracles!!

What makes your product or service a meaningful gifting option?
The Surfrider Foundation’s Holiday Gift Membership is a great way for you and a friend or loved one to share the gift of giving back to our beaches and oceans, but they get a great looking knit organic cotton beanie to boot!

How are you spreading the word about Green Gift Monday?
We rely on our electronic communications pretty heavily – not just during the holiday season, but all year round. We have a really great group of people who follow and interact with us on Twitter and Facebook. If they like what they see they end up passing it on to their friends, so the viral aspect certainly helps us reach a wider audience than we would be able to otherwise.

What’s your favorite holiday tradition?
I’m going to be a bit selfish here and confess that I love going surfing on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day. Most of the crowds you regularly see in the water are gone, so it’s a rare chance to get the line-up to yourself or with just a few others.

Share one tip on how you’re personally going to green your holiday.
I’m a longtime advocate of forgoing the Christmas Tree. Working to reduce our water footprint is one of the core tenets of the Surfrider Foundation (it helps curb urban runoff and lessens our reliance on facilities like desalination plants). When you realize that it takes on average 9,600 gallons – equal to the volume of a small swimming pool – to grow a 6’ tree that is going to be cut down and used just once, it doesn’t really seem to make much sense. Our family simply picks a corner of our living room which we decorate with cool holiday sculptures and hang ornaments off them.

(First Image: Surfrider Foundation logo. Second Image: Matt McClain.)

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