Besides running surfing competitions and calculating contest points for Indonesia’s future surfing champions, the Coca-Cola ISC Tour also has a mission of restoring and preserving the Indonesian beaches it visits during the year. This is done by spreading environmental awareness through the tour’s Keepin’ It Green program and donating surfing goods to the local communities.
Earlier this year, Greg Howell of the Australian-based Climate Wave Enterprises, a business that provides sustainable event management services & products to assist surfing and other events reduce their carbon footprint, stated that last year’s Keepin’ It Green program made the 2011 Coca-Cola ISC Tour the greenest and cleanest surf tour on earth.
This year the Bali-based ROLE Foundation signed on as the official Coca-Cola ISC Tour Keepin’ It Green partner, and from the recent Rip Curl Pro Mentawai had many positive points to report. “Event winner Lee Wilson and several of the other top ISC surfers all volunteered to help plant 100 native mangrove trees in the nearby Macaronis lagoon. This mangrove reforestation project was organized by the ROLE Foundation to offset the carbon footprint of the 2012 Rip Curl Pro Mentawai and to help reforest this part of the North Pagai Island that was destroyed by the October 2010 tsunami,” stated ROLE representative Curtis Lowe.
After the contest was finished, Lowe and a few others visited a small Mentawaiian village just upriver from Macaronis called Silabu as part of the Keepin’ It Green program. Village children in a primary school there were given educational Indonesian cartoon booklets provided by the GUS Foundation, which tells of the importance of caring for the environment, the impact of plastics and how to dispose of them, and how to prepare for natural disasters. The ROLE Foundation also supplied educational pamphlets on mangroves and their importance in the ecosystem.
Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia, which sponsors the Coca-Cola ISC Tour, donated 10 metal trash bins to the Silabu village in order to encourage proper waste disposal, yet another example of spreading green consciousness.
A Mentawai Donation program had been organized in Bali with generous amounts of surf brand clothing, surfboards and surf gear being collected for donation to this village school. The cheering school kids were clearly excited by this, as many of them love surfing but don’t have any surf-branded clothes, and are learning to surf on broken-in-half surfboards in the small beginner waves at Macaronis bay. Hopefully these gifts will help the young grommets to better enjoy the world-class waves in their backyard.
Nusa Lembongan star surfer Wayan “Robot” Susiana won the Keepin’ It Green Award for being the only contestant that offered to venture into the village to help hand out the donated goods and the environmental booklets to the overjoyed school kids.
A very special thanks goes out to the small group that helped make the donations possible. 10-year-old Surfer Girl Cinta Hansel donated two ready-to-ride surfboards and clothes to the cause. Curtis Lowe ensured that Cinta’s wish that one of the boards (her personal board) would be given to local surfer girls to learn on was fulfilled. Lowe was feeling the energy and so donated one his own personal boards to the village, and Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia donated another brand new kid-sized board. ISC competitor Hasan Gordon also donated a big bag full of clothes and boardshorts, and surf companies Arnette and Oakley gave over 30 t-shirts and hats to the Mentawai cause.
On the boat trip back to Padang Harbor the Rip Curl team aboard the Indies Explorer stopped at Lance’s Right and brought local surfer Adi to the boat, where James Hendy presented him with a bag full of clothes and surf gear.
It was great to see such encouraging help from throughout the Indonesian surfing community for these Green and Goodwill efforts. Look out for the next Keepin’ It Green chapter in Cimaja, West Java, which will feature local surf hero Dede Suryana leading by example amidst his family, friends, and acquaintances, sharing the Coca-Cola ISC Tour Keepin’ It Green message.