At the Noosa Festival of Surfing, we are proud to have been involved in establishing Noosa as a World Surfing Reserve, protected from development and destruction and preserved so that future generations may enjoy tomorrow what we cherish today.
Our commitment to giving back goes beyond the stunning environment we are blessed to call home. We are proud to take all the steps we can to make the festival as sustainable and low-impact as possible, but also proudly support worthy charities and organisations. We also strive to create as much benefit as possible to the local community from our ‘8 Days of Pure Stoke’, partnering with businesses to provide exposure and an income for them and valuable services and facilities to our many thousands of visitors from across Australia and around the world.
Here are just a few of the ways we will be Giving Back the Stoke in 2019:
Provision Of Recycling Bins
Every year, we organise the provision of both waste and recycling bins by Noosa Council, emptied daily throughout the event. With the assistance of Surfrider Foundation Sunshine Coast and our diligent commentary team, we regularly encourage all attendees to be aware of their own trash, as well as that of the less considerate visitors to the venue.
Efforts to Reduce Environmental Damage
We plan our event with significant consideration to the location, minimising the risk of natural areas, such as lawn and grassed areas, the shoreline and the wooded areas. We arrange infrastructure to enhance this, diverting foot traffic to prevent these places becoming damaged or used as thoroughfares.
These measures drastically reduce the need for regeneration or rehabilitation after the event.
In 2017, we very successfully established a partnership with Unity Water, bringing their ‘Back to Tap’ project to the beach. Providing stainless steel drink bottles, we asked all competitors and guests to the festival to refill and reuse and removed bottled water from the festival site and XXXX Summer Beach Bar, drastically reducing – in fact, almost elliminating – the consumption of single-use plastic water bottles.
SLOW FOOD NOOSA
Everyone needs to eat and, rather than leaving the action, buying junk food or bringing excessive packaging back to the beach, in 2017 we brought local, healthy, delicious cuisine to First Point with Slow Food Noosa. Slow Food is an international grassroots membership organisation promoting good, clean and fair food for all. Using fresh, locally-grown ingredients, producing healthy, tasty dishes and serving it all, freshly-cooked in front of the customer, Slow Food Noosa provides excellent food, supports the region’s farmers, reduces food-miles and carbon footprint and reduces packaging and waste. We are stoked to be welcoming Slow Food Noosa back in 2018.
With such a huge amount of marketing and information to convey, the Noosa Festival of Surfing has gone to significant lengths to reduce the amount of paper used. Double-sided flyers, programs printed to be kept as souvenirs, and the use of electronic marketing and communication wherever possible have all greatly reduced the quantity of paper used.
We are constantly reviewing and assessing the impact of our sponsors as well, refusing to accept paper advertising for competitor gift bags and helping to bring an increased awareness of waste reduction throughout the annual Festival Village.
Encouraging Ethical Practice
We work closely with our suppliers, sponsors and vendors in every aspect of the Noosa Festival of Surfing’s creation and development, always searching for new ways to increase sustainability and reduce environmental impact. Working with environmental causes, such as Sea Shepherd and the Sunshine Coast chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, we bring attention, both through the event itself and our social media network, the numerous issues.
We also encourage sponsors to take a more ecological approach, reducing the usage of single-use waste and utilising products that promote reuse or natural, less chemical-based options, such as sunscreens.
There is a necessity for significant electricity consumption to allow the festival to function efficiently and professionally. Sound systems, computers, monitors and timers are all essential for the judging alone, and our evening entertainment is also dependent on electricity. But in every area of the festival’s infrastructure we endeavour to be as efficient and limited on electricity consumption as possible, opting for reduced lighting, minimal supply for stallholders and ensuring that power is used only when absolutely necessary.
With very limited parking and to alleviate congestion within Noosa Heads’ CBD, as well as to reduce emissions and pollution, we have a team of full-time traffic controllers to allow for efficient and effective use of parking spaces available. International competitors and visitors are directed towards accommodation within walking proximity to the festival, while those staying further afield are directed to the town’s efficient Park and Ride system and excellent public transport network.
We know we’re not perfect, but we are always striving for better ways to improve and reduce our environmental footprint. Partnering with ecological causes and brands, looking for ways to minimise waste – such as limiting single-use products and utilising biodegradable packaging – and increasing the public awareness are just the beginning.
If you or our business would like to join the Noosa Festival of Surfing as an Ecological Partner, or if you have any good ideas of ways to create a more sustainable festival, please contact [email protected]
It is the responsibility of us all to make the change and protect the environments, so that future generations can continue to enjoy this paradise we call home.