Tofino Paddle Surf - An Ocean Friendly Business

Ocean Friendly Business Staff Orientation

Surfrider was founded in 1984 with the mission to protect and enjoy the ocean, beaches and waves through a powerful activist network. Here on the Pacific Rim, we are dedicated to keeping our beaches clean, the oceans healthy, and fostering knowledge amongst our communities on how to be stewards of our coastal environment.

As part of the Rise Above Plastics Program, Surfrider has launched the Ocean Friendly Business Campaign (OFB). The goal of this campaign is to work with local businesses to register them as an Ocean Friendly, by assisting them to eliminate single use plastics, implement progressive recycling practices, and transform practices to become more sustainable. This first year has a been a pilot for the OFB Campaign, funded by the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust.

The way businesses operate significantly influences consumer’s actions, and is thus an opportunity to impart positive behaviours and enact change. As a staff person reading this, you are working for a business that is registered as an Ocean Friendly Business, so you are a part of the positive changes that are made and the continued evolution of your workplace’s environmental responsibility. Your own actions also influence the sustainability of your workplace, and of course, the planet at large.


Ten Ways To Rise Above Plastics

In addition to the above points, you can also change your lifestyle to join the Rise Above Plastics movement. Plastics have quickly become one of the most destructive pollutants on the planet, and we all need to work together to change our personal and societal behaviours so that we can solve this global hazard.

Here are ten easy things you can do to reduce your ‘plastic footprint’ and help keep plastics out of the marine environment:

1. Choose to reuse when it comes to shopping bags and bottled water. Cloth bags and metal or glass reusable bottles are available locally at great prices.
2. Refuse single-serving packaging, excess packaging, styrofoam, straws and other ‘disposable’ plastics. Carry reusable utensils in your purse, backpack or car to use at bbq’s, potlucks or take-out restaurants.
3. Reduce everyday plastics such as sandwich bags and juice cartons by replacing them with a reusable lunch bag/box that includes a thermos. Ask your employer if they have a reusable container you can use for lunch.
4. Bring your to-go mug with you to the coffee shop, smoothie shop or restaurants that let you use them. A great way to reduce lids, plastic cups and/or plastic-lined cups. Ask your employer if they have a mug you can borrow if you forget yours.
5. Go digital! No need for plastic cds, dvds and jewel cases when you can buy your music and videos online.
6. Start your own DIY projects! Skip plastic packing by making your own trail mixes, yoghurts, bread, treats, and more! DIY projects are a great activity to do on those rainy days, and there are many online resources to start your own project. For ideas, check out Surfrider Pacific Rim’s Stitch N Beach group that meets monthly.
7. Support plastic bag bans, polystyrene foam bans and bottle recycling bills.
8. Recycle. If you must use plastic, try to choose #1 (PETE) or #2 (HDPE), which are the most commonly recycled plastics. Avoid plastic bags and polystyrene foam as both typically have very low recycling rates. Remember to wash ALL recycling thoroughly before placing in recycling
9. Volunteer at Surfrider Pacific Rim’s monthly beach cleans and lead your own clean ups!
10. Spread the word. Talk to your family, friends, coworkers and workplace guests about
why it is important to Rise Above Plastics! Keep the momentum going!

Be sure to come out to our upcoming events! Check out monthly calendar at:

Surfrider Public Meet Up first Wednesday of every month, from 6:30-8:00PM at the Tofino Brewery. Come and discuss how to get involved in what we do!

Surfrider Stitch ‘n’ Beach Ucluelet every month @ Zoe’s Bakery and Cafe 530-830pm
Surfrider Stitch ‘n’ Beach Tofino every month @ the Tofino Botanical Gardens 5:30-8:30 PM
Check events calendar and Facebook for exact dates as they are subject to change.

Get Involved in our Programs & Campaigns
Whatever your passion or skill-set may be, we have a way for you to get involved!

Love Your Beach Clean Program #LYBC

Youth Environmental Stewardship Program #YES

Wetsuit Reincarnation Program #protectwhatyoulove

Rise Above Plastics Program #RAP

Hold Onto Your Butt Campaign #HOTYB

Straws Suck Campaign #strawsSUCK

Ban the Bag Campaign #banthebag

Ocean Friendly Business Campaign #OFB

To learn how to grow your skills as a ocean steward like our Facebook page and join the public forum at

We would also love for you to get involved in the work we are doing, you can get connected to volunteer opportunities through our website at: or by emailing


-Eliminating expanded Polystyrene (aka Styrofoam) in operations, any other Styrofoam received is recycled in accordance with correct local practices. This can also include sending styrofoam back to suppliers and requesting that another material is used for packing and shipping.

-Elimination of plastic bags (ban the bag campaign), paper bags being provided on request or reusable bags upon purchase. Compostable, paper or no bag being used for waste management.

-Cigarette butts being recycled as part of the Hold On To Your Butt Campaign. Know where your businesses canisters are located, to inform guests as well as to use if you smoke. Also know where your HOTYB fact page is in your workplace to gain updates if you forget any details. The more cigarettes we save from polluting the environment, the healthier our ecosystems will be.

-The development of a sustainability/green team or leader. If you’re interested in making a difference in your workplace, let your manager know you would like to lead or join!

-New progressive recycling practices. This may include recycling amenities, printer cartridges, espresso pods, and writing utensils! Ask your manager to update you on collection zones and information regarding these new practices. Writing utensils can also be dropped off at Ultramarine in Tofino and Blackberry Cove in Ucluelet, you can bring your personal utensils there or volunteer for your workplace to bring them to these drop off locations.

-Composting, know where your workplace’s compost is and how it operates so you can help divert waste from landfill!

-Elimination of plastic water bottles and other forms of plastic bottles like juice containers. Know where freshwater is accessible at your workplace for yourself and guests who need to refill their bottles. Remember to BYO reusable water bottle to work to fill up!

-Elimination of takeout containers, or compostable containers upon request. Also, ask your manager for access to reusable containers for your takeout lunches if you forget yours. Ask your manager if there is a charge a fee for takeout containers or give discounts for people who bring their own containers for takeout

-Elimination of plastic coffee cups and lids, or switch to compostable cups upon request. If you work in a coffee bar, remember that the default is to assume that guests will be drinking their coffee in house. Only give a takeaway cup upon request. Ask your employer what your standards are for giving single use cups: do you charge a fee? Or, is a discount given for people who bring their own mugs?

-Elimination of other forms of plastics in your workplace, ask your manager to update you on what these may be and what alternatives have been put in place.

-Elimination of plastic straws, with a switch to paper upon request. Please work with your team to ensure only paper straws are given out on request, and are hidden from the public’s view.

-Promoting Surfrider Love Your Beach Clean Program, let your employer know or email if you would like to volunteer for one! If you run out of LYBC brochures and would like more, email

-Recycling of unusable wetsuits at dropzones. Ensure to let guests know and recycle your wetsuit when it becomes unwearable!