The places we love to travel to for surf are also the places where our favorite coffees are grown. Your morning cup brings you back to that place, that time, that trip and maybe even that wave – the best ride of your life.
But when we left we knew we could do more – maybe help a school, or clean a river, or preserve a forest.
Surfing, coffee, and potential for global environmental impact are all colliding at some of our favorite surf trip destinations – places we care deeply about.
So that’s the plan, it’s a closed loop. You can support these places you love on multiple fronts.
Drink Coffee. Plant Trees.
When you buy coffee from a place you are connected to you are directly supporting the farming communities and the co-ops that provide business support, education and health care services to their members.
And now that bag of coffee will plant a tree in that region through a local partner that is providing an income to local people for the work.
We have partnered with an group called One Tree Planted to achieve this. Our Mexican and Costa Rican coffee with support their efforts in Central America. Each bag of Brazilian Santos coffee will put a tree in the ground in the Amazon. Your morning cup of Bali Blue Moon will plant a tree in Indonesia.
I knew that Twin Fin Coffee would be a mechanism for giving to environmental or educational causes from the earliest moments of its conception. Surfers are deeply connected to the environment, the places they travel to for surf, and the people who live in these places.
I recently took a long surf trip to Costa Rica, one unlike any I had taken in the past. I surfed a lot, but also took the time to connect with people doing hard work and really helping the community.
I planted trees with Costas Verdes, met with Beverly Kitson who runs the Kitson library in Nosara, had lunch with Ticos y Nicas Somos Hermanos which supports Nicaraguan student refugees who were part of the protests against the Ortega regime, and toured coffee plantations in Orosi to learn about the economic and environmental issues they are facing.
With So Much Need, Who Do You Support?
I learned so much my head was spinning – that planting trees is hard work!, that an english language children’s book in Costa Rica is unbelievably expensive, that these refugees are facing challenges I could never understand, that coffee farmers live precariously at the intersection of economy and environment.
Any and all of these groups are worth supporting (and if you love traveling to Costa Rica as much as I do, you can learn more about supporting them through Amigos of Costa Rica).
I came home invigorated to help, but perhaps more confused than ever on which area to focus on.
However, as the rest of the year rolled on, this issue became more and more clear.
The world was burning.
California. Brazil. Australia.
Over the last year, destruction in California, deforestation in Brazil and now the raging fires in Australia has made the need for tree planting on a massive scale both obvious and imperative.
What I found in my research is that planting trees has one of the biggest bang for the buck on fighting climate change.
I also found that planting trees in the tropics specifically has the greatest opportunity for impact.
So that was the a-ha moment…
And we can keep the visions of waves that dance in our heads alive while contributing to the people and places that make us want to come back again and again.
Continuing to Learn and Evolve
If anything has become clear from this journey, it’s that nothing is as simple as it seems.
Solutions to complex problems aren’t simple, and news bites tend to try to boil things down into speaking points that fail to reflect the true challenge.
Research and data constantly evolve and new crisis arise. Just as I write this, the global Covid pandemic is ravaging the communities and economies that I love, and it makes me wonder if planting trees is the solution we need right now.
But doing nothing isn’t an option. So we’ll just keep moving forward and doing our best.
Thanks for supporting the journey.