At Bodhi Surf + Yoga, we believe that we should all “be the change we want to see in the world”, individually and as organizations. Since our inception in 2010, Bodhi Surf + Yoga has had a true north of being more than just a business that operates to make money for its owners or staff. Instead, we have sought to do things a little outside of what’s considered normal or typical. We enjoy the creative freedom and the challenge that comes from innovating in this way.
In the year 2018, we were happy to take a leadership role as a business that actively aims to reduce its negative environmental impact and maximize it’s positive social impact. Bodhi was recognized as a “Best for the World” B Corporation in the Community category for the second year in a row. We were named a B Corp Inclusive Economy Challenge “Changemaker”. We joined 1% for the Planet — voluntarily donating one percent of our gross annual sales to supporting environmental non-profits. We also, and most notably, made great strides our carbon audit to ultimately become a carbon neutral business.
Here are a few more things (that we’re incredibly proud to share) which happened in 2018!
Community programs: Delving deep
We invested 3000+ volunteer hours to community projects such as:
- Bahia Ballena Plastic Free Coalition
- Semilla de Ballena coastal reforestation
- Service & Surf Saturdays
- Yoga for the Community
Additionally, three co-founders of Bodhi serve on three different non-profit advisory boards.
Community investment: Helping out at home
In 2018 we helped jumpstart the SOMOS Foundation, a Costa Rican nonprofit foundation in our area which works to shape resilient communities through sustainable development, community security, and social enterprise.
In addition to that, we did the following:
- Invested $1800 into our Travelers Philanthropy Program, and generated an additional $600 from our guests
- Donated $4900 into community service projects
We also made strides to improve our own community microcosm for staff at Bodhi Surf + Yoga in the following ways:
- Developing an employee benefits and training program
- Adding a diversity and inclusivity policy and doing some trainings for staff
Environmental awareness: Spreading eco-love
At Bodhi Surf + Yoga, we see a unique opportunity to [re]connect guests to nature and encourage them to protect it, not just while they’re here in Costa Rica, but long after they’ve gone home.
We also take action to promote pro-environmental behavior in the following ways:
- Our online Ocean Guardian Pledge: there were 42 new signees in 2018, bringing the total to 537
- At our lodge, 100+ guests completed on-site pledges at the end of their stays
- Our annual Ocean Guardian Contest: there were 12 Ocean Guardian Contest entries in 2018 and over 400 combined views of contest entries
- We worked with fellow B Corp company, MilkCrate, to develop the innovative Bodhi App to empower future and past Bodhi guests to take pro-environmental action
Impact reduction: Holistic accounting
We made the decision to go carbon neutral, and in early 2019, turned it into a reality. For the latter portion of 2018, we conducted an extensive carbon audit of all three of our GHG scopes. We were already offsetting our guests flights (a policy which we started in late 2017), but wanted to look at the other aspects of our operations.
In early 2019, we did the following:
- Purchased 186 metric tons of business-related CO2 offsets (25 tons from our operations and 161 guest flights)
- Collaborated with another B Corporation company, NativeEnergy, to achieve this goal
- Via these offsets, we invested into renewable energy in Costa Rica at the Los Santos Wind Farm in Cartago, located less than a hundred miles from the Bodhi lodge (at current capacity, this Gold Standard-verified project can generate 12.75 Megawatts of energy, providing electricity to 50,000 people and saving 11,000 tons of carbon emissions each year)
Global donations: Investing in what matters to us
Last year we donated $24,730 fair market value in vacation packages to the following:
- B Lab
- Adventure Scientists
- Center for Responsible Travel
- Leave No Trace
- French Broad River Academy, as well as Grades of Green
- … to name a few
Responsible travel: Creating conscientious globetrotters
There’s a lot we can do in our own community, be it affecting positive change through community programs and investment, or utilizing our business (which combines our home community and environment, our skills and knowledge, and our passions), as a platform to inspire our guests who are passing through.
Yet there’s more we can do, by promoting different aspects of responsible travel on the global stages of conferences, summits, and retreats. In 2018, we spoke at the following:
- 2018 B Corp Champions Retreat in New Orleans
- The 8th Annual BlueMind Summit in Miami
We were also stoked to do the following:
- Work with Dr. Carter Hunt at Penn State on tourism research that led to a published article in the Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism in early 2019 about Bodhi Surf + Yoga
- Help to start a responsible travel + tourism advocacy group within the B Corp movement
- Create the Bodhi Tribe, an online Facebook group for guests to connect with one another and share their travel experiences with one another
Can’t stop, won’t stop
“A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.” ~ François-René de Chateaubriand
Make no mistake, we at Bodhi feel incredibly fortunate for a life where the lines of work and play blur together. For this reason, we let our passions fuel our labor, and will never stop improving. We will continue to “pursue our vision of excellence”. For us, that vision for us is one that must include our communities (both local and global), the environment, and all stakeholders in our business. We will do it not just because we believe it’s our duty, but also because it’s our passion. And the place where passion and duty collide — well, as we’ve learned, that’s where the magic happens.