Bodhi Surf + Yoga’s 2021 Social & Environmental Initiatives Report

Bodhi Surf + Yoga / Surf + Yoga Camp Blog / Bodhi Surf + Yoga’s 2021 Social & Environmental Initiatives Report

“Bodhi Surf + Yoga has the mission of educating, inspiring, and empowering our stakeholders to live more sustainably through surfing, yoga, nature immersion, and community engagement.”

At Bodhi Surf + Yoga, we have had a strong ethos of social and environmental responsibility woven into the fabric of our organization since its inception in 2010.

With every passing year, we seek to utilize our business to come up with new, creative solutions to issues that our local and global communities face. Whether that’s a global pandemic or climate change, we believe that Bodhi Surf + Yoga can have a positive impact.

We have a great deal of help in this undertaking! In 2021, the return of all of you — our visiting guests — at pre-pandemic levels bolstered the impact work that we were able to achieve both locally and globally.

Here are some of the year’s highlights. We wouldn’t have been able to achieve even a fraction of this without your help, those both near and far!

Donations for our local and global communities

One major way that we at Bodhi Surf + Yoga can amplify our own impact is by donating to organizations doing values-aligned work. In so doing, we hope to both raise awareness for, as well as directly contribute to, said organizations.

In 2021, we managed to generate $32,441 USD for our communities, local and global, in a few different ways.

In-kind donations

We donated a total value of $9,570 in vacation packages to the following organizations whose work we are stoked to support:

  • Center for Responsible Travel: a nonprofit organization that is “dedicated to increasing the positive global impact of responsible tourism. CREST provides evidence-based research and analysis to governments, policymakers, tourism businesses, nonprofit organizations, and international agencies to solve the most pressing problems confronting tourism, the world’s largest service industry.”
  • 1% For the Planet (Network Auction): a nonprofit organization and “global movement inspiring businesses and individuals to support environmental solutions through annual membership and everyday actions.”
  • Adventure Scientists: a nonprofit organization which “equips partners with data collected from the outdoors that are crucial to addressing environmental and human health challenges. By leveraging the skills of the outdoor adventure community we are able to gather difficult-to-obtain data at any scale, in any environment.”

Community engaged travel experience

Travelers’ Philanthropy Program

In 2014, we started our Travelers’ Philanthropy Program as a way to allocate funds to projects or organizations in our local community that we see firsthand are working to sustain the place we all call home.

Taken directly from our own profit margin, we consider this a voluntary “tax of doing business” in such an amazing place.

While the program itself has evolved over the years, the intention has stayed the same: to connect our visiting guests with the local community.

In 2021, we along with our guests, generated $3,860 USD for Fundación SOMOS through our Travelers’ Philanthropy Program donations.

International Surf Day “Surf-A-thon”

In our first season back amidst the global COVID pandemic, we had to get creative in the ways that we could contribute back to our home community. There were significantly fewer guests than in a normal year, which meant that our Travelers’ Philanthropy Program donations were greatly reduced.

To bridge the gap, we came up with a fun, semi-competitive surfing event between Bodhi Surf + Yoga team members for International Surf Day 2021 (June 20th). The structure of it allowed people from anywhere in the world to pledge and donate money for every wave caught by a participant.

With the help of our international network, we raised $5,651 USD for the youth organization Stanford Environmental Leadership and Language Program (SELAL) through our pilot project, the “Bodhi Surf-A-Thon”.

Impact reduction at Bodhi Surf + Yoga

Environmental sustainability work

We are no strangers to exploring which on-the-ground environmental actions we can take, or environmental awareness campaigns that we can be a part of, with the greater overall effort of reducing our negative impact and amplifying our positive.

In 2021, there were a few notable developments in our environmental sustainability efforts.

Carbon neutrality

We completed the purchase of $2,665 USD worth of carbon offsets for the year 2019 via our partner organization and fellow B Corporation company, Native Energy, in the year 2021.

This 205 metric tons worth of offsets purchased went to Los Santos Wind Farm in Cartago, Costa Rica. We are pleased to be able to both support a fellow B Corp in this endeavor, as well as renewable energy and economic growth in our home country.

Carbon calculator

Also in collaboration with Native Energy, Bodhi Surf + Yoga co-created and introduced a carbon travel calculator for our guests.

This calculator resides on our website and allows them to calculate and purchase carbon offsets for their travel from anywhere in the world to Bodhi Surf + Yoga.

Conservation in Costa Rica

The Marino Ballena National Park (PNMB) is the crown jewel of our area. We are thrilled to be able to responsibly operate our business in this pristine natural area.

In holding lessons in the PNMB, the monies generated support Costa Rica’s national Parks System (SINAC). In 2021, that totaled $8,915 USD.

Community involvement with Bodhi Surf + Yoga

Outside work in our communities, both local and global

One way that we can contribute is with our time, effort, and expertise. A slower operational year meant that team members of Bodhi Surf + Yoga could dedicate those resources to a number of different values-aligned organizations and movements both in our physical community as well as the other types of spaces that we occupy.

In 2021, our team donated approximately 334 hours of its time (a $13,360 USD value) to these organizations:

  • Fundación SOMOS: a registered “Costa Rican not for profit foundation along the Central and South Pacific Coast shaping resilient communities through sustainable development, community security and social enterprise.”
  • B Tourism: a network of “Certified B Corporation travel and tourism companies as well as other conscious travel organizations that take collective action for environmental and social justice [which] hopes to serve as a resource for the regenerative travel movement and to help travelers enjoy a vacation experience that embodies interdependence and interconnectedness.”
  • Transformational Tourism Council: a collective of “ businesses and organizations who understand the powerful and delicate environmental, cultural, social and emotional impact tourism has on the individual traveler as well as the destination.”

Surf and yoga camp 1% for the Planet

Impactful partnerships and memberships

Throughout the years, we have created and maintained mutually beneficial partnerships with movements and nonprofits alike. Last year, we focused our efforts on the following topics:

Responsible and transformational travel (Center for Responsible Travel, Transformational Travel Council)

After the “great pause” in travel during the peak of the COVID pandemic, those in the responsible and transformational travel spaces brainstormed at length about what a comeback in tourism might look like. What changes could be made to make it more equitable, more environmentally sustainable, and more revolutionary. A great deal of work was done, and first steps taken to make these changes come to fruition, and we have been honored to be a part of that.

Environmental conservation and protection (1% for the Planet)

As goes the saying, “There is no Planet B”. The urgency of the various, unfolding, and interrelated environmental crises means that the response must also be swift and multifaceted. For this reason, we have felt very fulfilled to be a member of 1% for the Planet Business Member. In 2021, this membership both solidified and amplified our impact.

Corporate social and environmental responsibility (B Corp)

If conducted with this intention, the private sector can be a major driver in enacting positive social and environmental change. Unlike governmental organizations, companies can act quickly and employ innovative strategies to solve complex problems. We have been a B Corporation for over five years, and we have learned a lot. Being a part of this network was especially poignant and enriching in the pandemic years, as we have both leaned on for support, as well as looked to for inspiration, those in our B Corp community.

For our work, we were awarded the following in 2021…

We are incredibly honored to have been bestowed a few special accolades in 2021. This type of recognition has been incredibly meaningful, especially given the obstacles of the pandemic era, and motivated us to continue pushing on even amidst challenge!

These awards are indicative of our commitment to both economic and social well-being of the communities in which we operate, as well as providing excellent, safe, and responsible travel experiences for our guests.

  • B Corp: 2021 Best for the World — Community
  • TripAdvisor: 2021 Travelers’ Choice Award

Thank you to all of our guests and stakeholders who have become a part of our community, allowing us to do meaningful, passion-filled work. We look forward to continuing to amplify our positive impact in 2022, and hope you will join us for a meaningful, responsible vacation in Costa Rica.

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About the author

Bodhi Surf + Yoga

A surf and yoga camp providing community-engaged travel experiences in beautiful Uvita, Costa Rica. Learn about what makes Bodhi Surf + Yoga different and don't hesitate to contact us.