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Palm Beach Surf Club

Gold Coast venues get Ocean Friendly

Natalie O’Driscoll | January 2021

Venues across the Gold Coast are jumping on board the Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly program.

Gold Coast food and drink purveyors are riding the sustainability wave all the way to a greener planet by rising to the ‘Ocean Friendly’ challenge set by the long-running conservational not-for-profit organisation Surfrider Foundation Australia.

Initiated in 2019, the Ocean Friendly accreditation program aims to reduce single use plastic at its source through the promotion of hospitality businesses along Australia’s coast that undertake sustainable practices.

Accreditation is free, but in order to achieve it, businesses and events must implement six critical measures:

1. No expanded polystyrene foam use
2. No single-use plastic straws
3. Reusable tableware is used for ‘dine in’ and non-plastic utensils for takeaway food
4. No water sold in plastic bottles
5. No plastic bags offered for takeout orders
6. Proper recycling practices are followed.

The following Gold Coast businesses have all managed to achieve Ocean Friendly certification since the program’s implementation:

Palm Beach Surf Club and Jeffersons Palm Beach

The Palm Beach Surf Club Supporters Club and its hole-in-the-wall coffee stop Jeffersons Café deserve top billing on this list, as the first venues on the Gold Coast to achieve Ocean Friendly certification, back in August of 2019.

The Club paved the way for other venues to follow suit, with Club General Manager Daragh Murphy saying their phone “ran hot” in the weeks following accreditation, with clubs all around the country asking for advice on their own processes. It a process fraught with challenges, he said, but definitely a worthwhile one.

“We had to work very closely with all partners and suppliers to remove styrofoam from deliveries and find another way,” said Daragh.

“It also wasn’t easy to find cost effective alternatives for existing single use items, including compostable paper straws and napkins. But the Club had a strong appetite to do more in the sustainability space.”

Currumbin RSL

The Currumbin RSL Group has made sustainability part of its mission statement and since 2009, so it’s not surprising to see them on this list of sustainability leaders on the Gold Coast. The Club has made a marked difference to its carbon footprint including reduction in waste, resource use and social initiatives over the years, and can now add Ocean Friendly certification to its list.

4 Pines Tap Room

4 Pines was born over a decade ago, following a casual post-surf conversation between a father and son. Since then this ocean-living family enterprise has put as much passion into their sustainability efforts as they have making their beer, even creating a charitable offshoot Save The Pines, which demonstrates their commitment to our shared environmental and social responsibility. By making constant efforts to reduce their water and electricity usage, install solar, work towards achieving zero waste and now gaining their Ocean Friendly nod, this socially conscious enterprise is well on their way to being a brewery of the future.

Black Hops Brewing

This local brewery, kicked off and still run today by three mates on the Gold Coast, is known around the traps for its multi-award-winning brews, consistently topping consumer lists as well as winning much industry recognition. And now Black Hops can add an Ocean Friendly string to their bow. Eliminating bubble wrap and plastic, switching to a environmentally friendly packaging tape and utilising biodegradable bags were just a handful of the measures implemented along their green journey.

Burleigh Brewing

Since Burleigh Brewing’s inception in 2006, Co-founders Peta and Brennan Fielding have built an ever-growing team of more than fifty, and together, won countless awards for both business and brewing. Positioning themselves in beautiful Burleigh was no accident, with the beach-loving team undertaking the Ocean Friendly certification in order to do their bit towards preserving their cherished local environment.

Balter Brewing Company

Gold Coast breweries are really leading the charge on this one. Not just content with winning awards all over the place and inventing an actual sport (Tinnie Hurling – yes it’s a thing and it has World Titles), the local brew ninjas at Balter Brewing have also somehow found the time to raise money for ocean conservation charities along the way, and now this crew of childhood mates from the Gold Coast have gained their Ocean Friendly accreditation.

The Freedom Hub

It’s unsurprising that a venue with such a socially conscious premise would also be concerned with sustainability.

The Freedom Hub in Palm Beach is one of two cafes and events spaces (the second is in Sydney), which supports, through its profits, the Freedom Hub Survivor School. The Survivor School trains and equips victims of modern slavery to rebuild their lives, regain confidence and be re-employed in freedom. And now they’re officially Ocean Friendly, too.

Ground Grocer

Ground Grocer may not boast a beachfront location, but this business is wholly underpinned by sustainable values. Located in the lush surrounds of the Ecovillage at Currumbin in the beautiful Currumbin Valley, Ground Grocer is a collective of local businesses with strong environmental and social values offering a local, organic and natural approach to living. Their Ocean Friendly certification is another in a long list of environmental achievements by this local concern.

Interested in sustainability? Read about the unique eco-friendly village in Currumbin Valley creating a more sustainable future..

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