San Diego Edition
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed

Eliminating Waste from the Surfboard Industry

with Switch to Zero Program

Ryan Harris

Ryan Harris

Ryan Harris, the owner and founder of Earth Technologies, Ry Harris Shapes and H2SUP, constantly strives for greener and more sustainable materials to build surfboards with. This leader in eco-conscious boards considers himself a life-long environmentalist.  “I’ve always been outdoorsy with a strong connection to nature,” he says. 

        After growing up in Portland, Oregon, and working in product design at Nike for years, Harris left the soggy Pacific Northwest and moved to Southern California. Although not a surfer before his arrival, he quickly fell in love with the surf culture. Within his first year of moving to Los Angeles, he began shaping boards on the side, to supplement his bartender income. Soon, his hobby became a full-time gig, and 17 years later, Harris is regarded as one of biggest driving forces in the green board movement.

        With his awareness of how toxic surfboard materials are to the environment, from resin to foam, Harris’s goal is to eliminate all waste from surfboard factories. His Zero Waste program is a giant leap in the right direction. “The first step for us came about 10 years ago when we began using eco-resins,” recalls Harris. “But the resin was yellow and you know that surfers equated yellow with old. Fast forward to now, this eco-resin is so clear and beautiful and it’s superior from a performance standpoint.”

        While he was excited to offer more eco-friendly boards, he had a lightbulb moment last year when he realized his factory was still making a ton of waste that ends up in landfills. So, Harris set out to find solutions with several programs that help him properly deal with the waste.

        Harris has partnered with companies like Waste to Waves, a company that recycles surfboard foam; and Pushfins in Portland, a company that makes eco surfboard fins out of glassing room waste. He is especially excited about being able to eliminate all of his shaping room waste with the help of a company called Living Earth Systems and their network of meal worms. “It’s an amazing process, really.  Meal worms and other critters eat the foam and their excrement produces organic soil,” he explains. “This is a game-changer, how an organic life form can take something so toxic to the environment and turn it into something organic.”

        According to Harris, what started as a ‘pipe dream’ is now a reality. “We’re now making usable products out of all our trash,” says this trendsetter, who hopes the rest of the industry will soon hop on board.   

For more information on Ryan Harris and his Zero Waste program, visit


Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Declutter and Organize your Space

She founded her business so she could support others in clearing their clutter for good, allowing for a better flow of energy in one’s space and life.

Gift Annuity Life Estate Program

Tina Buchanan MSW, Aging Life Care Ambassador and founder of Visionary Care Consultants in San Diego, is excited to discuss a program she is passionate about, called the Gift Annuity Life Estate Program.

Promoting Quality of Life at Every Stage of Life

Support and guidance is also provided to a patient’s family members. Members of the hospice staff make regular visits to assess the patient and provide additional care.

Business Women’s Mega Mixer

March is Women’s History Month and it’s an amazing time to stop and reflect on the trailblazers and glass ceiling-shatterers that came before us and the progress each of us as individuals have made in our respective careers, industries and lives.

Digestive Wellness Holds the Key to your Overall Health

Over 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates, known as the “Father of Medicine,” stated, “All disease begins in the gut.” Optimal health can only be achieved with having optimal digestion and elimination.

Comments posted are subject to review and removal if they are not in line with publication guidelines. Opinions are those of the person posting them.

Add your comment: