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Costa Rican surf camp promotes conservation with annual contest

September 7, 2015

The trifecta of nature, surf and yoga have come together again to form the third annual My Ocean Guardian Journey Contest.

Through essays and photo submissions, the competition calls for participants to prove that they’re taking unique and powerful steps to reduce carbon footprints and catalyze conservation efforts. The grand prize winner will win a free, weeklong surf and yoga camp at Bodhi Surf School in Uvita.

Travis Bays, who owns and operates Bodhi Surf School, said the contest aims to promote environmental awareness and lower-impact living.

“One of our goals is to transmit the love and awareness we have for nature, particularly for our oceans, to those we come into contact with,” Bays said. “We are not just surf and yoga educators, we are committed ocean stewards, or ocean guardians, as we like to say, and through the contest we want to recognize the great things others are doing for our oceans.”

Last year, Chantal Plamondon won first place for the online store she founded called Life Without Plastic, which sells products that provide an alternative to plastic. Contestants are encouraged to make sure their environmental call to action puts a relevant spin on an issue and includes real-world strategies to show how effectively an impact can be made.

Contest requirements state that each submission must include: an essay of at least 500 words that plots out the contestant’s environmental action, two related photos and a reference letter or other piece of evidence that proves the contestant is putting his/her idea to work.

The contest will run from Oct. 1 to Oct. 31 and results will be determined by a public vote in Uvita, on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast. Second place will receive a $250 discount on Bodhi Surf School’s 7-night surf and yoga camp along with a T-shirt and a copy of “Blue Mind,” a book by marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols arguing that living near water will make you happier and healthier.

In order to make a contest submission, applicants must first sign the Ocean Guardian Pledge on the camp’s Web page.

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