Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Roper Edition.
For those of you that don’t know Joe Roper personally, he is a firm adopter of the saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Joe stresses this motto to Reduce Reuse Recycle wherever possible when it comes to his business. “I don’t want our landfills to piling up with the toxic materials that surfboards are made out of, especially when they can easily be repurposed,” Joe states.
Every inch of his shop is filled with repurposed goods: the carpeting is second hand rejects from carpet distributors and came to his shop before being thrown away, the cabinets and shelves are reclaimed and restored from friends construction sites instead of going to the dump, the racks are welded together from old piping with no further use…every corner of the shop has a story and a recycled purpose, and Joe takes pride in his niche to help the environment in every way he can.
When it comes to surfboard manufacturing, there will always be a vast amount of waste—despite this; Joe has found ways to repurpose this “waste.” Below are a few examples of daily practices taken at Joe Roper’s Surfboard Repair to further Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
Every time a new surfboard is glassed, the fiberglass is pulled from the roll and laid out across the surfboard blank, from there, the glasser will cut around the shape of the board. But what happens to the scrap? There is plenty of glass that gets wasted from this and thrown away everyday. Joe repurposes these pieces for surfboard repairs, as a small portion of fiberglass is necessary for repairs and can be cut from these scraps. This tactic prevents waste and repurposes the excess fiberglass for repairs.
Paints and resins are highly toxic—so at Joe Roper’s, they are never to be thrown away, but instead to be used for “surf art.” Whenever there are leftovers of paint or pigmented resin in the shop, the excess materials are poured onto the “surf art pieces” around the shop—and as you’ll see, the outcome is actually pretty cool.
When a surfboard is shaped, what happens to all of the leftover foam dust?! Usually it is thrown away, however Joe goes to the local shapers to give it one more purpose before it goes in the trash. At Joe Roper’s, we use this excess foam dust as a wax-removing tool. After scraping the bulk of the wax from the surfboard, by rubbing the foam dust around the surface of the board, it removes the excess film of wax that gets stuck on the deck and leaves the board with that nice new board smooth finish. Again, one more repurpose for someone else’s “garbage.”
Joe Roper takes pride in helping the environment in every way he can, and encourages others to do the same. So before getting rid of your so-called “junk,” think—what can I do to Reduce Reuse Recycle!