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Green beach fair draws hundreds

CARDIFF-BY-THE-SEA — Despite the unpredictable weather, hundreds of participants descended on Seaside Reef for the annual Cardiff Surf Classic and Rerip Green Fest, which began Sept. 17.
The weekend-long event, presented by the Cardiff 101 MainStreet and Rerip, was packed with vendor booths hawking environmentally sustainable products, wellness services, environmental education opportunities and local food choices.
“There are so many amazing eco-friendly products and solutions out there that are easily accessible to consumers,” said event Co-Chair Betty Steele. “We want to continue that awareness and help encourage our friends, neighbors and community members to make a greener choice.”

Rerip, an organization dedicated to creating accountability, measurability and sustainability to the surf industry, brought a new element to the annual event. In addition to surfboard recycling, the Rerip Green Fest included participation by organizations and individuals in the surf industry showcasing sustainable practices and innovations related to surfboard shaping and manufacturing.

“I love these board swaps,” said John Wright, who was checking out boards. “It’s such a bummer when people just shelve a board because it’s got a few dings.”
The goal of the event was to bring the community together in a familiar setting to experience the possibilities of leading a sustainable lifestyle. “Small changes make a big difference,” event co-chair Brenda Dizon said.

“Our mission is to bring environmental awareness to our coastal communities,” she said. “The devastation caused by the oil spill in the Gulf has caused us to rethink how we treat our environment. We have to realize that it all starts in our own community.”

In addition to the education side of the event, surfing took center stage. The Cardiff versus Solana Beach businesses Surf-Off pitted teams against one another for bragging rights. Four-person teams from local businesses competed Saturday, with the top four going on to the final round Sunday. Team Sanuk took the final victory home.
Surfing and protecting the environment go hand in hand according to co-chair Betty Steele, whose surf team from Steele Realty participated in the contest.
Along with eco-conscious businesses and organizations, the event featured local live entertainment, a Fire Department pancake breakfast and numerous activities for kids and families.
This is a great event that’s low key enough to just drop in at your leisure and hang out with other families,” said Susan Strobel. “The kids always like to come out and see the zoo stuff and most of their friends are here.”
The addition of the tarp surfing was a crowd pleaser. “This is awesome,” said Penelope Saunders, 8, as she finished skateboarding though a “wave” that was comprised of a blue painted tarp. “I want this at my house.”
Saunder’s mom, Sara, was more interested in the bathing suits by Redondo Beach-based Odina. “All of these suits came from recycled, reclaimed fabrics,” said Justin Taylor. “If it saves material from going into the landfill and it’s a good design and product then that’s the way we should all design,” he said.