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Surf Lessons

“ The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun” - Phil Edwards

Salty but sweet, I´m ready !!

Kids

Vitamin Sea, that´s all they need !!

Let the sea set them free !!

Experiences

Collect moments not things, have stories to tell not stuff to show!!

Sea you soon, right now !!

Rentals

You can´t buy hapinness but you can rent a surfboard !!

The ocean is where I belong, I´m in !!

Yoga

“It´s all about where your mind´s at” - K. Slater 11 times world surf champion

Today I work in instead of workout.

Ready for us?

Yes, yes yes

Surf Lessons

“ The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun” - Phil Edwards

Salty but sweet, I´m ready !!

Kids

Vitamin Sea, that´s all they need !!

Let the sea set them free !!

Experiences

Collect moments not things, have stories to tell not stuff to show!!

Sea you soon, right now !!

Rentals

You can´t buy hapinness but you can rent a surfboard !!

The ocean is where I belong, I´m in !!

Yoga

“It´s all about where your mind´s at” - K. Slater 11 times world surf champion

Today I work in instead of workout.

Ready for us?

Yes, yes yes

future-surf-school-

Much more than just another surf school

At Future Eco Surf School we aim not only to teach you how to surf, but we also want to share with you our stoke and connection with nature and especially with the ocean. This can be a life-changing and inspiring process if done in a conscious and committed way.

Get to know a typical day with Future Eco Surf School

A Sustainable Surf School

future-surf-school-interaction

Sustainability

At Future Eco Surf School we believe we can make a difference.

That together we can do more and better to help create a healthier planet and a fairer society.

Being conscious that with small steps we accomplish a long walk, we are at this stage restructuring our internal and operational procedures and strategies. It will allow us to enjoy nature to the fullest with minimum impact.

Blog

Read the latest on our blog

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We have offset some – the largest share, coming from the gas tank of our vans – of our emissions from 2020. We hope we can become carbon neutral by 2025, the latest.

Sustainability and carbon offsetting at the Future Eco Surf School

Everything we do has an impact on the planet we’re blessed to call home. The best we can do is to reduce this impact as much as we can. 

At Future we’re conscious we still have a long road to travel when it comes to minimizing our carbon footprint and our overall ecological impact.

But we’re surely and proudly surfing this wave in the right direction.

When it comes to our carbon footprint – short for the greenhouse gas emissions we’re accountable for, which include other gases besides carbon dioxide like nitrous oxides or perfluorocarbons –  we’re trying to reduce it as much as we can. 

After getting to the huge number of kilometers our vans have traveled – some mind-blowing 81.000 km (50331 miles) – and doing some maths on fuel consumption, we concluded that last year we were responsible for 21 tonnes of CO2eq.

At Future Eco Surf we stand with Mozambique’s households

carbon offsetting credits future eco surf

We decided to back up a project certified by the Gold Standard which is one of the top standards in this field and support a Portuguese-speaking country: Mozambique.

Many people in Maputo (the capital) live in poor housing and hygienic conditions as basic services lack a little everywhere. 

Some 95% of the population living in Maputo suburbs use cookstoves, which have low energy efficiency and require large amounts of charcoal for daily cooking activities. 

Charcoal use has negative health impacts related to the smoke inhalation in addition to causing a economic pressure for the families. Charcoal production is also one of the main causes of the deforestation. Gold standard

The project we supported, named “Improved cookstoves in Chamanculo C, Maputo” involves the distribution of approximately 5,000 domestic fuel-efficient cook stoves to households to improve energy efficiency, conserve natural resources and improve living conditions for the local population.

The stoves will be sold to the families at a highly subsidised cost, in exchange for the rights to the Voluntary Emission Reductions (VERs), according to the Gold Standard. The company also says that without this project, the majority of families would not have access to fuel-efficient cook stoves due to economic constraints.

If you’re interested, you can read more about the project here.

Carbon offsetting is not enough. A sustainable planet needs us to do more

carbon offsetting sustainability future surf eco
Cooking stoves for Mozambique’s households

We’re aware of this.

Carbon offsetting is often used as an excuse for companies to keep on polluting without really making meaningful changes to the way they do business. And so no real effort is done to prevent this pollution in the first place. 

Why is this bad? Because the greenhouse gas emissions companies produce are immediate and travel to the troposphere where they remain trapped way faster compared to, for instance, planting trees. We use this example because planting trees to offset emissions is one of the most widespread offsetting strategies.

Unfortunately, planting trees to sink a number of emissions equivalent to what has been emitted can take years or even decades – depending on the species planted or the soil’s health.

For this and a couple of other reasons, carbon offsetting is not a solution, it simply mitigates the problem.

That’s why we are reviewing our entire value chain to prevent/minimize these emissions beforehand. The goal is to offset increasingly fewer greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years, meaning we would truly be polluting less at the source.

And we’re targetting not only the emissions from our vans’ pipes but also other scopes of emissions coming from our employees, clients or suppliers. 

There’s a saying that goes more or less like this: “the planet needs many imperfect ecologists, not a few perfect ecologists”. 

We’re not perfect – at least yet! – but we truly believe the change needs to be systemic and that all together we can do better. Will you join us in protecting our amazing planet?

[Image credits belong to the Gold Standard and Daniel Pankoke, our in-house photographer📸)

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Consider the below guide to Algarve Surf spots, from north to south and from west to east.

If you are looking for where to surf in the Algarve either if you are a beginner or intermediate level surfer.

We will not include a few gems that are hard to reach, difficult to surf or have hardcore local surfers.

This way you avoid the surf spots where you would probably lose your time. So you can go straight to the surf spots that will be easier to reach and to surf.

Odeceixe beach

Beautiful beach, not so crowded. Beach break sandbar with a small river mouth, car parking lot very close by, snack bars and toilets on location.


Amoreira beach

A very consistent surf spot. Beach break sandbar with a small river mouth, crowded by summer. Car parking lot very close by, snack bars and toilets on location.


Monte Clérigo beach

Beach break with a few rocks, strong currents on specific tides, more powerful waves than the previous spots. Car parking lot by the beach, snack bars, and toilets on location.


Arrifana beach

As it’s a beach break protected from the main swell direction and predominant wind it has consistently clean surf and smoother waves than the previous surf spots.

When the surf gets big it’s one of the few places that still are surfable for the average surfer.

Due to this Arrifana beach is the most popular surf spot around this area and you should expect plenty of crowd throughout the year.

There’s even a great right-hand point break that only works on bigger swells and is only advisable for quite experienced surfers due to the exposed rocks and punishing waves.
Expect some walking as there are plenty more cars than parking slots. Snack bars and toilets available on location.


Vale Figueiras beach

Beach break mostly sand but some rocks here and there. Not so crowded, no facilities at the beach (no snack bars, no toilets). There is a small car parking lot by the beach and another one further up the road.


Bordeira beach

The largest surf spot on the west coast so a long walk will mean way more space in the sand and in the water than most of the other surf spots around. Consistent on waves, very exposed to the dominant wind, one snack bar, no toilets, plenty of car parking slots but expect minimum 10/15 min walk to reach the surf spot location.


Amado beach
Consistent beach break, relatively protected from the main wind direction and quite a large beach make it the most popular surf break in the Algarve so expect good waves but also plenty of crowds. There are toilets, snack bars, and lots of car parking slots by the beach.

A guide about Algarve Surf Spots

Cordoama beach
Beach break with some rocks, the most consistent surf spot regarding wave size, has some powerful waves, and often very talented surfers around. Has toilets, a snack bar, a car parking lot right at the beach, and breath-taking views from the lookout from the top of the 100 meters high cliffs


Castelejo beach

Beach break with some rocks, beautiful beach, usually some nice wave formation, a bit protected by the dominant winds. Has toilets, snack bar and car parking lot.


Tonel beach

The most southwestern wave in Europe has a unique location. It´s a beach break with some exposed rocks, has some strong currents on specific tides, and is located in the surf vibe village of Sagres. There is a snack bar but no toilets, anyway it´s walking distance from the village.


Mareta beach

The most western surf spot on the Algarve south coast, it needs big northwest/west swells or small south swells to come alive, has great waves when conditions gather. Located in the heart of Sagres, gets crowded easily. All facilities in walking distance.


Zavial beach

Very famous surf spot on the south coast, the most consistent regarding wave size, waves are powerful and often offer barrels. Expect a crowd of all levels, there are toilets, a snack bar, and a car parking lot.


Meia Praia de Lagos

Very inconsistent surf break except for south swells and especially southeast swells. It works occasionally at the peak of summer and more often in the peak of winter. Walking distance from trendy traveller-friendly Lagos downtown and has a great surf vibe.


Praia da Rocha beach

Besides Zavial is the most consistent surf spot on the south coast, waves are smooth and gentle making it great for beginners and intermediate but not so challenging for advanced surfers. It’s the main beach of the 2nd most populated town in the Algarve so it’s kind of a surf city itself. It can get crowded on the main peak by the pier but as it’s a 2km long sandy beach it can handle plenty of surfers. 

Praia da Galé beach

The best surf spot around Albufeira town, it’s a mix of sand and rocks beach break. The wave is quite rideable, especially the left-hander.  Has all the necessary facilities close by.


Praia da Falésia beach

Nice beach break, especially the left-hander by the pier. It’s a short but strong wave. Not very consistent as most of the south surf spots. All facilities close by. 

Praia de Faro beach

Expect a long walk to surf the best sandbar location a bit down the beach. It’s the closest you can get from the airport as they are side by side make sure to avoid the high tide and score the low tide. All facilities close by.


Praia ilha de Tavira beach

Way better on the low tide, need a local boat short trip to get there, but when it works you might just need boardshorts as by summer and fall it offer some nice warm surf days. One of the most consistent surf spots when the occasional southeast swells come in.


Hope you find the waves of your life, in this Algarve surf guide to find the best surf spots, and remember to play safe, respect the surf etiquette, make friends and share the surf stoke 🙂

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Is Portugal’s Food system sustainable?

One of the single largest reason for humans’ transgression of the key planetary limits is the global food system.

Worldwide, agriculture, forestry and other land use are responsible for 24% of global emissions. Inside it are practices such as crop cultivation, livestock practices and deforestation.

High meat and fish consumption is high in Portugal, according to a recent study from Galli et al (2020).

But also noticeable food wastage, and high urbanization level.

The team behind the study demonstrated food consumption in Portugal is the single largest reason (≈30%) why the Portuguese trespass the carrying capacity of Earth ecosystems.

Let’s take a quick closer look at some of this study’s main conclusions.

The Global Food System: A Systemic Problem

Throughout the 20th century, food demand has been largely met.

This was thanks to staple crop yields providing plenty of wheat, maize, soybean or rice.

But today’s agricultural practices put long-term food security at risk.

Soils are getting depleted.

Biodiversity is being lost at a rate of 150-200 species of plants, insects, birds or mammals a day. Entire ecosystems are at the risk of collapse. To name a few.

As if the above wasn’t bad enough, around 11% of the global population today suffers from chronic undernourishment.

On the other side of the spectrum, in 2016, there were 2 billion overweight adults. The unbalance in global dietary patterns is undeniable.

John Elkington (who coined the term triple bottom line) shared an interesting view on the book The Green Swans. That today more people have access to more calories, but these have worse quality.

We both know there’s a final piece in this story.

How our food system is screwed the answer is food waste.

Something only humans create since there is no such thing as waste in the natural world.

A Systemic Problem

According to Pauli Gunti’s book The Blue Economy, thanks to the Fungi Kingdom, mushrooms and other organisms recycle the nutrients of what we humans would call ‘leftovers’ back into the soil. The end of the story?

Roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption goes to waste.

The scientists behind the study say the issue of food security and distribution isn’t just one where the tech industry comes to save the day by turning efficiency into full power mode.

Rather, they argue, it is extremely important to study cities – the hotspots of the world population and the place of consumption for most (79%) .

It is important to look for and implement solutions for some of the food system problems.

Such focus includes understanding the internal trade systems and how to improve urban links with national, regional and local production.

What’s the case for Portugal?

Is Portugal a Sustainable Country? The Portuguese Food Footprint

Portugal has a high meat and fish consumption – in fact, the highest per capita food footprint in the Mediterranean.

Moreover, the country’s high levels of food wastage.

1 million tons of food waste per year.

It is a fact that 62% of its population lives in coastal urban areas, which made Portugal an interesting case.

The municipalities of Almada, Bragança, Castelo Branco, Guimarães, Lagos and Vila Nova de Gaia – which have recently joined forces in an innovative project, the Ecological Footprint of Portuguese Municipalities.

This municipalities were selected as case studies as they made data access easier.

Besides checking the specific food footprints of the citizens living in these municipalities, researchers also applied a policy framework.

This policy framework is to assess local food system policies and to understand critical policy gaps needed to facilitate the transition to more sustainable pathways.

The results?

The year is 2014. Despite a national resource availability – aka bio-capacity – of only 1.28 gha per capita, the average Portuguese demanded 3.69 global hectares worth of natural resources and ecological services – aka Ecological Footprint – to sustain their lifestyle and overall consumption pattern.

This means a consumption rate that’s nearly three times higher than what the country can support.

The Portuguese Food Footprint: A Risky Dependance On External Countries

The footprint results reveal that the Portuguese food system is deeply interconnected with, and reliant upon, food systems around the world.

In fact, Portugal is highly dependant on the availability of food resources from Spain, France, Brazil and Norway. Just to maintain stable access to food.

Results also show that food consumption in Portugal tends to protein-based food such as Meat and Fish and Seafood as opposed to Fruit, Vegetables, and Bread and Cereals, contributing to the country’s high food footprint.

Portugal’s great external resource dependency is worrying considering that many other European and Mediterranean countries are running ecological deficits and external resource dependencies too.

Within a global ecological overshoot setting in which the world’s ecological assets are being spent at a nearly 70% faster rate than they are regenerated.

The COVID19 outbreak raised awareness on the risks associated with food globalization. Together with the impact of climate disasters, some countrieseven experienced food shortages.

The need to build systemic resilience and bet on agri-ecological systems becomes increasingly clear and urgent.

The Gaps in the Portuguese Food System

portugal agriculture food sustainability

The researchers suggest investing in more robust datasets and assessment frameworks.

Moreover, local institutions need to work on their ability to fully implement their responsibilities regarding food production, transformation, distribution, consumption and waste creation.

And there’s also a local government gap in the sense that larger-scale approaches and multi-level co-operations are missing.

Researchers are suggesting that strategic local policies could also be re-framed.

This would include a greater focus on issues. Issues such as sustainable agriculture policies, food waste reduction and the spectrum of circular activities around food.

In this way, shifting to calories-adequate diets or changing consumer’s food preferences could lead to a reduction in the ecological deficit of Portugal .

This is ranging from 10% (via calories reduction) to 19% (via major decreases in seafood and meat consumption).

All in one, shifting dietary choices away from animal proteins and towards the consumption of more cereals, legumes or vegetables requires the development of national dietary guidelines, and not only local actions.

Does Portugal Have Sustainable Food and Agriculture Systems?

Because of their proximity and close interaction with relevant economic and societal actors.

Small cities like the Portuguese ones analysed in the study need to play a key role in promoting resilient and prosperous food systems.

Facilitating collaboration at different scales and sectors is therefore highly important to guarantee stable supply and access to food overtime for the Portuguese.

There’s high consumption of meat and seafood that considerably drives the Portuguese footprint.

Together with the fact that a large share of the Portuguese food Footprint is placed outside borders.

There’s the need for the creation of governance structures and specific policy interventions at a national and local level is remarkably important.

While food consumption should be a priority sector for intervention to shift unsustainable trends. There are holes in urban food policies within Portugal that undermine the country’s ability to take restorative action.

Therefore, facilitating a transition to sustainable national and local food systems in Portugal requires timely action.

Perhaps starting from those policies and initiatives that, without requiring major economic investments, would make the adoption of alternative dietary patterns and the strengthening of sustainable food governance possible.

Check our sustainability plan here .

[Image credits to Diogo Nunes, Orlova Maria and Photo by Karim Sakhibgareev on Unsplash]

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We have offset some – the largest share, coming from the gas tank of our vans – of our emissions from 2020. We hope we can become carbon neutral by 2025, the latest.

Sustainability and carbon offsetting at the Future Eco Surf School

Everything we do has an impact on the planet we’re blessed to call home. The best we can do is to reduce this impact as much as we can. 

At Future we’re conscious we still have a long road to travel when it comes to minimizing our carbon footprint and our overall ecological impact.

But we’re surely and proudly surfing this wave in the right direction.

When it comes to our carbon footprint – short for the greenhouse gas emissions we’re accountable for, which include other gases besides carbon dioxide like nitrous oxides or perfluorocarbons –  we’re trying to reduce it as much as we can. 

After getting to the huge number of kilometers our vans have traveled – some mind-blowing 81.000 km (50331 miles) – and doing some maths on fuel consumption, we concluded that last year we were responsible for 21 tonnes of CO2eq.

At Future Eco Surf we stand with Mozambique’s households

carbon offsetting credits future eco surf

We decided to back up a project certified by the Gold Standard which is one of the top standards in this field and support a Portuguese-speaking country: Mozambique.

Many people in Maputo (the capital) live in poor housing and hygienic conditions as basic services lack a little everywhere. 

Some 95% of the population living in Maputo suburbs use cookstoves, which have low energy efficiency and require large amounts of charcoal for daily cooking activities. 

Charcoal use has negative health impacts related to the smoke inhalation in addition to causing a economic pressure for the families. Charcoal production is also one of the main causes of the deforestation. Gold standard

The project we supported, named “Improved cookstoves in Chamanculo C, Maputo” involves the distribution of approximately 5,000 domestic fuel-efficient cook stoves to households to improve energy efficiency, conserve natural resources and improve living conditions for the local population.

The stoves will be sold to the families at a highly subsidised cost, in exchange for the rights to the Voluntary Emission Reductions (VERs), according to the Gold Standard. The company also says that without this project, the majority of families would not have access to fuel-efficient cook stoves due to economic constraints.

If you’re interested, you can read more about the project here.

Carbon offsetting is not enough. A sustainable planet needs us to do more

carbon offsetting sustainability future surf eco
Cooking stoves for Mozambique’s households

We’re aware of this.

Carbon offsetting is often used as an excuse for companies to keep on polluting without really making meaningful changes to the way they do business. And so no real effort is done to prevent this pollution in the first place. 

Why is this bad? Because the greenhouse gas emissions companies produce are immediate and travel to the troposphere where they remain trapped way faster compared to, for instance, planting trees. We use this example because planting trees to offset emissions is one of the most widespread offsetting strategies.

Unfortunately, planting trees to sink a number of emissions equivalent to what has been emitted can take years or even decades – depending on the species planted or the soil’s health.

For this and a couple of other reasons, carbon offsetting is not a solution, it simply mitigates the problem.

That’s why we are reviewing our entire value chain to prevent/minimize these emissions beforehand. The goal is to offset increasingly fewer greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years, meaning we would truly be polluting less at the source.

And we’re targetting not only the emissions from our vans’ pipes but also other scopes of emissions coming from our employees, clients or suppliers. 

There’s a saying that goes more or less like this: “the planet needs many imperfect ecologists, not a few perfect ecologists”. 

We’re not perfect – at least yet! – but we truly believe the change needs to be systemic and that all together we can do better. Will you join us in protecting our amazing planet?

[Image credits belong to the Gold Standard and Daniel Pankoke, our in-house photographer📸)

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Consider the below guide to Algarve Surf spots, from north to south and from west to east.

If you are looking for where to surf in the Algarve either if you are a beginner or intermediate level surfer.

We will not include a few gems that are hard to reach, difficult to surf or have hardcore local surfers.

This way you avoid the surf spots where you would probably lose your time. So you can go straight to the surf spots that will be easier to reach and to surf.

Odeceixe beach

Beautiful beach, not so crowded. Beach break sandbar with a small river mouth, car parking lot very close by, snack bars and toilets on location.


Amoreira beach

A very consistent surf spot. Beach break sandbar with a small river mouth, crowded by summer. Car parking lot very close by, snack bars and toilets on location.


Monte Clérigo beach

Beach break with a few rocks, strong currents on specific tides, more powerful waves than the previous spots. Car parking lot by the beach, snack bars, and toilets on location.


Arrifana beach

As it’s a beach break protected from the main swell direction and predominant wind it has consistently clean surf and smoother waves than the previous surf spots.

When the surf gets big it’s one of the few places that still are surfable for the average surfer.

Due to this Arrifana beach is the most popular surf spot around this area and you should expect plenty of crowd throughout the year.

There’s even a great right-hand point break that only works on bigger swells and is only advisable for quite experienced surfers due to the exposed rocks and punishing waves.
Expect some walking as there are plenty more cars than parking slots. Snack bars and toilets available on location.


Vale Figueiras beach

Beach break mostly sand but some rocks here and there. Not so crowded, no facilities at the beach (no snack bars, no toilets). There is a small car parking lot by the beach and another one further up the road.


Bordeira beach

The largest surf spot on the west coast so a long walk will mean way more space in the sand and in the water than most of the other surf spots around. Consistent on waves, very exposed to the dominant wind, one snack bar, no toilets, plenty of car parking slots but expect minimum 10/15 min walk to reach the surf spot location.


Amado beach
Consistent beach break, relatively protected from the main wind direction and quite a large beach make it the most popular surf break in the Algarve so expect good waves but also plenty of crowds. There are toilets, snack bars, and lots of car parking slots by the beach.

A guide about Algarve Surf Spots

Cordoama beach
Beach break with some rocks, the most consistent surf spot regarding wave size, has some powerful waves, and often very talented surfers around. Has toilets, a snack bar, a car parking lot right at the beach, and breath-taking views from the lookout from the top of the 100 meters high cliffs


Castelejo beach

Beach break with some rocks, beautiful beach, usually some nice wave formation, a bit protected by the dominant winds. Has toilets, snack bar and car parking lot.


Tonel beach

The most southwestern wave in Europe has a unique location. It´s a beach break with some exposed rocks, has some strong currents on specific tides, and is located in the surf vibe village of Sagres. There is a snack bar but no toilets, anyway it´s walking distance from the village.


Mareta beach

The most western surf spot on the Algarve south coast, it needs big northwest/west swells or small south swells to come alive, has great waves when conditions gather. Located in the heart of Sagres, gets crowded easily. All facilities in walking distance.


Zavial beach

Very famous surf spot on the south coast, the most consistent regarding wave size, waves are powerful and often offer barrels. Expect a crowd of all levels, there are toilets, a snack bar, and a car parking lot.


Meia Praia de Lagos

Very inconsistent surf break except for south swells and especially southeast swells. It works occasionally at the peak of summer and more often in the peak of winter. Walking distance from trendy traveller-friendly Lagos downtown and has a great surf vibe.


Praia da Rocha beach

Besides Zavial is the most consistent surf spot on the south coast, waves are smooth and gentle making it great for beginners and intermediate but not so challenging for advanced surfers. It’s the main beach of the 2nd most populated town in the Algarve so it’s kind of a surf city itself. It can get crowded on the main peak by the pier but as it’s a 2km long sandy beach it can handle plenty of surfers. 

Praia da Galé beach

The best surf spot around Albufeira town, it’s a mix of sand and rocks beach break. The wave is quite rideable, especially the left-hander.  Has all the necessary facilities close by.


Praia da Falésia beach

Nice beach break, especially the left-hander by the pier. It’s a short but strong wave. Not very consistent as most of the south surf spots. All facilities close by. 

Praia de Faro beach

Expect a long walk to surf the best sandbar location a bit down the beach. It’s the closest you can get from the airport as they are side by side make sure to avoid the high tide and score the low tide. All facilities close by.


Praia ilha de Tavira beach

Way better on the low tide, need a local boat short trip to get there, but when it works you might just need boardshorts as by summer and fall it offer some nice warm surf days. One of the most consistent surf spots when the occasional southeast swells come in.


Hope you find the waves of your life, in this Algarve surf guide to find the best surf spots, and remember to play safe, respect the surf etiquette, make friends and share the surf stoke 🙂

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Is Portugal’s Food system sustainable?

One of the single largest reason for humans’ transgression of the key planetary limits is the global food system.

Worldwide, agriculture, forestry and other land use are responsible for 24% of global emissions. Inside it are practices such as crop cultivation, livestock practices and deforestation.

High meat and fish consumption is high in Portugal, according to a recent study from Galli et al (2020).

But also noticeable food wastage, and high urbanization level.

The team behind the study demonstrated food consumption in Portugal is the single largest reason (≈30%) why the Portuguese trespass the carrying capacity of Earth ecosystems.

Let’s take a quick closer look at some of this study’s main conclusions.

The Global Food System: A Systemic Problem

Throughout the 20th century, food demand has been largely met.

This was thanks to staple crop yields providing plenty of wheat, maize, soybean or rice.

But today’s agricultural practices put long-term food security at risk.

Soils are getting depleted.

Biodiversity is being lost at a rate of 150-200 species of plants, insects, birds or mammals a day. Entire ecosystems are at the risk of collapse. To name a few.

As if the above wasn’t bad enough, around 11% of the global population today suffers from chronic undernourishment.

On the other side of the spectrum, in 2016, there were 2 billion overweight adults. The unbalance in global dietary patterns is undeniable.

John Elkington (who coined the term triple bottom line) shared an interesting view on the book The Green Swans. That today more people have access to more calories, but these have worse quality.

We both know there’s a final piece in this story.

How our food system is screwed the answer is food waste.

Something only humans create since there is no such thing as waste in the natural world.

A Systemic Problem

According to Pauli Gunti’s book The Blue Economy, thanks to the Fungi Kingdom, mushrooms and other organisms recycle the nutrients of what we humans would call ‘leftovers’ back into the soil. The end of the story?

Roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption goes to waste.

The scientists behind the study say the issue of food security and distribution isn’t just one where the tech industry comes to save the day by turning efficiency into full power mode.

Rather, they argue, it is extremely important to study cities – the hotspots of the world population and the place of consumption for most (79%) .

It is important to look for and implement solutions for some of the food system problems.

Such focus includes understanding the internal trade systems and how to improve urban links with national, regional and local production.

What’s the case for Portugal?

Is Portugal a Sustainable Country? The Portuguese Food Footprint

Portugal has a high meat and fish consumption – in fact, the highest per capita food footprint in the Mediterranean.

Moreover, the country’s high levels of food wastage.

1 million tons of food waste per year.

It is a fact that 62% of its population lives in coastal urban areas, which made Portugal an interesting case.

The municipalities of Almada, Bragança, Castelo Branco, Guimarães, Lagos and Vila Nova de Gaia – which have recently joined forces in an innovative project, the Ecological Footprint of Portuguese Municipalities.

This municipalities were selected as case studies as they made data access easier.

Besides checking the specific food footprints of the citizens living in these municipalities, researchers also applied a policy framework.

This policy framework is to assess local food system policies and to understand critical policy gaps needed to facilitate the transition to more sustainable pathways.

The results?

The year is 2014. Despite a national resource availability – aka bio-capacity – of only 1.28 gha per capita, the average Portuguese demanded 3.69 global hectares worth of natural resources and ecological services – aka Ecological Footprint – to sustain their lifestyle and overall consumption pattern.

This means a consumption rate that’s nearly three times higher than what the country can support.

The Portuguese Food Footprint: A Risky Dependance On External Countries

The footprint results reveal that the Portuguese food system is deeply interconnected with, and reliant upon, food systems around the world.

In fact, Portugal is highly dependant on the availability of food resources from Spain, France, Brazil and Norway. Just to maintain stable access to food.

Results also show that food consumption in Portugal tends to protein-based food such as Meat and Fish and Seafood as opposed to Fruit, Vegetables, and Bread and Cereals, contributing to the country’s high food footprint.

Portugal’s great external resource dependency is worrying considering that many other European and Mediterranean countries are running ecological deficits and external resource dependencies too.

Within a global ecological overshoot setting in which the world’s ecological assets are being spent at a nearly 70% faster rate than they are regenerated.

The COVID19 outbreak raised awareness on the risks associated with food globalization. Together with the impact of climate disasters, some countrieseven experienced food shortages.

The need to build systemic resilience and bet on agri-ecological systems becomes increasingly clear and urgent.

The Gaps in the Portuguese Food System

portugal agriculture food sustainability

The researchers suggest investing in more robust datasets and assessment frameworks.

Moreover, local institutions need to work on their ability to fully implement their responsibilities regarding food production, transformation, distribution, consumption and waste creation.

And there’s also a local government gap in the sense that larger-scale approaches and multi-level co-operations are missing.

Researchers are suggesting that strategic local policies could also be re-framed.

This would include a greater focus on issues. Issues such as sustainable agriculture policies, food waste reduction and the spectrum of circular activities around food.

In this way, shifting to calories-adequate diets or changing consumer’s food preferences could lead to a reduction in the ecological deficit of Portugal .

This is ranging from 10% (via calories reduction) to 19% (via major decreases in seafood and meat consumption).

All in one, shifting dietary choices away from animal proteins and towards the consumption of more cereals, legumes or vegetables requires the development of national dietary guidelines, and not only local actions.

Does Portugal Have Sustainable Food and Agriculture Systems?

Because of their proximity and close interaction with relevant economic and societal actors.

Small cities like the Portuguese ones analysed in the study need to play a key role in promoting resilient and prosperous food systems.

Facilitating collaboration at different scales and sectors is therefore highly important to guarantee stable supply and access to food overtime for the Portuguese.

There’s high consumption of meat and seafood that considerably drives the Portuguese footprint.

Together with the fact that a large share of the Portuguese food Footprint is placed outside borders.

There’s the need for the creation of governance structures and specific policy interventions at a national and local level is remarkably important.

While food consumption should be a priority sector for intervention to shift unsustainable trends. There are holes in urban food policies within Portugal that undermine the country’s ability to take restorative action.

Therefore, facilitating a transition to sustainable national and local food systems in Portugal requires timely action.

Perhaps starting from those policies and initiatives that, without requiring major economic investments, would make the adoption of alternative dietary patterns and the strengthening of sustainable food governance possible.

Check our sustainability plan here .

[Image credits to Diogo Nunes, Orlova Maria and Photo by Karim Sakhibgareev on Unsplash]

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We have offset some – the largest share, coming from the gas tank of our vans – of our emissions from 2020. We hope we can become carbon neutral by 2025, the latest.

Sustainability and carbon offsetting at the Future Eco Surf School

Everything we do has an impact on the planet we’re blessed to call home. The best we can do is to reduce this impact as much as we can. 

At Future we’re conscious we still have a long road to travel when it comes to minimizing our carbon footprint and our overall ecological impact.

But we’re surely and proudly surfing this wave in the right direction.

When it comes to our carbon footprint – short for the greenhouse gas emissions we’re accountable for, which include other gases besides carbon dioxide like nitrous oxides or perfluorocarbons –  we’re trying to reduce it as much as we can. 

After getting to the huge number of kilometers our vans have traveled – some mind-blowing 81.000 km (50331 miles) – and doing some maths on fuel consumption, we concluded that last year we were responsible for 21 tonnes of CO2eq.

At Future Eco Surf we stand with Mozambique’s households

carbon offsetting credits future eco surf

We decided to back up a project certified by the Gold Standard which is one of the top standards in this field and support a Portuguese-speaking country: Mozambique.

Many people in Maputo (the capital) live in poor housing and hygienic conditions as basic services lack a little everywhere. 

Some 95% of the population living in Maputo suburbs use cookstoves, which have low energy efficiency and require large amounts of charcoal for daily cooking activities. 

Charcoal use has negative health impacts related to the smoke inhalation in addition to causing a economic pressure for the families. Charcoal production is also one of the main causes of the deforestation. Gold standard

The project we supported, named “Improved cookstoves in Chamanculo C, Maputo” involves the distribution of approximately 5,000 domestic fuel-efficient cook stoves to households to improve energy efficiency, conserve natural resources and improve living conditions for the local population.

The stoves will be sold to the families at a highly subsidised cost, in exchange for the rights to the Voluntary Emission Reductions (VERs), according to the Gold Standard. The company also says that without this project, the majority of families would not have access to fuel-efficient cook stoves due to economic constraints.

If you’re interested, you can read more about the project here.

Carbon offsetting is not enough. A sustainable planet needs us to do more

carbon offsetting sustainability future surf eco
Cooking stoves for Mozambique’s households

We’re aware of this.

Carbon offsetting is often used as an excuse for companies to keep on polluting without really making meaningful changes to the way they do business. And so no real effort is done to prevent this pollution in the first place. 

Why is this bad? Because the greenhouse gas emissions companies produce are immediate and travel to the troposphere where they remain trapped way faster compared to, for instance, planting trees. We use this example because planting trees to offset emissions is one of the most widespread offsetting strategies.

Unfortunately, planting trees to sink a number of emissions equivalent to what has been emitted can take years or even decades – depending on the species planted or the soil’s health.

For this and a couple of other reasons, carbon offsetting is not a solution, it simply mitigates the problem.

That’s why we are reviewing our entire value chain to prevent/minimize these emissions beforehand. The goal is to offset increasingly fewer greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years, meaning we would truly be polluting less at the source.

And we’re targetting not only the emissions from our vans’ pipes but also other scopes of emissions coming from our employees, clients or suppliers. 

There’s a saying that goes more or less like this: “the planet needs many imperfect ecologists, not a few perfect ecologists”. 

We’re not perfect – at least yet! – but we truly believe the change needs to be systemic and that all together we can do better. Will you join us in protecting our amazing planet?

[Image credits belong to the Gold Standard and Daniel Pankoke, our in-house photographer📸)

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Consider the below guide to Algarve Surf spots, from north to south and from west to east.

If you are looking for where to surf in the Algarve either if you are a beginner or intermediate level surfer.

We will not include a few gems that are hard to reach, difficult to surf or have hardcore local surfers.

This way you avoid the surf spots where you would probably lose your time. So you can go straight to the surf spots that will be easier to reach and to surf.

Odeceixe beach

Beautiful beach, not so crowded. Beach break sandbar with a small river mouth, car parking lot very close by, snack bars and toilets on location.


Amoreira beach

A very consistent surf spot. Beach break sandbar with a small river mouth, crowded by summer. Car parking lot very close by, snack bars and toilets on location.


Monte Clérigo beach

Beach break with a few rocks, strong currents on specific tides, more powerful waves than the previous spots. Car parking lot by the beach, snack bars, and toilets on location.


Arrifana beach

As it’s a beach break protected from the main swell direction and predominant wind it has consistently clean surf and smoother waves than the previous surf spots.

When the surf gets big it’s one of the few places that still are surfable for the average surfer.

Due to this Arrifana beach is the most popular surf spot around this area and you should expect plenty of crowd throughout the year.

There’s even a great right-hand point break that only works on bigger swells and is only advisable for quite experienced surfers due to the exposed rocks and punishing waves.
Expect some walking as there are plenty more cars than parking slots. Snack bars and toilets available on location.


Vale Figueiras beach

Beach break mostly sand but some rocks here and there. Not so crowded, no facilities at the beach (no snack bars, no toilets). There is a small car parking lot by the beach and another one further up the road.


Bordeira beach

The largest surf spot on the west coast so a long walk will mean way more space in the sand and in the water than most of the other surf spots around. Consistent on waves, very exposed to the dominant wind, one snack bar, no toilets, plenty of car parking slots but expect minimum 10/15 min walk to reach the surf spot location.


Amado beach
Consistent beach break, relatively protected from the main wind direction and quite a large beach make it the most popular surf break in the Algarve so expect good waves but also plenty of crowds. There are toilets, snack bars, and lots of car parking slots by the beach.

A guide about Algarve Surf Spots

Cordoama beach
Beach break with some rocks, the most consistent surf spot regarding wave size, has some powerful waves, and often very talented surfers around. Has toilets, a snack bar, a car parking lot right at the beach, and breath-taking views from the lookout from the top of the 100 meters high cliffs


Castelejo beach

Beach break with some rocks, beautiful beach, usually some nice wave formation, a bit protected by the dominant winds. Has toilets, snack bar and car parking lot.


Tonel beach

The most southwestern wave in Europe has a unique location. It´s a beach break with some exposed rocks, has some strong currents on specific tides, and is located in the surf vibe village of Sagres. There is a snack bar but no toilets, anyway it´s walking distance from the village.


Mareta beach

The most western surf spot on the Algarve south coast, it needs big northwest/west swells or small south swells to come alive, has great waves when conditions gather. Located in the heart of Sagres, gets crowded easily. All facilities in walking distance.


Zavial beach

Very famous surf spot on the south coast, the most consistent regarding wave size, waves are powerful and often offer barrels. Expect a crowd of all levels, there are toilets, a snack bar, and a car parking lot.


Meia Praia de Lagos

Very inconsistent surf break except for south swells and especially southeast swells. It works occasionally at the peak of summer and more often in the peak of winter. Walking distance from trendy traveller-friendly Lagos downtown and has a great surf vibe.


Praia da Rocha beach

Besides Zavial is the most consistent surf spot on the south coast, waves are smooth and gentle making it great for beginners and intermediate but not so challenging for advanced surfers. It’s the main beach of the 2nd most populated town in the Algarve so it’s kind of a surf city itself. It can get crowded on the main peak by the pier but as it’s a 2km long sandy beach it can handle plenty of surfers. 

Praia da Galé beach

The best surf spot around Albufeira town, it’s a mix of sand and rocks beach break. The wave is quite rideable, especially the left-hander.  Has all the necessary facilities close by.


Praia da Falésia beach

Nice beach break, especially the left-hander by the pier. It’s a short but strong wave. Not very consistent as most of the south surf spots. All facilities close by. 

Praia de Faro beach

Expect a long walk to surf the best sandbar location a bit down the beach. It’s the closest you can get from the airport as they are side by side make sure to avoid the high tide and score the low tide. All facilities close by.


Praia ilha de Tavira beach

Way better on the low tide, need a local boat short trip to get there, but when it works you might just need boardshorts as by summer and fall it offer some nice warm surf days. One of the most consistent surf spots when the occasional southeast swells come in.


Hope you find the waves of your life, in this Algarve surf guide to find the best surf spots, and remember to play safe, respect the surf etiquette, make friends and share the surf stoke 🙂

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Is Portugal’s Food system sustainable?

One of the single largest reason for humans’ transgression of the key planetary limits is the global food system.

Worldwide, agriculture, forestry and other land use are responsible for 24% of global emissions. Inside it are practices such as crop cultivation, livestock practices and deforestation.

High meat and fish consumption is high in Portugal, according to a recent study from Galli et al (2020).

But also noticeable food wastage, and high urbanization level.

The team behind the study demonstrated food consumption in Portugal is the single largest reason (≈30%) why the Portuguese trespass the carrying capacity of Earth ecosystems.

Let’s take a quick closer look at some of this study’s main conclusions.

The Global Food System: A Systemic Problem

Throughout the 20th century, food demand has been largely met.

This was thanks to staple crop yields providing plenty of wheat, maize, soybean or rice.

But today’s agricultural practices put long-term food security at risk.

Soils are getting depleted.

Biodiversity is being lost at a rate of 150-200 species of plants, insects, birds or mammals a day. Entire ecosystems are at the risk of collapse. To name a few.

As if the above wasn’t bad enough, around 11% of the global population today suffers from chronic undernourishment.

On the other side of the spectrum, in 2016, there were 2 billion overweight adults. The unbalance in global dietary patterns is undeniable.

John Elkington (who coined the term triple bottom line) shared an interesting view on the book The Green Swans. That today more people have access to more calories, but these have worse quality.

We both know there’s a final piece in this story.

How our food system is screwed the answer is food waste.

Something only humans create since there is no such thing as waste in the natural world.

A Systemic Problem

According to Pauli Gunti’s book The Blue Economy, thanks to the Fungi Kingdom, mushrooms and other organisms recycle the nutrients of what we humans would call ‘leftovers’ back into the soil. The end of the story?

Roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption goes to waste.

The scientists behind the study say the issue of food security and distribution isn’t just one where the tech industry comes to save the day by turning efficiency into full power mode.

Rather, they argue, it is extremely important to study cities – the hotspots of the world population and the place of consumption for most (79%) .

It is important to look for and implement solutions for some of the food system problems.

Such focus includes understanding the internal trade systems and how to improve urban links with national, regional and local production.

What’s the case for Portugal?

Is Portugal a Sustainable Country? The Portuguese Food Footprint

Portugal has a high meat and fish consumption – in fact, the highest per capita food footprint in the Mediterranean.

Moreover, the country’s high levels of food wastage.

1 million tons of food waste per year.

It is a fact that 62% of its population lives in coastal urban areas, which made Portugal an interesting case.

The municipalities of Almada, Bragança, Castelo Branco, Guimarães, Lagos and Vila Nova de Gaia – which have recently joined forces in an innovative project, the Ecological Footprint of Portuguese Municipalities.

This municipalities were selected as case studies as they made data access easier.

Besides checking the specific food footprints of the citizens living in these municipalities, researchers also applied a policy framework.

This policy framework is to assess local food system policies and to understand critical policy gaps needed to facilitate the transition to more sustainable pathways.

The results?

The year is 2014. Despite a national resource availability – aka bio-capacity – of only 1.28 gha per capita, the average Portuguese demanded 3.69 global hectares worth of natural resources and ecological services – aka Ecological Footprint – to sustain their lifestyle and overall consumption pattern.

This means a consumption rate that’s nearly three times higher than what the country can support.

The Portuguese Food Footprint: A Risky Dependance On External Countries

The footprint results reveal that the Portuguese food system is deeply interconnected with, and reliant upon, food systems around the world.

In fact, Portugal is highly dependant on the availability of food resources from Spain, France, Brazil and Norway. Just to maintain stable access to food.

Results also show that food consumption in Portugal tends to protein-based food such as Meat and Fish and Seafood as opposed to Fruit, Vegetables, and Bread and Cereals, contributing to the country’s high food footprint.

Portugal’s great external resource dependency is worrying considering that many other European and Mediterranean countries are running ecological deficits and external resource dependencies too.

Within a global ecological overshoot setting in which the world’s ecological assets are being spent at a nearly 70% faster rate than they are regenerated.

The COVID19 outbreak raised awareness on the risks associated with food globalization. Together with the impact of climate disasters, some countrieseven experienced food shortages.

The need to build systemic resilience and bet on agri-ecological systems becomes increasingly clear and urgent.

The Gaps in the Portuguese Food System

portugal agriculture food sustainability

The researchers suggest investing in more robust datasets and assessment frameworks.

Moreover, local institutions need to work on their ability to fully implement their responsibilities regarding food production, transformation, distribution, consumption and waste creation.

And there’s also a local government gap in the sense that larger-scale approaches and multi-level co-operations are missing.

Researchers are suggesting that strategic local policies could also be re-framed.

This would include a greater focus on issues. Issues such as sustainable agriculture policies, food waste reduction and the spectrum of circular activities around food.

In this way, shifting to calories-adequate diets or changing consumer’s food preferences could lead to a reduction in the ecological deficit of Portugal .

This is ranging from 10% (via calories reduction) to 19% (via major decreases in seafood and meat consumption).

All in one, shifting dietary choices away from animal proteins and towards the consumption of more cereals, legumes or vegetables requires the development of national dietary guidelines, and not only local actions.

Does Portugal Have Sustainable Food and Agriculture Systems?

Because of their proximity and close interaction with relevant economic and societal actors.

Small cities like the Portuguese ones analysed in the study need to play a key role in promoting resilient and prosperous food systems.

Facilitating collaboration at different scales and sectors is therefore highly important to guarantee stable supply and access to food overtime for the Portuguese.

There’s high consumption of meat and seafood that considerably drives the Portuguese footprint.

Together with the fact that a large share of the Portuguese food Footprint is placed outside borders.

There’s the need for the creation of governance structures and specific policy interventions at a national and local level is remarkably important.

While food consumption should be a priority sector for intervention to shift unsustainable trends. There are holes in urban food policies within Portugal that undermine the country’s ability to take restorative action.

Therefore, facilitating a transition to sustainable national and local food systems in Portugal requires timely action.

Perhaps starting from those policies and initiatives that, without requiring major economic investments, would make the adoption of alternative dietary patterns and the strengthening of sustainable food governance possible.

Check our sustainability plan here .

[Image credits to Diogo Nunes, Orlova Maria and Photo by Karim Sakhibgareev on Unsplash]

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”Amazing team, great teachers, lot of fun, great souvenir, wonderful landscape see you next year!”

Joseys
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Accreditations

Turismo de Portugal
Marinha
IPDJ
FPS
AESCV
AESDP