Algae Surfboard Rides the Sustainability Wave

June 02, 2015

Summertime is here again, and you know what that means: pool parties, cookouts and hanging ten on a seaweed surfboard. (Wait … what?) A group of biology students at UC San Diego are following in Ernest’s footsteps of creating an eco-friendly surfboard — this time out of algae.

Last summer we created a biodegradable surfboard out of paper in our Cardboard Chaos series. The UC San Diego students have shown that there are multiple innovative ways to create cool sustainable products.

It requires no fossil fuels. Instead of using petroleum as their base for the board’s polyurethane foam, they partnered with biotech company Solazyme to create a high-quality algae oil. Much like ours, their board is lightweight, buoyant and a truly viable alternative to a traditional, petroleum-based board.


As we use up more of the planet’s resources, it’s incredibly important that we find new ways to create sustainable products. It’s hard work, but creative, thoughtful folks — like these UC San Diego students and the engineers at Ernest Packaging — are on the case. 

We don’t know what these students have planned next, but they seem ready to accomplish whatever they put their minds to. As for Ernest, we’re already working on the next video in our Cardboard Chaos series — and this one will have a very special guest star!

One of Ernest Packaging’s divisions is located in San Diego — pretty close to UC San Diego. Maybe we should team up and create the world’s first paper-algae surfboard!

Is your packaging creating too much waste? Contact Ernest to talk about sustainable, eco-friendly solutions!