Last week, I was in Costa Rica, bodysurfing waves in the warmest water I’ve ever swam in.

If you’ve ever surfed, you know that you can see the waves coming from a quarter mile out. You don’t know where exactly the wave is going to break, but you try and put yourself into a position where you’ll catch it right as its beginning to roll over.

For most of my life, environmentalism was a cause that was on the fringe. It was the butt of jokes and caring deeply about the environment made you a bit of a weirdo. But there had been pressure building up for years and years as climate change began to impact people.

A sea change occurred after the financial recession of 2008. Tesla picked up steam under Elon Musk, windmills spread across the landscape, and my parents started recycling.

I remember thinking how odd it was that environmentalism was suddenly mainstream. There were “green” products everywhere. Green had achieved brand recognition comparable to Apple’s use of the letter “i” (as in iPhone, iPod, etc.)

If you were a business that designed a good that could offer a green version, the wave on the horizon would have been the popularity of Al Gore’s 2006 movie, “An Inconvenient Truth.” But there were all sorts of hints that the wave was coming: smog or “inversion” growing in cities, the emergence of a predictable wildfire season in California, rising oceans, etc.

In retrospect, the sea change of environmentalism was obvious and predictable. The swell was visible.

And we’re still in that wave right now.

My brother-in-law just bought a Ford Lightning and a Rivian to see which truck he liked more. He’s not concerned about a drop in value for “driving it off the lot,” because demand is through the roof and he’ll sell the one he doesn’t want for what he paid for it.

This tide of environmentalism is a slow moving trend caused by a massive imbalance. For some businesses, it represents an external growth opportunity. Something that can power their surfboard through a surge of growth.

Where is pressure building in your market? How could you position your business to be in the break when that wave starts to crest?

Featured image is an etching of Hawaiians surfing, 1858. Used under public domain.