“With our cleanups, we don’t half-ass anything!”

El Kombis’ Sup it Up

Combining your passion with your mission – that’s what Nanda decided to do. While on holiday, she realised she could in fact make a difference regarding all the trash lying around. She started Sup it Up – taking her Paddle Board to collect all the trash in the water. Her movement has inspired many  and the groups are growing each day.
Find out what inspired Nanda to start her cool and necessary initiative.


Tell us more about El Kombi & Sup it Up

Just by reading this question little lights appear in my eyes – El Kombi & Sup it Up are just so much fun ánd inspiring! Because Stand Up Paddling plays a central role, we should be a sportsclub, but we’re so much more than that. We SUP, we collect trash, we sort, we recycle, we initiate, we motivate, we inspire, we reduce and…we love it!

During out Sup it Ups, we remove all the trash from the water that comes a long  – this makes us pioneers in cleanups. We take out what’s in it. And we go one step further; we go back to the source. The less trash we create, the better. We’re going for Zero Waste and we do it for the full 100%. We don’t half-ass anything.



What inspired you to start Sup it Up?

After having enjoyed working in the hotelbusiness and tourism, I left for Costa Rica in 2016 to backpack for two months. I let the wind and the beautiful people I met guide me. After two weeks I arrived in Santa Teresa – Playa Hermosa to be exact. Playa Hermosa means ‘Beautiful Beach’ – and it was. Pearly white sand, azure blue sea. No tourism, no luxury – back to basic. Sleeping in the fresh sea air, waking up by the sounds of monkeys awakening and fresh fruit everywhere. Idyllic. Yet how idyllic it was, with the azure blue sea and pearly white beach where almost no one came, I ran into trash and litter each day! And of course we picked it up. Every day, again and again…

With all the trash lying there and the fresh memories of my SUP trips back home, where I always came back with a bucket full of trash, I knew I wanted to doing something. Or better said, I knew I hád to do something. I wanted to make the world beautiful again. More beautiful. Beautiful again. Beyond beautiful. Whatever you want to call it. It’s there, with my butt sitting in the pearly white sand, where I started El Kombi. One of my best decissions ever!



In what way does Sup it Up contribute to a better planet?

During our Sup it Ups, we (unfortunately) collect a lot trash from the water. A very clear and direct way of ‘improving our planet’ because it can’t do any more damage. But what’s as important, is the consciousness we create amongst our participants, the people who see us, the attention in de media etc. Realising that we have to change and that we cán change is so very important. Every sustainable behavioral change will help the planet. No matter how big or small. That’s why I like using a quote by Jane Goodall:

“What you do makes a difference –
and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”



What are you most proud of?

El Kombi is my initiative, but I prefer talking as ‘we’. The ‘we’ stands for the fantastic group of people surrounding me; family, friends, the Stand Up Paddlers, the Sup it Uppers, the volunteers, the enthusiasts and changemakers that are all joining me. That’s what I’m very proud of. And the fact that the group is still growing, the green minds are growing more than ever! WOW!


Do you have any advice or tips for entrepeneurs who want to start a conscious initiative?

Follow your heart. Really. You know what you’re doing it for.



Shared by Your Souldier
Pics: Nanda – El Kombi, pic on home page: Robert van der Eng
November 2020