Eco-friendly boating, does it exist? Can you enjoy being on the open waters while caring for the environment? Let’s explore.
When it’s time to take a break from everyday life and spend time relaxing, many people would rather leave dry land behind and take to the open waters. A day on the boat can be the best antidote to city chaos, enjoying the peace and harmony that can only be found on the water.
However, a boat trip can be harmful to the environment. Eco-friendly boating, to be as green as possible, is the best of both worlds. Let’s explore how you can still enjoy boating whilst being environmentally conscious at the same time.
Table of contents
What is eco-friendly boating?
Boating is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and nature, but it can be harmful to the environment. Eco-friendly boating is a way of boating that minimises harm to the environment. Eco-friendly boaters are conscious about their environment and the type of fuel they use. They also make sure to take care of their boat and its surroundings.
All aquatic life, including fish, shellfish, birds and ocean plants, require clean water to survive. Maintaining the balance of nutrients and oxygen is critical for the health of our oceans. Surprisingly small quantities of toxic products in the water can disrupt this balance, with lasting harmful effects.
Recreational boating introduces more pollutants to North America’s waters every year than the Exxon Valdez spill did in 1989, up to fifteen times more. For instance, 30 per cent of the fuel and oil used by two-stroke engines ends up in the water!
We can reduce these ecosystem threats by careful attention to routine boat maintenance and use, and by engaging in responsible practices like San Diego sailing charters.
Green boating tips to protect marine life
There are precautions you can take to make your boat as eco-friendly as possible. Some steps to try are:
1. Dispose of used oil and oil filters properly
Disposing of oil and oil filters properly can keep pollutants out of the water. Facilities are available to handle these elements which are toxic to the marine environment. Never pour oil down a drain.
2. Stock oil-absorbent rags
Alarmingly small amounts of oil can contaminate a large volume of water. Cleaning up any spills with oil-absorbent rags can keep oil out of the water.
3. Only use non-toxic boat cleaners
Many cleaning products contain oils and chemicals that are toxic to aquatic ecosystems. Use only non-toxic products to clean your boat.
4. Wax your boat
A good coat of wax on a fibreglass hull prevents surface dirt becoming engrained which requires detergents to clean. Since detergents are oil-based cleaners, they are detrimental to ocean life. Keeping your hull waxed reduces the need for detergents by allowing dirt to be simply rinsed off.
5. Reduce fuel usage
Reducing fuel usage is good for the environment in many ways. For our oceans, it reduces the amount of oil and fuel that escape from engines into the water. You can reduce fuel by taking shorter trips, or by choosing a charter or group trip instead of going solo.
6. Take a charter instead of smaller, less eco-friendly craft
If you are interested in a day on the water, like blue whale watching in San Diego, Next Level Sailing can make eco-friendly boating easily attainable. Recognised by the city as committed to upholding sustainable operations and the environmental protection of San Diego Bay, they were awarded the 2019 Sustainable Achievement Award for Overall Small Company.
Interested in an eco-friendly boating adventure? Concerned about the impact you may have on ocean life and marine waters? For the most environmentally sustainable boat charter in San Diego reach out to Next Level Sailing today.
7. Opt for motor-free boats
You can still enjoy the thrill of being on the open water without needing a gas-guzzling and polluting engines. Visit boating lakes and take a pedalo or row boat, or opt for traditional sail boats if sea adventures are more your style.
8. Choose an electric engine for your boat
You can now get electric engines for boats, so you no longer need to release any fuel in the ocean at all.
Quick-fire green boating tips to be environmentally-friendly
- Not running your boat in shallow waters.
- Using propellers with lower RPMs.
- Switch to renewable energy.
- Do not litter or throw anything into the sea, take your rubbish home.
- Reduce speed near coral reefs and other sensitive habitats.
- If you need to anchor, make sure that you do so in deep water and away from coral reefs or other areas with marine life.
Is eco-friendly boating really possible?
Boating is a popular activity for people of all ages. It offers an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of nature and to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. But, boating can also be a great source of pollution. The fuel that is used for powering boats releases harmful fumes into the air and water. This can lead to water pollution and air pollution, as well as harm aquatic life.
Nowadays, more people are becoming aware of these issues and looking for ways in which they can reduce their impact on the environment when they go boating. One way in which this can be done is by choosing an eco-friendly boat fuel option or by using alternative energy sources such as solar power or wind power to charge your batteries while you are on the water.
Other ways include using an electric or solar-powered boat, reducing your noise pollution by using quieter motors and propellers, reducing water pollution by keeping your boat clean and disposing of oil and other toxic substances properly and cleaning up after yourself to keep the environment clean of trash and debris.