Green Boating Practices Now to Save the Future
Imagine firing up your boat on a pristine morning. The sun is shining, the waves are small, and the wind is blowing in your face as you carelessly cut the waves. All of sudden, you feel something hit your face: a plastic bag. You look around to see that you have unknowingly driven your boat into a trash island. You look to your left and to your right, only to find huge piles of plastic rubbish as far as the eye can see.
Unfortunately, there are several “trash islands” all around the globe, including the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a floating island of plastic and chemical sludge. It’s no small matter, either; it is approximated to be 5,800,000 square miles wide at any given time. That’s an estimated 8 percent of the Pacific Ocean. It is even estimated to be double the size of the continental United States.
How Boaters are Taking Action
Thankfully, there is a little thing called science that can help us mitigate and even eliminate pollution. The smartest people in the world are thinking of new and innovative ways to have boats run more efficiently and with less impact on the environment. There are even some yachts, such as the Volitan, “Zephyr of the Sun,” which is completely powered by solar and wind power. This is possible even though the Volitan has six bedrooms, a bar, a TV room and a number of other amenities.
How You can Help
You don’t have to be a scientist or millionaire to do your part in keeping the waters safe and clean. Here are a few ways you can help conserve the environment:
- Fueling – Do not top off your motor when fueling. This reduces the chance of gas and oil spills. If you do have an oil spill, do not use soap to disperse the contaminants because not only is it illegal, but makes the problem worse underwater.
- Vessel Maintenance – When using varnish or painting your boat, either place a tarp to collect drips or do it offshore. When washing your boat, use plain water instead of soap to reduce contaminants from reaching the water.
- Waste Disposal – Dispose of all your solid waste on shore. This includes fishing line and other kinds of plastic which do not disintegrate and are harmful to wildlife. Recycle whenever possible, especially old batteries and fire extinguishers. Use an onshore restroom or bring a portable toilet.
Know the Open Water
All boaters need to be familiar how to properly operate on the water. Boater licenses are available to teach you how to properly dump solid waste, proper water disposal, engine malfunctions, oil spills and how to deal with cross-contamination concerns. All of this knowledge is necessary to learn if you are a boater. Plus you can learn about alternative fuels and ways to cut back on gas consumption — which can even save you money.
Saving the environment doesn’t have to cost money, stifle progress or even be inconvenient. In the long run, it is beneficial for ourselves and future generations to do all that we can to keep the water clean and beautiful.
Press Release, November 6, 2013