World Oceans Day: 10 tips for eco-friendly sailing

Under Sail

As passionate sailors, we’ve been crafting the best sailing holidays in the world’s top sailing grounds for decades, therefore we want to ensure we’re looking after the beautiful destinations, oceans, wildlife and communities, and minimising our footprint.

We all have an important part to play in ensuring a sustainable future for our planet’s ocean and there are steps you can take to help ensure our oceans can enjoyed for generations to come, and here Laura Bowtell, Head of Sales UK for Sunsail tells.

1. Sails up, sail green! Minimise the motor

Sailing is the most sustainable (and exciting!) way to travel, so if the prevailing conditions are suitable, hoist the mainsail and unfurl the jib!

2. Use mooring balls when possible

Anchoring without care can damage plants and other marine life on the seafloor. Ensure you anchor in water deep enough to avoid grounding your vessel with tide change. If possible, anchor in sand or mud and avoid delicate ecosystems. Alternatively, it's best to use a mooring ball.

Sea Turtle

3. Give sea life space

Spotting wildlife when cruising is one of the most enjoyable things to experience when sailing. If you approach wildlife while under motor, slow down. Try to maintain a distance of around 100m/300ft from wildlife in and on the water or on cliffs, beaches and rocky outcrops where wildlife might be feeding, resting or breeding.

4. Leave only footprints

Do your bit by picking up any litter when you see it and ensure you responsively dispose of your rubbish and take time to leave no trace.

5. Throw nothing overboard

It goes without saying that no waste should be thrown overboard, and in many countries, it is an offence. Instead, try to remove larger pieces of plastic that you might come across in the water.

Leave Only Footprints

6. Minimise your plastic

As consumers, the less plastic we consume, the less these products are found to be economically viable to produce. Whenever possible, choose cardboard or paper products that can be recycled or composted and avoid disposable cutlery or plastic straws. Opt for a reusable bottle or mug and become a strong advocate by spreading the word. For every change you make, challenge and encourage someone else to do the same!

7. Use eco-friendly and fair-trade products

From the British Virgin Islands to the Seychelles, and Thailand our charter destinations are home to spectacular coral reefs ideal for snorkelling and diving. Standard sunscreens and cosmetics often use ingredients which can be harmful to coral reefs and marine life, so look out for eco-friendly alternatives when on a yacht charter.

Reusable Cup

8. Use facilities on land wherever possible

Ensure you have a holding tank onboard and use it when this is not possible. Use eco-friendly toilet cleaners and recycled toilet paper.

9. Shower quickly and ashore where possible

To save water and minimise pollution.

10. Empty tanks far from land

Each country has different rules about this so make sure you check before you set sail. Depending on where you moor up for the night you may be able to use a pump out facilities at the marina or port, otherwise discharge black water while underway in deep water.

Sustainable tourism

 

Author Name: 
Laura Bowtell
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