Unless you have been living in a parallel universe, you will know that our world is fragile and our oceans are under threat. It’s hard to ignore the heartbreaking images of polar bears searching for food, horrifying plastic statistics and the slow death of coral, we all scroll through the social media posts but are we doing our bit to help combat these problems?
Being “green” in yachting should no longer be the newbie label or embarrassing initiations, “green” is now about being environmentally aware and responsible. There are a few easy changes we can make, for everyone to get on board (no pun intended…) with to give our marine world the help it needs, so who can do what?
Advances in green technology in the marine industry mean new designs for the future of yachting, Captains involved in build processes can ensure the owner is aware of what is out there to reduce the environmental impact of the yacht itself and the toys that will no doubt be available in abundance. Once on board, as a Captain you are the one to influence change, raise awareness and ensure your crew are taking proactive steps in being green. Help with local beach clean up’s, become involved in data collection for conservation, monitor environmentally responsibility within all departments and provide support.
Being resourceful for any chef is key, especially to reduce the amount of waste on board. Try growing herbs in the galley, be proactive with sustainable fishing practices, introduce meat-free days on board and stock the freezer with leftovers.
Outside the galley, make sure you are reducing plastic consumption to zero, use reusable shopping and food bags. Team up with the stewardesses to ensure that everyone on board is recycling everything properly. It can be hard to reduce food miles, having to meet demanding guest requests and changing opinions is hard but if they are open to eating local and seasonal produce then shop at local markets, get involved with local producers without having to fly in provisions from elsewhere.
Maintaining the interior of a yacht can now be easily done with the ocean-friendly products on the market, both eco-friendly and natural. Do your research, from cleaning and laundry to toiletries -there are a lot of products out there. Also, make sure that you are using natural cleaning products whenever possible.
Reducing plastic usage of both guests and crew on board can be a great role for the stewardess to battle. Start with water bottles, purchase reusable drinking bottles for guests and crew, not only will it mean not having to fit in 100’s of Fiji water bottles into the smallest locker it will also mean you are doing your bit to reduce the contribution to the plastic soup. This may prove tricky with some guests but at least the crew should be keen to make changes where they can. Keeping the crew in line with recycling is something you can also help the chef out with.
Eco-friendly cleaning products aren’t just available for the interior, there are plenty of these for you deck crew, which can help eliminate pollution into the ocean. Making sure you have eco-friendly hull paint can also help make a difference. Helping protect our oceans doesn’t just come down to sustainable cleaning it is also about responsibility when dropping the anchor, be aware of wildlife habitats and coral around the anchorage that you are in.
As an engineer, it is hard to think about being green with the amount of fuel that both engines and generators consume on a daily basis but there are some steps that you can take towards better consumption. Correct maintenance regimes to keep on top of jobs can help towards a more efficient engine and disposing oil responsibly as well as having an oil spill kit on board is very important for the health of the oceans. Another step an engineer can take to reduce energy consumption is making sure that there are energy efficient light bulbs on board.
As both departments and individuals we have the power to improve our oceans, make sure as yachties we are working together to stay green!
Featured image credit: Zak Noyle