Green boating is a very popular term right now and I’d like to add some tips to help you be more ‘green’. However, before I do, I’d like to point out that most of the oil that finds its way into our waters comes not from recreational boaters. You may wonder just where all that oil comes from…it’s from the storm drains into which the oil dripped onto driveways flow along with the rain.
Ok, enough soap box. Here’s my short list to help you start in the right direction.
- Switch to Biodiesel fuel. We’ve been using it for the past year and so far it’s been great. Although you should check with your engine’s manufacturer first. Plus be sure to buy from a certified commercial dealer.
- When you fill the tank, don’t ‘top up’ and be sure to have at least a rag if not one of those absorbent ‘doughnuts’ around the fuel nozzle. That way you can catch any spill before it becomes a spill.
- Be sure your boat meets the basic requirement for operating as set by the US Coast Guard.
- Here’s a no brainer…recycle while under way. I fold up starting from the bottom, every plastic water bottle and once completely folded up to the mouth I replace the cap. This keeps the bottle small and I can drop in the plastic recycle bin at the club.
- Another no brainer? Don’t dump over board! Come on, most of us have that stupid sign saying that…so just do it. Carry a large bag with you and fill ‘er up.
- Check out your hoses and clamps. Replace anything worn because it’s really a mess to clean up if you blow a hose.
- Keep a bunch of rags aboard for oil spills under the engine or in the bilge.
- Pick up after your dog! I tie plastic do-do bags to the handle of our leash and toss into the trash.
- Check your electromagnetic garbage. Turn off the radar when coming into harbor.
- If you’ve still got a 2 stroke outboard then upgrade to a 4 for better fuel economy and lower emmissions.
So, there’s my short list. While most of the boaters I’ve met and know are very aware of the water and take care to be good to the environment, give yourself a quick check. Big brother is always breathing down our necks and the general public doesn’t know enough about us as a group. It doesn’t matter if you’re a power boat or a sailboat, we can be Green Boaters and help protect the water we love.