Boating excursions have increasingly grown popular over the recent past. During summer seasons, thousands of people spend the vacation sailing and enjoying the open waves across Australian waters. However, these developments are causing concerns about the pollution of the fragile marine ecosystem, especially the fast disappearing coral reefs.
But these concerns do not mean that people stop enjoying boating vacations. There are many eco-friendly boating tips that can help you enjoy your tour and still leave the marine ecosystem intact. If you’re planning a sea trip, we have put together some of the boating essentials for an eco-friendly boating excursion:
1. On-board Waste Bin
One of the boating essentials that you need to need to bring with you is a waste bin. One of the biggest threats to the marine ecosystem is waste products thrown into the water. Most of this waste could harm sea life. If you have packed bottled water, fruits, and other things, you need to have a safe way to dispose of the waste.
First, you must separate recyclable waste from general waste. The trick is to recycle as much as you can. Having separate bins for biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes is highly recommend. However, make sure that no waste gets tossed into the sea.
Sewage is one of the biggest threats to marine ecosystem. It contains chemicals and microorganisms that could endanger sea life. Therefore, before taking a boating trip, you must take care of the toiler waste. You should never discharge toilet waste overboard. Thankfully, there are several types of toilets that have a lesser impact on the environment, which you can install on your boat.
Compost toilets decompose toilet waste naturally without the use of chemicals before dumping. The other type is the holding tank toilets. This type holds toilet waste for a while and once filled, you flush on safer places marine life where it does not threaten the marine ecosystem.
3. Eco-Friendly Cleaning product
Water from your sink, bathroom, and so on, can be a major source of marine pollution. When on a boating trip, you should not use the conventional cleaning products we use at home. Some of these products have harsh chemical components that could hurt the marine ecosystem.
Fortunately, there are many eco-friendly cleaning products for cleaning purposes. With these products, you will avoid discharging toxic grey water into the water. However, make sure that you have the checked star rating of the products to ensure that you have brought the best with you.
4. Solar Power
During your boating trip, you will need an electrical energy supply for lighting, charge your gadgets, and other purposes. Although people have been using generators for the longest time as the primary source of electricity, you need to think about solar power. It is one of the most eco-friendly energy sources and would work great with the summer season.
What you need is to install a solar power system that will provide enough electrical energy for all your needs. So, you might need a professional to help you design a perfect solar power system for your boat. You must also have a battery backup to store solar energy for night use.
5. Eco-Friendly Water Heater
There are all types of boat water heaters in the market to select from. However, you can make them eco-friendly by simply using sustainable fuel. Whereas a solar power system may not be adequate for water heating, especially during the night, you can have sustainable alternatives.
Biogas is one of the best fuel options for boating. You can also have bio-diesel as your primary fuel on the boat. All these options will help reduce your carbon footprint and keep the broader ecosystem clean. Just make sure that your eco-friendly options are reliable during the trip.
6. Green Fishing
Most people choose boating trips because they want to enjoy a vast range of marine activities, including fishing. However, some of them end up damaging the marine ecosystem by getting involved in dangerous fishing activities. There are several things you need to do to promote green fishing. First, you need to bring a fishing reel with barbless hooks since they have been found to increase the survival of the released fish.
You also need to make the fight time as short as possible. This will reduce exhaustion, which exposes the fish to predators. Lastly, gently release the fish without causing damages. All these practices help to avoid destabilisation fish population in the sea and the entire food chain.
7. Avoid Copper Bottom-Paint
The bottom part of the boat is the most prone to all kinds of damages, including microorganisms fouling. That’s why it is covered with a protective paint layer to prevent damages. However, it is important that you avoid using copper paints since they contain copper oxide.
The copper oxide component is very effective in preventing the growth of unwanted bacteria. However, it can be extremely destructive to marine’s flora and fauna. It has also been found to extinct some species. So, use an eco-friendly protective paint layer.
8. Eco-Friendly Engine Maintenance
For your boat’s engine to perform properly, you must maintain it routinely. Otherwise, you might get yourself in trouble if the engine fails while in the middle of the sea. However, you need to use eco-friendly approaches to maintain the engine.
Use eco-friendly products to carry out the maintenance. You should also use clean water and make sure that no debris enters into the water. In addition to that, avoid oil spills into the water. These are measures that will significantly reduce the damages to the marine ecosystem while boating.
9. Bring Eco-Friendly Sunscreen
It may appear like a small issue, but the choice of sunscreen can cause severe damages to the marine ecosystem. Some of the ingredients used for making sunscreen are harsh chemicals that can wipe out some sea species. Substances such as oxybenzone are commonly used in making sunscreens and have been found to be dangerous to marine life. So, pay attention to the choice of sunscreen and, if possible, go for eco-friendly brands.
If you are planning a sea trip, these are some of the boating essentials that you need. The trick is to pick options that will conserve the marine ecosystem without compromising your boating trip experience.