sail boat sea

How to Make Your Yacht Holiday Eco-Friendly

In Green & Ethical Living, Travelby eva.katona@yahoo.comLeave a Comment

This is a collaborative post.

Travelling can make a pretty big environmental impact. However, if you are embarking on a bareboat yacht charter holiday there are plenty of ways that you can reduce your environmental footprint.

Eco-friendly travel is really important these days – especially when you consider the high emissions of flying. But sailing around on a yacht can be one of the most environmentally-friendly ways of getting around. While cruising along on the blue waters, appreciating the natural surrounds, you may want to think about how you can start to act a little greener.

Here are some helpful tips and tricks to follow if you would like to travel a little bit more responsibly. These are a few easy ways to help you make a big difference.

sail boat sea

Sail as Much as Possible

This may seem a bit obvious, but it is something that not many travellers actually think about. Hoisting the sails and powering your vessel by wind is one of the most eco-friendly ways of getting around.

While different weather conditions won’t allow you to sail all the time, you should definitely do it as much as possible. Every time you cut the engine, you will be saving on fuel and potentially harmful emissions. Raise the sails every chance you get. Not only is this better for the planet, but it is also loads of fun.

Reduce Single-Use Plastic

Single-use plastics are one of the biggest problems when it comes to keeping the oceans clean. When on your sailing holiday, there are a number of ways to cut down on these harmful products.

Bring along a reusable water bottle to fill up wherever you go. When shopping, try to purchase goods that don’t come pre-packaged (you can bring your own bags for this). A reusable tote bag is one of the most convenient items for this. It will make shopping a whole lot easier, but it is also great for carrying around your possessions when you’re on land.

plastic bottle beach

Buy Locally Produced Foods

When travelling to new areas of the world, avoid buying mass-produced products that have travelled huge distances to reach the shops. Rather, try to buy locally produced foods and goods. Visiting markets and artisanal shops is always preferred. Also, try to drink locally brewed beers and wines.

Doing this reduces the environmental footprint of your consumption, as well as helps to support local agriculture. Not only this, but locally produced foods and fresh market produce is usually the most delicious and healthy food to enjoy anyway.

Re-Use Wherever You Can

Sailing around between islands and small ports may limit the number of products available to you. While recycling is not always a big thing in far-off places, re-using whatever you can will make a big difference.

Whether it is water bottles, shopping bags, or plastic containers, try to extend its lifespan whenever possible. If you’re sailing through the Med, some shops in Greece will allow you to refill old bottles with wine or olive oil – a fantastic initiative!

Go For Eco-Friendly Sunscreen

You will be sure to go through plenty of sunscreen during a sailing holiday – so make sure that you are not using anything harmful. Recent studies have shown that common chemicals found in most sunscreens can be harmful to marine life.

Always check to see if your brand is environmentally friendly or organically produced. This will help the ocean, as well as being better for your skin.

sailing boat on the sea

Use Environmentally-Friendly Cleaning Products

While keeping your yacht clean, always try to use the most environmentally friendly cleaning products available. Whatever you end up cleaning your boat with will most likely end up in the sea somehow.

Most cleaning products are full of harmful chemicals – and any fish swimming around you will not be happy when you use them!

This is also true when using toiletries. If you shower on board, any soap suds will eventually end up back in the ocean. Always bring along environmentally-friendly shampoos, soaps, and conditioners. These are easy to find and will make a notable difference.

Clean-Up When You Can

You don’t need to turn your entire holiday into a big clean-up mission. However, taking a moment to pick up rubbish can go a long way.

When walking along beaches or swimming in the ocean, try to make the effort to pick up any litter that you might pass. This may be a small gesture, but it is the little things that will leave a big impact.

Be Conscious of Where You Drop Anchor

You may not always be able to see what is underneath you when sailing, but always have a look before you drop anchor. Anchoring on sand beds is the goal, as you don’t want to damage any possible coral or marine life beneath you.
When sailing through marine or nature reserves, you will come across anchor restrictions. These are set to preserve any marine life on the seafloor. Be sure to pay attention to these restrictions wherever you go.

Keep an Eye Out for Spills

One of the worst things that could happen with your boat is it leaking pollutants – such as gas or oil. Always keep an eye on your engine to notice any possible leaks of this kind.

A pollutant spill is terrible for all marine life – including birds. Cleaning up oil spills is also incredibly difficult. If you do notice any kind of leak or spill, be sure to notify the engineer immediately to get the problem sorted.

sailing boat on the sea

Properly Dispose of Your Garbage

Making sure that you dispose of your garbage the right way is one of the easiest ways to keep your trip as eco-friendly as possible. Absolutely never throw anything rubbish overboard, under any circumstances!

Always have your garbage and recycling bins at the ready, and make sure that they are properly emptied when you reach port. Being responsible with your waste, and dealing with it properly, is one of the first steps towards a more environmentally friendly voyage.

The Bottom Line

A sailing holiday is one of the most beautiful ways to connect with nature and appreciate amazing marine landscapes. Through doing this, you will certainly want to reduce your environmental footprint wherever possible. This will allow you to have a more guilt-free trip, as well as help to maintain the ocean and marine life.

Being eco-friendly doesn’t have to be a challenge. In fact, making your yacht holiday more green is actually incredibly easy. Just follow these simple steps, and you will be on the right path to a more sustainable future.

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