Boating can be a catch 22 for the eco-friendly among us! As everyone knows, the buzzword these days is “green.” You can’t read a newspaper or turn on a television without hearing some reference to it, and for good reason! Our beautiful planet, and particularly, oceans are really in need of a little (read: a LOT) of TLC. And while, the only really environmentally friendly boat is probably powered by either wind or oar since a motorboat by its very nature burns fuel, but nevertheless, you should still be able to turn your boating into a more environmentally friendly activity!

Here are some ways to be a bit more eco and reduce your environmental footprint.

Reduce fuel use.
There’s a few ways you can reduce your fuel use, which both your wallet AND the ocean will thank you for! As with any vehicle, your boat will run more efficiently and economically if it’s carrying less weight so consider shedding any excess weight that might be on board. Run a clean motor by changing fuel filters and keeping your boat’s motor tuned and serviced regularly to ensure it’s running efficiently and cleanly. Reducing your speed will also minimise unnecessary loss of fuel as any acceleration or high speeds for too long will burn through fuel!

Of course, this seems like an obvious thing to do on land, but often our recycling habits go out the window (or hatch) when it comes to boating. Try to make an effort to have separate bins on board so when you come into dock, you can recycle them appropriately. And don’t forget about other items like batteries, oil and soft plastics! It’s pretty easy to find a place to bin these responsibly if you ask around your local marina.

Change the fuel source.
Diesel has long been the only way to power a motorboat, but that’s changing. One option is to install an electric motor or outboard on your boat. It has zero emissions, and you can recharge it with solar or wind energy. Alternatively, you can go hybrid; these boats run on a combination of solar, electric and diesel power.

Choose eco-friendly cleaning products.
When it comes to cleaning your boat, an easy swap to an environmentally friendly lifestyle is to use environmentally responsible cleaners. The Yacht Stew wrote a great blog post on eco-friendly cleaning products to use on board, where she also mentions some easy DIY products using common household items –and many times, they do a better job than store-bought stuff.

It is possible to leave a smaller footprint on the water after a day’s outing on your motorboat. A few small habits can make a big difference and no matter what size boat you’re enjoying, there are simple ways you can turn it into a more eco-boat so you can enjoy your days on the water without guilt and enjoy the ocean for many more days to come!

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