For much of the last decade, the emphasis on living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle has grown and grown. Many of the changes individuals can make are small and easy but have a very big and positive impact if practiced by enough people.
One place people can also practice a more environmentally friendly lifestyle is on the water. Be it on the local lake or out on the ocean, the sea needs protecting as well, and boaters can do a number of things to make their boat more environmentally friendly.
* Clean the boat thoroughly, particularly the bottom. A thorough cleaning of your boat, including inspecting the hull to make sure it’s clear of marine growth, grass and barnacles, will help reduce fuel consumption. This poses the double benefit of being good for the environment while also saving you money at the fuel dock.
* Keep the engine in tip-top shape. The more an engine is taken care of, the better it’s going to perform. A boat engine operating at optimal performance will burn fuel more efficiently, resulting in fewer emissions into the air and water.
* Practice careful fueling. The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water notes the importance of carefully refueling your boat to avoid harmful spillage, and teaches how easy it is to spill fuel when refueling. Unlike automobiles, fuel tanks in boats are not pressurized. Inboard boat tanks do have air vents to relive the pressure that builds while filling a tank, but this makes it easy to spill fuel while refilling. To combat spillage, there are a host of things boaters can do. To learn more, visit www.boatus.com.
* Take trash seriously. Lots of people love to take guests out on their boat to have a good time. Without proper trash containers, however, such get-togethers can prove harmful to the ocean should trash drift into the waters. If you keep a trash receptacle on deck, be sure it has a lid that locks and make sure all guests take discarding trash seriously.
* Wash your boat more responsibly. When washing your boat, use fresh water and a scrub brush in lieu of chemical cleaners that can prove harmful to the ocean and the animals that call the ocean home. Try using cleaners such as vinegar or baking soda in an effort to reduce the potential for chemicals ending up in the water.
* Fix your boat in the offseason. If possible, refrain from repairing your boat while it is docked. Instead, if you haul your boat during the colder months, do the repairs then to reduce the likelihood that pollutants will end up in the water.
Whenever possible, clean your boat away from the water to avoid harmful cleaners finding their way into the ocean.