If you like boating on the open ocean, there is a good chance you are concerned about the impact mankind is having on the seas. While there are many ways to enjoy the ocean, most are less than sustainable at best. Truly sustainable sailing experiences take a little forethought. Here are some ways to stay responsible on your next trip.
Dispose Properly of Trash
The global seas are currently facing an unprecedented crisis of plastic waste, as improperly disposed of items from every nation on earth are left floating across miles of ocean. While some minor headway has been made in cleaning the upper layers of small ocean areas, you should always do your utmost to avoid contributing to the plastic waste crisis. When taking a boat trip, always carefully dispose of your waste products in a container inside the vessel. Any waste you produce on your journey should be taken onshore and disposed of properly inland.
Ditch the Motor
Motors provide convenient and rapid transportation, but they also harm the environment. As they require gasoline to operate, they produce carbon waste and even gas runoff as a byproduct. the motor blades that run behind most vessels can also physically harm endangered marine animals like dolphins, who often unknowingly pass underneath motors.
The sound of boat engines can also confuse marine animals who depend on sound for echolocation, protection, or orientation. As easy as motors make life for humans, they make living harder for animals.
Avoid Air Travel
Sustainability isn’t only relevant once you have reached your destination. How you reach your destination can also have a big impact on your overall carbon footprint. While flying can seem like an extremely efficient way to travel long distances, commercial airlines are actually some of the worst producers of C02 pollutants in the world.
Perhaps the best way to avoid unnecessary pollution is to travel locally. A nautical adventure can be had from many parts of the country. If you live in an area far from the coast, consider taking a road trip, stopping on exciting sightseeing points along the way.
Use a Reputable Sailing Company
Before you book a sailing tour, do your research. Some companies simply want your money and this often shows on company websites. Look for indications that the company in question understands the environmental benefits of sailing over motorized travel. Some of the best organizations dedicate a large portion of their business to performing whale watching tours and educating the public on ocean sustainability. This is always a good sign that your tour will feature sustainable waste disposal and other low-impact best practices.
So, how can we protect the ocean? A good way to start is by making your next trip a sustainable one. When you vote for sustainability with your vacation dollar, you let businesses know that ethical and environmentally friendly practices pay. If you want to take an extra step, take a whale watching tour and consider getting involved in other key ways. The more you know, the more you can do to build a brighter future for the next generation.