Boating is one of the great national pastimes, but let's face it: If done improperly, boating can be disastrous for the environment. Too often, boat captains will disregard environmental issues when they're underway, which is a shame. One of the reasons so many have taken up boating as a hobby is an appreciation of nature and marine life.
Keeping things green while boating isn't especially hard, either. It just takes a few simple changes in the way you do things that don't take away from the pleasure of the sport. Here are some of the easiest ways to be environmentally-friendly when operating your vessel, courtesy of Discover Boating:
- Maintain your engine and propeller: This is not only good environmental practice, but common sense. If your boat is operating inefficiently and your motor isn't in good working order, you could be wasting fuel, which costs money and contaminates ocean and lake water.
- Recycle waste: Many components that we use regularly when boating, including paint, batteries and cleaning products, can be recycled. More importantly, these items are typically toxic, and can eventually harm marine life even if they've been disposed of in a garbage can.
- Stow trash: For those items that you can't recycle, refrain from throwing them into the ocean. After all, no one wants to boat in water littered with garbage.
Another way to make sure you're boating responsibly is to ensure that you're using a chartplotter to plan your course ahead of time. This ensures that you aren't consuming excess fuel, and that you avoid any areas with large populations of marine life that can be threatened by your propeller. You can pick up a chartplotter and other marine instruments at ePal!