There is a LOT going on in the environmental space at the moment, with particular focus on our oceans around World Oceans Day — which is something very close to all our hearts. From a practical perspective, the yachting industry depends on clean, healthy oceans for its survival.
The Great Pacific Garbage patch is now three times as big as Spain. 🇪🇸
By 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish. 🐟
One million water bottles are bought around the world every second. 💧
1.9 million trees are cut down every day for toilet paper. 🧻
There’s an estimated 82,000 chemicals from our personal care products in the sea. ☣️
So, what can you do as yacht crew to help our blue planet? How many of these do you do?
● Install a filtered water tap in the crew mess and guest pantries. (Also great for the yacht budget).
● If guests don’t want to use refillable bottles, stock one of the cans of water available.
● If you must continue with plastic bottles, choose a brand using a high proportion of recycled plastics.
● With reusable bottles, top tip: buy ones that can go in the dishwasher.
Just remember, with both recycled plastic and the cans, you have to keep recycling them, which relies on good recycling chains wherever you are cruising. It’s undoubtedly better to remove single-use bottles altogether, at the very least for crew.
● There are a lot of recycled fabrics coming onto the market which are suitable for crew uniforms.
● Use a yacht uniform supplier who will take back your uniforms and shred them to make new textiles and donate those items without yacht logos.
● Obscure/remove yacht logos and donate uniforms.
● Go simple, go eco, go cheap. Spray bottles of diluted vinegar and water and dish detergent and water will clean the majority of yacht surfaces very well and can be used as your everyday interior cleaners.
● For specialist products, look at eco-friendly and marine-safe versions.
● Avoid commercial toilet cleaners as they are not marine safe.
● Investigate newer, less toxic marine products for anti-fouling.
Buy only reef-safe sunscreens.
Your sunscreen is probably a reef-killer. This is such an easy change to make. Just do it.
Put your money where your mouth is.
There’s a world of great causes you can get behind — check out our article on 10 worthy marine causes.
Swap paper items for bamboo/recycled.
1.9 million trees are cut down every day for toilet paper. I couldn’t believe that, so I double-checked. It’s not a typo. Recycled paper requires ZERO trees to be cut down. 1.9 million per day, or zero per day. It’s a no-brainer.
While you might not be able to get the boss to agree to recycled toilet paper, bamboo is softer than recycled so will be your next best bet. The crew should definitely be switching, regardless if you can get the boss on board. Always talk to the engineer about what type of toilet paper your water treatment system can handle, and go from there.
Also, don’t forget to make the switch to recycled with any paper towel, napkins, and printer paper too.
Watch the Plastic Oceans documentary
Put this documentary on in the crew mess one lunchtime, and we almost guarantee you’ll get buy-in from even the most reluctant crew member to make some changes. It’s so much easier if you do this as a team.
Take certain marine species off the yacht’s menu.
Sure, if the boss asks for a type of endangered seafood, you’re totally going to get it for them. But you can reduce the consumption of endangered or threatened seafood species by simply leaving it off the menu unless asked.
Unfortunately, there are some biggies on this list the boss probably isn’t going to be happy with, like Bluefin Tuna, Atlantic Cod, Marlin, Monkfish and Wild Caviar. You can only do what you can. Try as hard as you can not to serve orange roughy though, as it is an exceptionally long-lived fish (up to 125 years) and has low fertility.
Put pressure on shipyards to improve their recycling facilities.
There’s nothing worse than walking around a shipyard trying to find somewhere to recycle your acres of cardboard and soft plastic, only to give up and chuck them in a general skip. It’s not good enough. Make it clear that you expect better. Many shipyards are really cleaning up their act in the environmental stakes, so use the competition as an example.
What do you do that you’d like to share?
We are encouraging you to make a difference.
Every little helps.
Do you have environmental tips to share?
What are you doing to reduce your yacht’s footprint (or hull-print in this case)?
Tag us in a post on Instagram or facebook or email us directly to share your ideas with the industry.