Sustainable boating: How to reduce your carbon footprint on the water

Sustainable Boating BOATIM
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Recreational boating used to be an elite activity available only for the very wealthy. But in today’s modern society, the boating life has become a much more attainable and inclusive type of lifestyle.

In the recent times of Covid-19, there has been a massive uptake in boating–demand for new boats surged in 2020, with the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) reporting a 12% increase in retail sales in the US.

With this heightened interest in outdoor recreation as the weather warms up, boating’s popularity makes perfect sense. But, despite adding to the global economy (and our collective happiness), there’s one thing we don’t want to add to—and that’s the pollution of our waters.

We all want to have a fun, sustainable summer on the water.

Read on to discover how to reduce your carbon footprint and a few ways to offset it to make for a sustainable boating lifestyle.

What’s a carbon footprint?

A carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gasses produced to support your lifestyle and is measured in tons of CO2 during a year-long period. The result comes from the production and consumption of fossil fuels (like fuel for your boat), food, and manufactured goods. Now, let’s look at the ways to offset it.

How to reduce your carbon footprint for a more sustainable boating environment

When it comes to boating, it’s all of our responsibilities to take care of our lakes and oceans. Here are a few things you can do to ensure green boating, so our waterways stay fresh and clean.

Pollution prevention

Pollution prevention is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint on the water because you’re stopping environmental harm before it even occurs.

Spillproof your vessel against leaks

Check your boat’s fuel lines and tanks for any cracks and leaks, and be sure you have an absorbent spill kit on hand to catch any drips. It’s also important to fill your fuel tank slowly and listen carefully to make sure you don’t overfill it. And, be sure to clean up any excess oil or fuel with an absorbent material that may have spilled.

Proper waste and recycling disposal

Everyone loves a good day on the water with some great views, snacks, and a few beverages while docked (but not for the captain!). Remember – the things that make for a great day on the water aren’t meant for the water. Ensure that you have proper garbage and recycling receptacles on hand to prevent unnecessary pollution.

Careful disposal of black and graywater

Blackwater, also known as sewage discharge, is extremely harmful to the environment and is toxic for humans. The improper disposal of sewage is also illegal. If your boat has an installed toilet, plan ahead to find adequate pumpout facilities.

Similarly, graywater is another name for the untreated water onboard your vessel and is also a significant polluter of shared waterways. Check your local marina to learn where you can properly dispose of graywater.

Reduce your environmental impact

We’re all human. Sometimes, this means we impact the world around us in a negative way even when we set out with the best of intentions. But, being human means we’re also highly empathetic beings. Let’s tap into this empathy and learn how to reduce our collective environmental impact.

Improve fuel usage

There are a few things you can do to improve your fuel usage. Taking care to ensure your boat’s proper maintenance will mean that you’re not wasting fuel. Also, be sure to plan ahead for the weather, as slower speeds and calm, flat water use less fuel.

Another option is to switch to biodiesel. Biodiesel is renewable, non-toxic and burns much cleaner with reduced air emissions.

Purchase carbon offsets

Carbon offsets are a purchase you can feel good about and can help balance your carbon footprint. The Ocean Foundation’s Seagrass Grow program is a foundation doing fantastic work in this area, allowing you to compensate for your impact through the planting of seagrass meadows.

Use eco-friendly products

Thankfully, many products on the market are now eco-friendly and won’t impact the environment. When buying products for your boat such as bottom paint and cleaning products, make sure to purchase non-toxic varieties.

Now, it’s time to get out on the water

As you know, the boating industry is booming. Now that you know how to reduce your carbon footprint and are fully equipped for a summer of sustainable boating, it’s time to get out and enjoy our planet's beautiful waters.

If you’re ready to dive into the world of boating, BOATIM is the perfect place to start! We’re more than a boat marketplace—we’re the next-generation platform, connecting buyers and sellers of new and used boats and yachts.

Take a look at our boats for sale near you and see if there’s something that catches your eye today.

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