Observing sustainable and eco-friendly practices has become the norm for many households across the country, but you don’t have to leave this habit at home when you go on vacation. While it’s easy to get caught up in all the excitement of sailing around the San Juan Islands, don’t forget the environmental impact your voyage can have. These green sailing tips will help preserve the breathtaking destinations and protect the local aquatic wildlife.
Dispose of Waste Responsibly
A vast number of majestic sea creatures consider the San Juan Islands their home. Passengers must do their part in keeping the waterways clean by properly disposing waste. Instead of throwing trash overboard or anywhere on the deck, ask the crew where they keep waste that will later be discharged on land. The same goes for organic waste like food and potentially harmful chemicals like detergents.
Bring Reusable Items
Aboard a vessel, space is limited, which is why you will be better off bringing reusable items instead of disposable ones. For instance, instead of using paper cups or the one-time plastic bottles that are polluting our whole planet, each member of your voyage party could have their own personal, refillable water bottles. You can also pack a few reusable bags to keep your things organized. Many are now bringing reuseable containers to their favorite restaurants when they know there will be a few tasty leftovers to take home.
Look at Sunscreen Ingredients
You may not know it, but some ingredients used in sunscreens can actually cause harm to corals and reefs. Think twice before you pick up a bottle from your local grocery. According to research done by the Environmental Working Group, three-fourths of sunscreens they tested either have harmful ingredients like oxybenzone or offer inferior sun protection. Look at the labels more closely and choose ones that use zinc oxide and titanium oxide as their main ingredients instead.
Rely More on Wind Power
Here’s where sailing vessels have large, modern ships beat. They can fully utilize the power of the wind instead of keeping the motor on at all times. Favorable winds in the sails should be enough to steer you to the right direction. This helps the environment in more ways than you can imagine. It also affords passengers with a quieter and more relaxed time on the ship.
Sample Local Food on Land
When you make stops on any one of the islands, take the opportunity to try out the local food scene. Buying local supports the economy. The San Juan Islands even hold events like wine tasting, harvest dinners and farm tours to encourage tourists to sample the rich flavors. Time your trip right so you can take advantage of these events that usually go on for months.
If every visitor will abide by these small and simple practices, more people can enjoy the wealth and natural resources offered by the San Juan Islands in the future. Plan accordingly to make your boat charters more eco-friendly.