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8 Ways for Mindfulness in Boating

8 Ways for Mindfulness in Boating

It “initially” seems paradoxical to be a boatie and be friendly to nature—unless you use wind and solar-powered boat that is made of 100% biodegradable or recyclable materials. But even if you are not 100% natural, there are many ways to enjoy boating while lessening your impact on others and on our fragile environment.



  1. Reduce your carbon footprint


Efficiency in engine power is key. While solar-powered engines are ideal, being a petrol engine user does not exempt you from caring for the environment. Even if you use petrol, you can still manage the way your engine works. Ensure that your engine is well maintained and cleaned as often as you use it. This not only provides efficient driving, but it also encourages longer engine life.



  1. Watch your wake


Time and time again, we are reminded to watch our wake. It is particularly important to be mindful of how your wake affects other boats and other users of the water, as well as the environment. Don’t just watch your speed. Keep a good lookout (including astern), and slow down when you see vessels and persons that are vulnerable. Moreover, wakes from boats cause damage to fish, wildlife habitat, shorelines and shoreline structures over time.

Did you know that… A “wake” refers to the recirculating flow of water directly behind a moving vessel. A “wash,” which is a component of a wake, consists of broken or loose water, such as that tossed up by a propeller.


  1. Use natural cleaning products inside and outside


By using phosphate-free biodegradable cleaning products you can minimize the impacts of greywater on the marine environment. Whenever possible, avoid discharging into the water, and conduct cleaning onshore.

Cleaning tip: Use vinegar and baking soda as your general cleaning solutions. It’s cheap and non-toxic. To keep the inside smelling good, use natural oil or aromatherapy products.


4. Dispose of waste properly.


Use hazardous waste collection facilities for disposing paints, oil, oil filters, batteries, etc. Make sure you manage sewage wastes mindfully by only using shore-side facilities to pump out sewage. Any trash or rubbish (cigarette butts, plastic bags, fishing line, etc.) on board should remain on board until you are able to dispose of them on shore.



  1. Conduct maintenance checks at accredited marinas and boatyards


If possible, perform work on the boat in accredited facilities where toxic wastes can be contained. If you have to do it yourself, ensure that you are able to contain the waste by using tarps or vacuum sanders to collect drips and debris for proper disposal.



  1. Know what your boat and its parts are made of


Your boat may not find its end-of-life with you, but it does help to know what it is made of. When you do have to dispose accessories or parts of your boat, you have to know how to dispose of them properly. Fibreglass, composite and plastic waste are not biodegradable, so their disposal should be conducted in professional facilities. Some boaties who are mindful of this are able to make decisions on which boat to buy based on how boats and boat parts are to be disposed of in the future.



  1. Support and patronise marine businesses that are eco-conscious


There are several local marine businesses that are taking a more environmentally friendly path to running their enterprise. Whether it is reducing the use of electricity in their facilities (such as installing solar panels) or simply offering marine products that are accredited as natural and environmentally friendly, a marine business that promotes the protection of our environment through safe practices should be supported, as they will lead the way to your sustainable boating experiences.



  1. Be an aquatic steward. Educate yourself and other boaties.


The health of our waterways will determine the quality of our boating experiences. If we keep our waterways and the environment around them healthy, we are in for more pleasant experiences. As people whose lifestyle revolves around the water, we are not excused from learning and educating ourselves about the environment. After all, the water that we protect is the same water that supports our boating lifestyle.




Fuelling tip: When fuelling, stop the drops. Avoid fuel spills by filling tanks slowly and catching drips with absorbent pads.


By Roselle Tenefrancia





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