There is a growing interest in all things environmental and the boating community is no exception. Boaters are taking more of an interest in what is happening in their cruising areas and in "Beautiful British Columbia" there is much current interest. As boaters we have a responsibility to maintain the cleanliness of our ocean and surrounding environment. We owe it to our environment to practice green boating.
Here are just a few of the steps we take to minimize the harmful effects to the environment and run a 'green' and environmentally friendly company:
- We prevent oily discharges in the bilges by keeping engines well-tuned to prevent fuel and oil leaks.
- We spill-proof our oil changes by using an oil change pump to transfer oil to a spill-proof container. Then we recycle it.
- We minimize boat cleaning and maintenance in the water. We haul our boats in a boatyard licensed to collect antifouling waste properly.
- We dispose of hazardous waste properly. Paints, batteries, anitfreeze, cleaning products, oil and other hazardous waste are taken to a recycle facility.
- We manage sewage waste properly. We do not discharge sewage in our harbour. We use the harbour pump-out stations.
- We use rags, environmentally friendly cleaners where possible, and recycle cardboard, paper, and plastic as much as we can manage.
Here are a few things you can do to help the environment:
- When fueling, we recommend you 'slow down' to avoid overflow spillage. Prevent fuel spills by filling fuel tanks slowly and using absorbent rags to catch drips and spills.
- Stow it, don't throw it! Keep your trash on board. Never throw any garbage into the ocean. Take advantage of shore-side facilites to recycle plastic, glass, metal, cardboard and paper. Remember: "reduce, reuse, recycle".
- Try to reduce 'greywater' discharges. Use a phosphate-free biodegradable soap and shampoo to minimize the impacts of 'greywater' on the marine environment. Also, minimize discharge by doing dishes and taking showers on shore whenever possible.
- Never pump out sewage at the dock, in anchorages, or near sensitive areas such as shellfish beds. Use the holding tank or shore-side facilities whenever possible. Always pump out the holding tanks in deep water when no pump-out stations are available.
- Don't use your boat's head to dispose of anything it isn't intended to be used for.
- Don't approach within 100 metres of bird colonies. Marine birds often nest on the ground or in burrows on small islets, cliffs and shorelines. These nests are difficult to see so be careful!
- Stay at least 100 metres from whales, porpoises and other marine mammals, and 200 metres from seal or sea lion haulouts. If you're lucky enough to get to travel with whales, always go parallel with their direction (don't cut across their path or stop in front of them). Avoid erratic manoeuvres, and never chase whales or other mammals. Minimize your wake and engine noise.
Have fun and think 'green'!