More and more emphasis is being placed on maintaining sustainable and eco-friendly practices, and incorporating them with our lifestyles. Even in sailing; there are many ways in which we can help keep the sea healthier for much longer. Grenada, and the rest of the Caribbean depend on the sea as part of their livelihoods, for food and tourism. Add the following ten tips to your routine to practice clean, green boating.

Prevent oily discharges from the bilge.

Make sure that your engine is always well-tuned to avoid fuel and oil leaks. Secure an oil absorbent pad or pillow in your bilge and under your engine where drips can transpire. Inspect the pads often, be sure not to let them clog the bilge pump, and dispose of them as hazardous waste at a marina or if available, a hazardous waste collection centre.

Spill-proof your oil changes. 

Use an oil change pump to transfer oil to a spill-proof container for oil changes. Wrap the oil filter with a plastic bag, or absorbent pad to keep the oil from leaking into the bilge.

When fuelling, stop the drops

 Thwart fuel spills by filling fuel tanks gradually and using absorbent pads or rags to catch drips and spills. Do not overflow your fuel tank. Let the tank remain 10% empty to allow space for fuel to expand as it warms.

Do not add soap. 

You should never use soap to dissolve fuel and oil spills. It is incredibly harmful to the environment, and it is also illegal.

Minimize boat cleaning and maintenance in the water. 

Try as much as possible to save maintenance projects for the boatyard. If you must perform work on the water, minimize your impact by making a special effort to contain the waste. Make use of tarps and vacuum sanders to gather all drips and debris for proper disposal.

Reduce toxic discharges from bottom paints. 

Use a less toxic, or nontoxic antifouling paint to lessen the release of heavy metals found in soft-sloughing antifouling paints. Stick to non-abrasive underwater hull cleaning techniques to prevent excessive paint discharge. Make note that dry storage reduces the need for antifouling paints and saves money.

Dispose of hazardous waste properly. 

Be sure to get rid of cleaning products, antifreeze, paints, batteries, oil, oil filters and other harmful wastes at a hazardous waste collection facility.

Plan Ahead, manage sewage wastes properly. 

You should never discharge sewage within 3 miles of shore. Be sure to use pump-out stations and shore-side facilities.

Stow it, don’t throw it.

Keep your garbage on board, and stored in an appropriate container. Never throw fishing line, cigarette butts, or any other refuse into the ocean. Take advantage of facilities that recycle plastic, glass, metal, and paper.

Reduce Greywater discharges. 

Make use of a phosphate-free biodegradable soap to abate the impact of greywater on the marine environment. Also reduce discharge by washing dishes and having showers on shore as much as possible.

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