Green Chartering to Preserve the Seas and Help Fight Climate Change
Recommended Practices to Help Preserve the Seas We Love
Plastic waste is becoming an increasingly severe environmental issue, with plastic particles literally permeating the seas. It's estimated that 70 million tons of waste gets dumped into the oceans each year, 70-80% of that waste is plastic that can take up to 300 years to degrade.
The problem is not just that it's unsightly, it harms animals and even humans. It's estimated that more than 100,000 marine mammals die each year in the North Pacific from ingesting microplastic or becoming tangled in larger plastic pieces. And new research suggests that contaminants from ocean plastic are eaten by tiny fish that are eaten by larger fish that are eaten by us - plastic and its contaminants have entered the food chain.
To do its part, the Charter Yacht Broker Association has declared 2012 as the year to reduce the use of Bottled Water on Yachts through their "Going Green to Save the Blue" Campaign. They suggest using desalinated water and distributing it in refillable bottles during charters.
Water Desalination techniques have improved dramatically in the past few years, to the point where it's early impossible to distinguish water made from a desalinator from bottled. Many charter yachts have signed up to try to reduce the use of bottled water on their charters and are seeing good success. Not only does it dramatically reduce garbage during the charter, it also saves cost and storage space. See the press release about CYBA's Going Green Campaign.
We fully acknowledge that if a charterer wants bottled water, that's their right, of course. But a bit of education and a taste test can go a long way. Do we really need to import water from Fiji to serve in the Caribbean?
The increase in Carbon Dioxide levels in our atmosphere has been scientifically linked to Global Climate Change and Global Warming. Any time you use a motor on a yacht more CO2 is sent into the atmosphere, exacerbating this problem. While yachts produce a very small amount of the CO2 that goes into the atmosphere, everyone can do a their bit to reduce emissions if they wish.
The best way to charter with low carbon emissions is to charter a sailboat! While use of the motor to recharge the batteries or while mooring will still create CO2, you will generally be using an infinitely renewable source of energy - the wind!
Carbon Offsets. If you do use a motor while chartering, you can buy "carbon credits" to offset the emissions you create while chartering. The United Nations works with many charities and NPOs to certify projects that will reduce carbon emissions. Projects such as building electricity generating dams that will replace carbon fuel (coal) burning electrical generation, wind farms, tree planting, etc. all can qualify for carbon credits.
If you are interested in offsetting your carbon emissions, we'd be happy to do it for you. You can use our Carbon Offset Calculator to determine how much it might cost, and just let you broker know you want to buy offsets for that amount. Or we can do the calculation for you if you wish.
Currently there are several major projects to create solar-powered and electrified yachts, many with space-age designs. We've chronicled several of these on our Blog, such as the Emax Evolution Schooner (pictured) or the the Sauter Emax Excalibur Motor Yacht. See our e-boat article for an up-to-date discussion and listing of the new boats and developments.
Hybrid Yachts use electric motors instead of gasoline, and the spinning props regenerate the batteries while sailing, similar to a hybrid car. So they effectively are "Green" Boats that produce almost no carbon emissions at all!
Some are even efficient enough to offer air-conditioning, so you can have comfort with no negative environmental impact. The leading production boat is the Lagoon 420 Hybrid , several of which we have in the BVI and elsewhere.
We've put together a complete guide to the coming electric revolution in yachting and boating.
Other Types of Green Chartering
The above are just a few of the initiatives underway for green chartering. If you are involved in any activities that can help charterers help the environment, please leave a note below and we'll include them in this evolving page!
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