Other Green Ideas

There are many ways to reduce the environmental impact of boating.  And, many of these strategies also increase one’s ability to have redundancy on your boat in case something fails and to live off the grid for longer periods of times if necessary. Below is a list of ideas.  If you have ideas you want to suggest, please make them on our forum.  If your idea gets some likes indicating that other boaters agree that your idea is good, we’ll put it on our website and credit you with some Green Yachts reward points. Also, be sure to pick out the helpful list of ideas put together for a great organization called Sailors for the Sea.  Watermaker


Do you see the circles in the bottom 2/3rd of the picture?  That is damage to eelgrass beds made by boats anchoring.  Even after a boat has pulled up anchor, the effect of a chain dragging in circles for long periods of time can have an effect.

The answer is to do the following:

  1. When possible, use a mooring ball instead of anchoring, even if it costs a few dollars.
  2. If possible, anchor in sand or mud and avoid sensitive ecosystems. Sometimes one can choose to put an anchor down in a sandy spot between areas of vegetation.  It gives you better anchorage and helps the sea bottom.
  3. If you do anchor in grass, try not to overuse one particular area so that the grass has a chance to grow back
  4. When retrieving your anchor, for the sake of your windlass and the ocean bottom, motor towards the anchor and try to lift it straight up
  5. Attach a trip line to the crown of your anchor when anchoring. This is particularly easy to do with a rocna, mantus or other modern anchor.  If your anchor is stuck, you can pull it out by the trip line and it usually comes out more easily.  It also means you don’t have to replace your anchor and these modern anchors usually set better, which also causes less bottom damage from the anchor dragging.

Invasive Species

Aquatic invasive species (also called exotic or non-native) are plants and animals that are transported to an ecosystem where they don’t belong.  Often this means in the new location they don’t have natural predators and the population can explode out of control.  This hurts native species, the ecosystem balance and often the local economy as fishermen and local property values can be affected.  The only way to stop an invasive species from causing harm is to prevent them from entering the environment in the first place.  For more information, take a look at this U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Aquatic Invasive Species

Things you can do to stop the spread of invasive species are:

  • Drain and flush any raw water cooling system, livewell, bilge and transom wells with hot water when entering different bodies of water or areas around the world
  • Spray your boat and trailer with high-pressure water and then rinse with hot water when you take it out
  • Dry your boat and equipment for at least 5 days before entering a different body of water


Yes, choosing a sunscreen that doesn’t hurt our oceans matters!  And, the great folks at Haereticus labs have a certification program for ecofriendly sunscreens called Protect Land + Sea Certification.  Click here to read more

Essentially, one wants to avoid sun screen with these ingredients:

  • Any form of microplastic sphere or beads.
  • Any nanoparticles like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
  • Oxybenzone
  • Octinoxate
  • 4-methylbenzylidene camphor
  • Octocrylene
  • Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA)
  • Methyl Paraben
  • Ethyl Paraben
  • Propyl Paraben
  • Butyl Paraben
  • Benzyl Paraben
  • Triclosan

Here are a few great ecofriendly sunscreens that you can try:


This is one of the toughest eco-friendly sunscreens on the market and with only five (that’s right five – all of which can be pronounced easily) ingredients it’s also easy on our oceans. This water-resistant product was designed with surfers and boaters in mind so the zinc oxide stays put and the sunflower oil keeps your skin moisturized after hours in the sun and wind.


Hawaii’s premium high performance and natural sunscreen has an SPF 50 with 25% non-nano zinc oxide, the highest percentage on the market, UVA/UVB broad spectrum, physical mineral sunscreen offers maximum protection, 80 minutes water and sweat resistantance.  And, it rubs in clear like a moisturizing lotion, not greasy or sticky.  It’s made with 23 antioxidant ingredients, 7 of which are powerful Hawaii-grown ones that neutralize free radicals, moisturize, and nourish the skin.


A biodegradable mineral based sport lotion sunscreen with UVA and UVB broad spectrum sun protection for both body and face. This ocean safe sunscreen has been tested and proven safe for humans of all ages including babies, freshwater and saltwater marine life.


Thinksport is the first sunscreen to pass Whole Foods’ premium care requirements and has the top rating of “1” on EWG’s Skin Deep.  It is free of biologically harmful chemicals that are harmful to coral reefs, has an SPF of 50 with UVA and UVB protection, is water resistant for 80 minutes and achieved the highest level of biodegradability testing.

Sustainable Seafood

The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch® program for consumers helps us all know what fish are sustainable to eat and which fish if we eat cause damage to our oceans by the way they are fished or if that fish population is threatened.  Our choices 100% determine what fish are caught.  Making sustainable choices in fish rewards fishermen who do things the right way and preserves the biodiversity of our oceans.


Marine watermakers use reverse-osmosis (RO) to produce fresh, drinkable water from seawater by forcing it at high-pressure through a semi-permeable membrane that allows the passage of water molecules, but not salt, organic material or bacteria.

The two main types of watermakers are:

Integrated DC-Powered Watermakers

Hand-held Watermakers

The advantages of using watermakers include:

  • Preventing the spread of germs from water sources and hoses at marinas
  • Not using lots of plastic bottles that can be avoided
  • Enabling your boat to function off grid for long periods of time
  • Reducing the weight a boat needs to carry on a long cruise
  • Hand held watermakers can serve as an important piece of safety gear and take less space than bulky and heavy bottles of water
  • With solar power on your boat, an integrated watermaker on your boat uses clean energy to produce water

For more information on watermakers, try this Sail Magazine Article

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