If making eco-conscious choices has become a habit at home, why not continue it while cruising the islands? We asked Hilary Kouton, the social impact director for Sailors for theSea, what easy tips she could recommend to lessen the environmental impact of your next sailing vacation.
Bring Reusable Bags
and Water Bottles Reusable shopping bags are handy to have along, and make carrying your provisions back to the boat much easier. When not in use, they’re small and easy to pack in your luggage. Encourage each member of your crew to bring a water bottle (and refill it regularly), which will reduce waste aboard and help everyone stay hydrated.
Choose Your Sunscreen Wisely
Oxybenzone, a common sunscreen ingredient, is harmful to coral. Protect the reefs and your skin by choosing a sunblock with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as the main ingredient. For a list of reef-safe sunblock, visit www.ewg.org/sunscreen.
Anchors can wreak havoc on fragile sea-grass beds and coral. When you’re choosing a place to settle in, take a mooring when available. If you must anchor, try to set it in sand, where you can see the bottom.
Trash can be tough to store aboard, and disposing of it is a big challenge in remote locations. Lessen your trash burden by choosing items with minimal packaging while provisioning. Buy in bulk when possible, and purchase water and soft drinks in larger bottles and jugs.
Trying new foods, especially local fruits and vegetables, is a highlight of your charter vacation. Check out the produce selection at a market or farm stand (don’t forget your shopping bags) and you’ll support the local economy while reducing your carbon footprint. Sunsail’s base in the British Virgin Islands makes this even easier by offering a farm box full of organic local produce as part of its provisioning options.