Having the luxury and privilege of living and working on yachts, this makes us all more aware of our oceans and the impact we have on nature and the eco system. These are 6 of Nautic Nomad’s top tips for sustainable living on yachts.
1. USE NATURAL CLEANING PRODUCTS, as far as possible.
For varnished wood finishings, wood panels, wood or laminate floors and stainless steel, use a spray bottle filled with one part white vinegar and 4 parts water. Vinegar water is a natural cleaning product and is safe to use on most surfaces. Remember to use a clean non abrasive cloth, 1 to apply and 1 to dry. For kitchen surfaces I like to add a few drops of Tea Tree Oil to my vinegar water spray bottle, for a natural antibacterial surface cleaner. For heads, use a spray bottle filled with one part rubbing alcohol and 4 parts water. This is a natural cleaning product which is safe on most bathroom surfaces. You can add a couple of drops of Mint, Lavender or Citrus essential oils, if you would like a scented natural cleaner. For cleaning inside your oven, you can use bicarb soda. Sprinke a thick layer of bicarb soda on any build up spots, then spray with vinegar water and squeeze lemon juice over this paste. Leave it to sit overnight (or for a minimum of 4 hours) and easily wipe off the dirt the next day.
2. AVOID SINGLE USE PLASTICS
Plastic pollution is killing our marine life and oceans. Try to recycle as much as possible on yachts (which I know is hard due to some countries not offering recycling facilities). However, we can still do our part! Help the sea turtles by banning plastic straws on board. Opt instead for reusable stainless steel straws which looks classy and elegant (these ones come with a cleaning brush.) When you get plastic rings on 6 pack soda´s and beers, cut the rings up with a pair of scissors. Try to prevent sea turtles, seabirds, whales and other marine life from choking or swallowing plastic.
3. LIMIT YOUR USE OF BOTTLED WATER
Instead use jugs of filtered water (we recycled old bottles of Rosé wine) and make your guests or crew flavoured waters. For example you can add slices of lemons and limes, strawberries & mint, blueberries & thyme, you can make up your own delicious flavours! You can buy metal tumblers from companies like Corkcicle and YETI, which keep your drinks ice cold or piping hot for hours.
4. THROW CIGARETTE BUDS INTO THE BIN
Cigarette buds are the number one pollutant in our oceans. I feel so strongly about this issue. Please if you smoke, discard your cigarette buds into the trash bin. I see this on a regular basis, where fellow yachtsman throw there cigarettes overboard and into the ocean. We should care about our oceans even more than others, due to it being our livelyhood and the fact that we swim in the ocean all the time!
5. BEACH CLEAN UPS
Try reach out to your fellow crew members, local community and Facebook yachting groups to arrange a crew beach clean up. We can all do our part to help clean up the oceans and to live more sustainably.
6. USE ECO-FRIENDLY & REEF-SAFE SUNSCREEN
Many sunscreens are poisoning the reefs (and our skins!) due to a commonly used chemical called Oxybenzone. This chemical is predominantly found in spray types of sunscreens. Other common harmful ingredients found in many brands of sunscreen are butylparaben, octinoxate and 4 methylbenzylidine. Another effect of this sunscreen chemicals is it tends to leave nasty yellow stains on yachts towels and bed linens. Oxybenzone and other chemicals mentioned above, causes coral bleaching and it also disrupts reproduction and growth on reefs. Researchers have found high concentrations of this chemical in popular tourist destinations such as Hawaii, the Carribbean Islands such as the Virgin Islands and The Great Barrier Reef in Australia, which is devastating for our marine life and reefs.
What can we do? Buy human and reef safe, biodegradable brands of sunscreens. Shop for brands that use physical sunblocks such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, instead of chemical ingredients. PADI recommends applying sunscreen 10-15 minutes before jumping into the ocean, to allow the sunscreen to absorb into your skin.
Our Top 9 list of Reef-Safe healthy sunscreens that can be purchased on Amazon or in your local dive shop: