The crystal clear water, colorful reefs, and abundant sea life of the Caribbean is the primary draw for guests booking our unique charter yacht vacations. Yet, the very presence of charter yachts in these pristine waters can pose a threat to the sustainability of the marine environment. For this reason, many of the iYachtClub featured yachts take specific steps to practice “green boating” during their Caribbean yacht charters.
Look for the Green Turtle on an iYachtclub featured yacht’s page to indicate that they participate in environmentally friendly chartering.
What is Green Boating?
When yacht crews work to minimize their impact on the marine environment and practice responsible environmental stewardship, we call that Green Boating. There are a few steps that a charter yacht can take to reduce their marine footprint.
Use Solar or Wind Power
Solar panels and wind generators are an alternate power source a charter yacht can use to maintain power on board when the yacht is at anchor and the engine is turned off. Without solar or wind, a charter yacht must run their engine to keep the air conditioning going, the lights on and the music playing. By using solar or wind power, a charter yacht can rely on battery power at anchor, cut down on their fuel consumption and ultimately reduce the amount of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.
Water Purification System
Charter yachts that have water-makers and water-purification systems on board can make their own clean drinking water for guests which means they don’t need to purchase cases of one-time
use plastic water bottles. We’ve all seen the horrifying photos of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch of plastic in the Northern Pacific Ocean. Using refillable water bottles is one step to avoid adding to that! Some charter yachts also ban plastic straws, as they can easily blow over board and be consumed by marine life such as sea turtles.
Charter yacht crews can prevent toxic chemicals from going into the water and damaging the coral reefs and marine life by using biodegradable, marine safe cleaning agents on board. Coral reefs grow so slowly (marine biologists estimate from .5 to .2 cm a year!) and are very susceptible to even the slightest changes in temperature, light and water chemistry. The reefs are not only beautiful to behold they support a huge array of marine biodiversity, from coral species to fish. By using marine-safe products on board, charter yachts ensure that they are not adding pollutants to the water that can damage our Caribbean coral reef systems.
Buy Local and Organic.
Today’s charter guests are used to asking for local, organic produce and fresh-caught fish because it is a healthier option, but it is also a way that yacht chefs can reduce their overall carbon footprint. By locally sourcing provisions for a weeks charter from area organic farmers and fisherman, chefs cut down on the food that they purchase that would have had to be flown in from around the globe.
Scientists believe that the rise in global CO2 emissions over the years has contributed to an increase in ocean acidification levels causing an overall slow down in the growth of the world’s coral reefs.
What Can You Do?
As a guest on board a Caribbean charter yacht you also can take part in environmental stewardship and be a green boater.
1.Bring your own refillable water bottles.These can be purchased anywhere. Buy them in different colors and label them for each member of your charter party. Your crew will be happy to keep these filled on board with fresh drinking water.
2.Pack marine-safe sunscreen and hygiene products. You can source these products on Amazon and have them shipped to the yacht’s office address so they are waiting for you when you board.
3.While snorkeling, don’t kick or touch the reefs. The coral reef system are delicate and even the slightest of human interaction can effect their growth. “Look. Don’t Touch” is the key to enjoying the Caribbean sea life without having a negative impact.
4.Never throw anything overboard. All trash, needs to stay on board. Seagulls and turtles can choke on plastic rings that hold soda cans together and small scraps of plastic like bottle caps can get stuck in their digestive systems. Even food waste such as banana peels are not good to throw overboard. These can take a very long time to decompose…and you wouldn’t want somebody to slip on that banana peel while they are snorkeling!
5.Consider spending an evening aboard with the A/C off. You may be surprised how cool the Caribbean trade winds really are, and the charter cabins all have excellent ventilation.
6. Choose a yacht for your Caribbean charter yacht vacation that practices Green Boating. Here’s a list of iYachtClub’s Green Boating yachts: