Green Boating Tips

Discover Boating, that “national awareness campaign” funded by the North American recreational boating industry, recently revealed seven ways for all of us to become more “eco-friendly” boaters. I’m passing them along not only because I think the environment could use a little help, but also because they’re so simple…and some of them will even save you money. All good thing, right?

Plus, Earth Day is this week, so what better time to think green…

Here are the tips:

Use eco-friendly cleaning products. Cleaning products that have minimal environmental impact, and are actually safer for you to use,  carry an EPA-certified “Design for the Environment” (DfE) label. You can find a list of eco-friendly products at

Maintain your equipment. If your engine, boat, and prop all work together well, you’ll save fuel and minimize emissions.

Recycle properly. Boating has lots of nasty stuff — paints, batteries, antifreeze, cleaning products, oil. Dispose of it properly at a waste collection facility. Some marine accessories stores offer a $10 credit on a new battery when you return your used one.

Reduce fuel consumption. Reducing cruising speeds, trimming your boat properly, keeping the engine in tune, the hull clean, and even cutting down on the distance of your trips are all ways to reduce your fuel usage.

Don’t spill fuel. Here’s a common one. Avoid “topping off” your tank. Overfilling commonly causes fuel to spit out the vent line. Pumping the fuel a little slower into your tank is also an easy way to prevent the “spit back” that occurs when the tank is approaching full.

Know where you’re going. Charting a course keeps you from wasting fuel, but also avoids you venturing into areas where you could damage sensitive floor habitats or injure marine life.

Recycle fishing line. Look for the canisters popping up in many places that allow you to dispose of monofilament fishing line. You’ll protect marine life.

Take trash with you. Don’t throw garbage into the water. Stow it aboard until you’re back at the dock. Then, use the appropriate trash container or recycling bin.

You go out on the water because it’s beautiful. Keep it that way with these simple steps.