13 Ideas for Eco-friendly Yachting

Sep 21, 2021

Yachting should be a care-free experience … you, the waves, the sun, and the wind. But as you enjoy the beauties of nature from your luxury charter yacht flybridge or bow, is there a way that you can also care for the planet? You’ve heard the phrase often posted at protected natural areas … Leave only footprints? By “going green” and doing your best to create and enjoy an eco-friendly yachting experience, you can feel good that you are doing your part for the planet.

Speaking of footprints – what is your carbon footprint? It is the amount of carbon dioxide that your activities release into the environment, from your travel to your energy use. Everything that you do adds up to increase your CO2 emissions and thus your carbon footprint. Today, there are more options than ever to help reduce your carbon footprint during your charter and add that extra care to sustain the future of our resources.

What are some eco-conscious choices you can make for your next yacht charter? We’re glad you asked!

1. Reuse your Towels

Just like at a hotel, you can make the choice to use your bath towels more than once during your yacht charter. Of course your crew is more than happy to provide fresh towels daily, but think of the water and laundry product you would save – and are those towels really dirty? Keeping bed linens on longer than normal is another re-use opportunity. Ask your crew the typical change-out schedule at the beginning of your charter and agree on your preferred timing for replacements.

beautiful Bahamas
on charter

2. Recycling 

Whether it is bottles, cans, plastic or paper, recycle whatever the crew recommends.

3. Waste Disposal

This will mostly be up to your crew to take care of, but waste (of all types) should be properly disposed of in port at marina facilities. Be sure you are responsible with your trash.

4. Your Yacht

Consider researching to find a rental yacht with a hybrid engine which reduces the amount of fuel used and produces lower emissions. You could also choose a sailing yacht charter instead of a motor yacht charter, and enjoy a leisurely yet oh-so-satisfying wind-powered excursion.

5. Travel Considerations

Typically for a term charter to an exotic locale, you’ll need to fly to get to the port. Then you’ll need a taxi to get there, and potentially you’ll stay in hotels along the way. All of these transportation and lodging options mean more greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. According to the EPA, transportation generates 28.2 percent of greenhouse gas emissions – the largest share of all the greenhouse gas emission sources. It’s easier than ever to stay in eco-lodges or hotels with eco-conscious practices. Also select airline flights that release lower CO2 emissions. (For commercial flights, try Skyscanners.com to search for flights using their “Green Choices” filter.)

If you are flying privately, consider finding a private jet company which has shown concern for the environment through implementing reduced emission technology or sustainable fuel in its aircraft. Even aircraft manufacturing plants are paying attention to environmental impact through careful standards for chemicals and paints used, processes and production methods, and reduced fuel and water use during production. Carbon offset programs (see item 12) are also often available for private jet travel.

6. Toilet Paper and Cleaning Chemicals

You aren’t expected to clean the yacht during your luxury charter, or stock the supplies. But you could ask the yacht prior to charter if they would consider stocking recycled toilet paper, which breaks down more quickly than regular TP. (Note we didn’t say used paper, we said “recycled”!) Cleaning chemicals, too, can be earth friendly.

Enjoying Caribbean
Lovely Caribbean sea

7. Personal Products

Your luxury yacht will be equipped with shampoo, soap and more for your convenience. Feel free to ask the crew if they can supply biodegradable options. But you may wish to bring your own biodegradable body wash, shampoo, and other eco-products. One suggestion is Dr. Bronner’s liquid hair and body products, which are environmentally responsible. You’ll find many choices on the market. And don’t forget the eco-friendly sunscreen, which can help you do your part to protect marine life.

8. Multi-use Containers

Bring your own refillable water jug, reusable bags or food containers. Avoid single use items (like plastic bottles) and come up with alternatives to disposable paper and plastic products. You could even indicate your sustainability goals on your Preference Sheet to let the crew know you’d like to reduce as much waste as possible.

9. Energy Conservation 

Simple, but impactful:  Don’t leave the light on, the fan on, or the A/C on when you leave your cabin.

10. Pack without Packaging

If you are bringing newly purchased products, remove them from their bags, plastic bubbles, cardboard and more. The less to pile up, the less to throw away.

11. Personal Solar Charging Station

Portable solar charging stations convert solar energy to electricity and store it in a battery bank. Devices like your phone or earbuds can be charged outdoors in an environmentally friendly way. Do your research though, and practice first at home, because it might take many hours to fully charge your device.  You’ll need to plan ahead so as not to be stuck without your phone. (It might be beneficial to slip a fully charged battery bank into your luggage. Just in case!)

12. Carbon Offsets

Knowing that you are doing your best but may not be able to create a fully sustainable charter, consider Carbon Offsets – financially supporting a nonprofit conservation or environmental protection program to offset your carbon footprint for your trip.  The nonprofit will invest your donations as credits into sustainable projects, allowing you a carbon-neutral or “offset” result. Look for these opportunities through airlines as well. A true offset would be carbon offset programs that benefit the location you are visiting.

13. Local Economy Support

Lastly, when you disembark from your charter yacht to explore the intrigue of your destination, support the economy of local vendors, restaurateurs, crafters and shops. After all, true souvenirs will be created from the love and welcoming spirit of the native residents, and isn’t that more of a genuine memory than an imported trinket?

Your charter experience can definitely be consciously sustainable. By working to conserve energy, reduce CO2 and reduce waste, you will reduce the carbon footprint of your trip. Doesn’t that purposeful care for the planet add even more joy to your experience for you and your traveling companions? Not to mention the satisfaction of environmental preservation for future generations to enjoy. See what eco-friendly steps you can take to “leave only footprints” during your next luxury yacht charter vacation.