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Make your New Year’s resolution a Green Blue one 

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Small changes can make a big difference.

Recycling Clyde Marina

Whether it’s making that first passage across the channel, running a marathon or losing a few pounds, only one in ten of us will actually achieve our New Year’s resolution. Apparently you stand a better chance of success if you choose something new or take a different approach to an old problem so take a look at some ideas from The Green Blue to make greener sailing your resolution.

Reduce your waste!

The New Year is always that time when we all want to shed a bit of unwanted weight, so why not try to reduce the size of your waste! Start by looking at packaging and storage when you victualise your boat and try to reduce what you take on board that will end up as rubbish. The majority of harbours and marinas have recycling facilities so if you’re making repairs to your boat or returning from a cruise or a race, recycle your waste on board if space allows and always dispose carefully of waste onshore.

Carefully remove and apply antifouling

During February and March you may be starting to think about removing that old antifouling and painting on the new ready for re-launch. When you get started, prevent old paint scrapings and residues entering the water by placing a tarpaulin under your boat and sweep up and dispose of dust and flakes as hazardous waste. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a look at environmentally friendly solutions, such as ultrasonic technologies or perhaps a silicone based coating. But if you decide to go with more traditional types, use one that has the lowest levels of biocides and copper suitable for your needs.

Antifouling

Use eco-friendly cleaning products

Even if you look on the back of a bottle of detergent in the supermarket you might not be able to tell what it contains but many products still use phosphates, ammonia, solvents and surfactants which are harmful to people as well as the environment. There are plenty of environmentally friendly alternatives on the market these days so take a look at The Green Blue’s Green Directory www.sailingnetworks.com/green for a selection of products for the galley, the heads or cleaning the decks.

Don’t let them hitch a ride…

And last but not least you won’t have missed the news on the Quagga mussel, a new invasive species that arrived in the UK in October 2014. It’s not entirely clear how it arrived here from the Ponto-Caspian Region, but we do know that it can cause serious damage to pipes and infrastructure and boating equipment too. Boats are one of several ways in which the species can move from different waterbodies so if there is one new habit to take on board it’s ‘Check Clean Dry’, washing and removing any fouling or plant or animal matter from your boat.

Small changes can make a big difference. 

If you would like more information visit www.thegreenblue.org.uk

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