A sustainable return to boating


A Sustainable Return to Boating

With boaters once again being able to get back on-board and enjoy our local waters and surrounding wildlife, The Green Blue has been contacted by numerous clubs and centres keen to return to their boating activities in a safe and more environmentally sustainable way.

Where do you start?

The RYA Environment and Sustainability team, which includes The Green Blue programme, is here to support your club in raising awareness and adopting environmental best practice to safeguard the environment that we enjoy boating in.

As part of this support The Green Blue website has a tailored section for clubs, providing an array of free advice and resources for you to explore. Some of the resources available on the website are outlined below:

Environmental Checklist for Your Club

This checklist will help your club or centre to identify internal operations and facilities which can be adapted and improved to become more environmentally sustainable. Both coastal and inland water versions of the checklist are available.

The lists are split into key areas of environmental concern, including: Raising awareness of the environment and best practice amongst members; Wildlife and Habitat Protection; Biosecurity; Waste Management; Maintenance Work; Water Pollution Prevention; as well as Energy and Water Conservation.

How to Develop an Environmental Policy

An environmental policy is a clear statement of aims which outlines an organisation's commitment to minimising its negative effect on the environment. This guide details how your club can develop its own environmental policy and also provides helpful examples of other boating clubs and organisations that have successfully launched their own policies.

An environmental policy demonstrates that an organisation cares about its environmental impact and wants to limit it as much as possible; the policy will also provide a steer when discussing future developments. Environmental policies are often well received by members, visitors and stakeholders and could even help your club to attract new members, sponsorship and funding.

How to Develop an Environmental Action Plan

An environmental action plan sets out specific actions to be undertaken in order to achieve the aims outlined in the organisation's environmental policy. An action plan should identify who is responsible for each action, realistic time schedules and what resources are required to achieve the actions.

For example, one of the aims of your Environmental Policy may be to minimise the use of energy in all of our activities, the actions to achieve this may then include, switching to a green energy supplier, installing energy saving light bulbs and ensuring central heating is on a timer.

Sustainable Event Checklist and Toolkit

In order to support clubs, centres and organisations that are making the first steps towards introducing sustainable objectives to an event, The Green Blue have developed the Sustainable Event Checklist. It is a quick checklist of best practice tips and actions which can be implemented before, during and after your boating event. Some of the suggested actions include: Writing an Event Environmental Policy; Team-work and Volunteering; Awareness Raising; Waste Management; Biosecurity Measures, and more.

In addition, the RYA have developed the Sustainable Event Toolkit. This is a detailed handbook that breaks down each of the themes covered in the event checklist with suitable actions which can be used at your next event. The handbook also includes past case studies and examples to guide you through transforming your event.

Additional resources on The Green Blue website include educational activities, instructor teaching aids, an Awareness Raising Toolkit (posters, green guides to boating, videos and info-graphics) and the Green Blue Business Directory where you can find products and services to help minimise your environmental impact.

For further support on how your organisation can become more sustainable visit: thegreenblue.org.uk where you can discover the full range of information, advice and resources for your club and its members. To keep up to date on the latest best practice you can also follow @TheGreenBlue on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Or you can get in touch direct by emailing The Green Blue: info@thegreenblue.org.uk.