Eco-friendly vacations are gaining in popularity with travellers the world over, who are realizing the need to protect the natural wonders they so longingly wish to see. At Ocean Getaways, we’re proud to be at the very forefront of the Going Green movement which is slowly, but surely, revolutionizing the luxury yacht charter business.
It may seem ironic, we know, that luxury superyachts wish to ‘go green’ when they are mostly viewed as excessively opulent means of transport utilized by the rich and famous. But the way we see it, every effort helps, every innovation exciting and anything which assists in keeping our planet and oceans healthy and with abundant wildlife can be nothing but positive. And that’s why we’re fighting hard to spearhead this movement full steam ahead and supporting green yacht charters as comprehensively as possible.
Here are all the innovative ways in which Ocean Getaways is helping turn our beloved yacht charter industry into an environmentally responsible endeavour.
Our very own Trish Cronan established the Going Green Committee in 2011to tackle some of the most pressing environmental issues of yacht charters. She didn’t just pinpoint a few key problematic issues but also identified cost-effective, convenient and (most importantly) effective ways to combat them.
The first thing on Trish’ must-do list was reducing the amount of plastic waste generated by yacht charters all over the world. She estimated that each yacht contributes, on average, between 500 and 700 empty plastic bottles a week. That’s every single yacht. In every single charter destination. Every week. Collate the numbers and what you have is approximately 50 tons of plastic bottles in the British Virgin Islands ALONE.
That’s enough to make one want to sit and have a stiff drink (but not from a plastic cup, of course).
Identifying and tackling one major problem at a time is arguably the smartest way to combat a colossal issue. The second smartest? Finding a cost-effective and convenient way to achieve an immediate result.
Trish and her committee of dedicated ocean-huggers took on the task of convincing yacht owners to produce their own drinking water. Not only could they immediately put a halt to the wastage, but they could also immediately reap the financial rewards. Fitting a relatively inexpensive and permanent water filtering system costs, on average, one month’s worth of bottled water supply. That’s all! Not only could a yacht owner save tens of thousands of dollars a year by producing their own drinking water, but they could have a ton more space on board to store water toys and supplies (when not making room for endless crates of bottled water) but they could also bask in the knowledge that they’re helping to combat one of the most pressing issues threatening our oceans. No matter which way you look at it, it’s a win-win situation for everyone.
Successfully supporting superyacht owners, crews and guests into transitioning to more conscientious sailing practices, is the just the first step in what is a long-term commitment to protecting our waterways. Because if there’s one thing we’ve all noticed is that everywhere you sail…and everywhere you look…there’s plastic.
Charter a yacht today, in some of the most idyllic places on earth, and you’re bound to see what havoc plastic is playing on our oceans. The Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, the British and US Virgin islands and the Maldives, to name but a few destinations, are some of the most popular yacht charter hubs in the world, as well as some of the least developed. Recycling is almost non-existent here and our yacht charter guests contribute to the plastic overabundance problem with an immense number of water bottles. This has always been at the forefront of our mind, and our commitment to end this issue, by coming up with a way for yachts to produce their own drinking water, is one of our most exciting prospects yet.
Plastic was only our first foe, and we’re ready to challenge many more.
Corporate Social Responsibility has taken on a life of its own in recent years, with an abundance of corporate charter clients now looking for very clear ways in which we contribute to the social, culture and environmental protection of the destinations we offer. We could not be more pleased! When at first we fought to persuade and convince, we are now being specifically requested to showcase our efforts. And we do so with pride.
We encourage and assist our yacht charters in buying local produce as much as possible, use biodegradable cleaning products and using eco-friendly painting products at every haul-out. Reducing paper products by using cloth napkins and rags whenever suitable can also have a great influence in wastage reduction, as is offering guests the chance to hold a ‘clean the beach’ excursion, or any locally-managed initiative to support coral reefs and local farms.
Although we may be leaders in Going Green, it’s only together, one step at a time, that we can we make a real difference.