Commonsense green and eco-friendly tips for living aboard a boat

Foradada Point MajorcaLiving aboard a boat in and of itself can be a very green and eco-friendly decision to make. After all and unless you are living aboard a superyacht, your boat is probably going to be much smaller and consume far fewer resources than the house you have on land. That in and of itself will make living aboard a boat an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Nevertheless, here are a few common sense tips for making living aboard your boat a much greener experience:

  • Avoid wasting anything. As Jen Brett (who lives aboard the Lyra) wrote in a recent article for Cruising World, living aboard a boat means NOT wasting anything – especially when you are not tethered to a dock at a marina and you must make a trip across the harbour to get both water and diesel. Jen pointed out that her boat will hold about 200 gallons of water and this can last a family of four for two to three weeks for just about everything, including drinking, showers, cooking and cleaning (but not for laundry).
  • Use alternative or renewable energy. The price of diesel alone is enough to make you want to conserve as much of it as possible by not using the engine any more than you need to. Moreover, the price of diesel will likely continue to rise while the cost of solar panels will continue to fall as their quality is rising. Likewise, wind generators are also a viable alternative to power your power hungry gadgets – especially if you are living or cruising in an area that may lack sun but has plenty of wind. However, using renewable energy aboard a boat can go beyond just installing solar panels or wind energy generators. For example: Solar cookers can be a viable way to cook at least some of your meals on those hot and sunny summer days.
  • Learn how to improvise with natural products. As Brittany and Scott (who live on-board the s/v Rasmus) mentioned in a Cruising World article, living aboard a boat and cruising to exotic ports of call will probably mean that you will not have access to large supermarkets or the same kinds of products that you are accustomed to using. However, Brittany and Scott have discovered a diverse range of substitute and natural products that will work just as well. Some of the greener substitutes they mention included vinegar which can do anything, ammonia which can be used for laundry and essential oils like citronella which can be used as a natural bug repellent.

Keeping the above tips in mind will make living aboard your boat a much greener and eco-friendly experience.