Earth Day is on Sunday 22 April, a good reminder to love our planet by taking necessary steps to reduce waste and pollution however possible. The Azure Ultra team is committed to being green in all areas related to our boat charter operation. Here’s how we do it:
1. Use eco-friendly detergents
Eco-friendly detergents do not contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment. This is very important as detergents are one of the major pollutants of the sea, causing harm to sea life. Since boats require regular cleaning, from rinsing the salt off the deck after every trip to keeping the cabins clean, using eco-friendly detergents greatly reduces the impact of our boat charter operation on the environment.
2. Reduce waste
There are several ways to reduce waste. Begin by using washable containers instead of disposables when it comes to all kinds of kitchen containers, cups, cutlery and so on. Furthermore, buy loose fruit and veg from a local grocer to cut out all the unnecessary supermarket packaging. On a boat catering to several guests during a season, this simple choice reduces plastic and polystyrene waste considerably.
3. Always pick up rubbish
'Leave no trace' is always a good policy to follow, but leaving a place cleaner than you found it is even better. We know how harmful plastics can be to marine life, so we make a point of collecting any floating rubbish we come across as well as ensuring we properly dispose of our own. This especially protects the dwindling numbers of local turtles from choking on plastic, when they mistake it for the jellyfish that form part of their diet.
4. Use biodegradable bags
The plastic problem can be further reduced by using biodegradable bags whenever possible. This could mean anything from taking fabric or reusable bags on shopping trips to investing in biodegradable plastic bags, if plastic bags they must be.
Collect plastic, glass and metals separately in grey bags for recycling. Alternatively, take these materials to bring-in sites. The Azure Ultra crew led the initiative to have a recycling bin available on the pontoon in Birgu marina.
6. Source food locally
Sourcing local food cuts out the carbon footprint that relates to food travelling half-way across the globe. Furthermore, there is nothing like a good Mediterranean diet while cruising around the Mediterranean: sundried tomatoes, stuffed olives, capers, the traditional bigilla (bean paste), gbejniet (goats' cheeselets), oily fish and the works. Local food is ideal for good health in the local climate and also friendly towards our planet.
7. Never anchor on a reef
Of course, a boat charter initiative must not overlook how its operations might impact the environment, both directly and indirectly. Taking special care not to harm or destroy natural reefs and coastal and marine habitats by our activities is crucial. Azure Ultra is conscious about employing good practices and avoiding unnecessary risks.
These are just seven ways we do our bit for the planet and many of them are tips you could take up too! Love our planet on Earth Day and every day!