To help stem the tide on pollutants and plastic waste we're turning out yachts green, while also experimenting with a new plastic product that could keep fruit fresher on longer voyages - a problem that has plagued sailors for centuries.
“Every sailor has seen the terrible rise in waste on our seas and oceans,” says our school's principal Charlie Tulloch, “and although we might be practicing green habits on land, we need to take that attitude out to sea.”
So we're joining forces with Jeannette Jones, a Southampton based representative of Wikaniko, whose ‘EcoWarehouse’ supplies environmentally friendly alternatives to standard products.
For First Class Sailings’ yachts it will be washing-up liquid, hand wash, reusable bottles and plastic bags made from starch that form the first green wave.
“With washing water going straight into the ocean,” said Jeannette, “the crew needed a product that avoids petrochemicals and phosphates: our washing up liquid is also biodegradable.”
“Performing just as well as standard products our hand wash kills 99.9% of harmful bacteria such as E Coli, Salmonella and MRSA. It is also kind to sea life and hands.”
First Class Sailing have a series of green blogs here.
Keeping the oceans plastic free is another major aspect of environmental concern and First Class Sailing have completely reviewed their plastic bag policy.
“At the beginning of each sailing course the crew’s provisions were supplied in 15 plastic carriers, we now use biodegradable bags,” said Charlie Tulloch.
“During a voyage these double up as waste or recycling bags, but the fact that they will return to the environment after a couple of years is a big plus. The smaller our impact on the planet the better.”
One product that could have another positive impact on long-distance sailing is a green freezer bag that also helps preserve fruit.
“Wikaniko supply Fresh Food for Longer bags are made in such a way that the plastic absorbs the natural gasses fruit emit, that make them ripen quickly.”
“They work wonders in the fridge,” Jeanette continued, “but we haven’t heard of anyone trying these bags on long sea journeys. We’ll be very interested in the results.”
For Charlie Tulloch this is also an exciting prospect, especially for voyages such as the annual ARC Rally, a 14 to 20-day race that crosses the Atlantic from the Canaries to the Caribbean..
“Rotting fruit is an age old problem and many sailors experience ‘fruit binges’ because a particular group of items have almost gone off and they all need to be eaten on the same day.”
“If we can keep the fruit fresher, longer, then we’ll not only have happy sailors but reduce waste while using a sustainable solution. Plus there’ll be less chance of scurvy - ahrrrrr”
Other areas that this project will be looking at is an alternative to bleach for the heads and recycled scourers in the galley.
It is estimated over a million households in the UK have a boat so there is potential for this type of project to be very effective. (see details here)
First Class Sailing is a sailing school that was established in 2001 and teaches official RYA sailing courses around the Solent region. The school also organises crews for trips to Europe and enters races such as the Rolex Fastnet, Round the Island and Atlantic crossings such as the ARC Rally.
Wikaniko is a family run business that was set up 10 years ago to make it as simple as possible for people to shop for their eco friendly products. The company has over 1000 everyday household products, which are all eco friendly, not tested on animals and don't contain any harsh chemicals.
Although not a vegan company, they have over 200 vegan products and are parallel with their ethos.
If you want to make your boat more friendly towards the environment visit Jeanette's store here: anygreenwilldo