Nutrient runoff is killing coastal ecosystems around the word. The dead zone that forms every summer in the Gulf of Mexico is one of the best (or worst) example of this problem. Support the health of your local and national waters by using non-toxic cleaning products on your boat.
Why does it matter?
When you wash your boat, wax it, or use a spray solvent to clean off a spot, traces of these chemicals will more than likely make it into the water you use for recreation. If you haul your boat out to clean it, only some marina’s have proper filtration for runoff before it goes back into the water. If you clean your boat while in the water, nothing is stopping the soap from going in the water. The reason so many cleaners are good at getting rid of stains, bacteria and the like is because they are rife with toxic and petroleum-based ingredients-ingredients that persist and damage our oceans, environment and even our own health.
You might be putting more that just your boat in the water.
Fortunately, there are some simple solutions like making your own cleaners or buying non-toxic products. Click here for ways to make your own green cleaning products. If you prefer store bought products, there are many non-toxic cleaning products being made for the home and boating industry. You want a product that does not contain chlorine, phosphate, petroleum surfactants, bleach, solvents, VOC and optical brighteners. Check out Seventh Generation, Simple Green Naturals line, and Clorox Green Works for your cleaning needs. Also check out ecomarineproducts.com, this website is till growing, but it allows for one stop shopping for environmentally friendly cleaning products specifically made for boats. If you work at a marina or shipyard, now is a great time to transition to non-toxic cleaning products.
The best way to reduce runoff is eliminate the problem! Give your boat a water only wash down. This gets the job done for most cleanings and creates the least impact.
What products do you prefer to use on your boat? Would you make a commitment to give water only wash downs every 3 out of 4 times you wash your boat?