Fresh air, lush green trees, and the cool feel of a fresh lake are some of the biggest reasons we love spending time at the cottage. That being said, some of our favourite lakeside activities, such as boating, can damage the natural environment we treasure so much.
Here are some ways to keep power-boating as eco-friendly as possible.
Replace your old engine
Your old two-stroke engine might work just fine, allowing you to zip across the lake pulling squealing passengers in the tube trailing behind, but it leads to wasted fuel that not only drives up your boating costs, but also pollutes the very water you swim in. Newer two-stroke engines with direct fuel injection are more efficient but consider an upgrade to the even more eco-friendly four-stroke engine.
Refuel with care
Of course your power boat needs fuel to run, but where and how you refuel can make a huge difference when it comes to the environment. Always make sure to refuel on land, rather than in the water. To prevent over-fuelling that leads to spills, use an automatic stop device on your funnel. It’s also useful to keep oil-absorbent pads nearby to clean up any fuel residue.
Try clean-burning fuel
Propane-powered outboard engines are less common but provide a cleaner alternative to gas-powered engines. According to the American company LEHR, which sells this type of engine, “propane is clean-burning, non-toxic, produces no evaporative emissions, and will not damage marine life.”
Pass on best practices
You might do your best to keep your boat eco-friendly and the waters you’re in clean, but your fellow boaters might not be as careful. If you notice any other boaters spilling fuel or otherwise polluting the water, talk to them. If that doesn’t help, report it.