Managing Garbage on Your Boat
Boating is an incredible privilege – you get to speed along open water or enjoy a leisurely cruise through lakes and rivers. But, it is also a responsibility. All boaters need to be thoughtful about caring for the waterways they use. Only that way can future generations enjoy the same beautiful water we have today.
One aspect of environmental sustainability is trash management. A boat isn’t a great place to hang on to excess garbage, so you need to be thoughtful about how you will store waste before you set out.
Trash and Environmental Damage
Many aquatic environments are under a great deal of stress. These lake and seaside ecosystems are struggling between overfishing, habitat destruction, and climate change. While we can still visit and enjoy these natural habitats, we need to be mindful of our environmental impact.
One of the easiest ways to reduce the environmental impact of your boating adventures is to manage your trash responsibly. Unfortunately, some boaters will just throw garbage and food waste overboard. This is an easy way to handle your trash, but it is horrible for the environment.
You may think that dropping garbage in deep waters could never do damage, but that isn’t how nature works. Trash circulates via currents and wind, ultimately finding its way on land or into the ocean. Plastics often take decades or centuries to break down, and in the meantime, are harming aquatic life.
By managing your trash correctly, you both avoid needing to throw garbage overboard, as well as reduce the risk of trash flying off your boat. Loose food wrappers and drink containers unintentionally fall overboard, especially on faster vessels. While this is an honest mistake, the garbage still leads to environmental harm.
Illegal Dumping Laws
In addition to being bad for the environment, dumping trash in the water is illegal in many regions. You can face fines of up to several thousand dollars for throwing trash overboard. Enforcement of these laws can sometimes be spotty, but you don’t want to risk a hefty fine over something as silly as littering at sea – it’s just embarrassing!
These laws cover anything you could dump, including compostable items such as food. While many people think tossing food scrapes off your boat is fine, in fact you can be fined for dumping food in shallow waters.
This is a topic covered in some boating education courses. If you are interested in learning more about it, you should look into how the rules apply to areas you plan to boat.
How to Manage Garbage on Your Boat
Managing garbage on your boat is heavily dependent on what kind of boat you have and how you use it. Speedboats and jet skis don’t need much in the way of garbage management since you don’t bring trash onboard to begin with. If you do have garbage for these crafts, you should hold on to it until you get on land.
Trash management is crucial for mid-sized boats used for entertaining or fishing. When you spend a lot of time on a ship, you will want to eat sooner or later, which means food waste and wrappers. Some people use loose trash bags, but these are messy, unreliable, and do not address odor. Space is also at an absolute premium on these crafts, so using a collapsible trash holder is essential.
Larger boats and yachts with a kitchen often have enough space for a full garbage can. While this gives you more freedom of what to use, you should be thoughtful about odor. Below-deck living space is tight, so you may be sleeping within a few feet of the kitchen, which means smelly garbage can foul all of your air. You also want trash containers that seal tightly to avoid attracting bugs, as these become a nuisance on extended voyages.
A Trash Can You Can Trust
If you are looking for a trash solution for your boat? The EcoGarby Collapsible boat trash can is a flexible and easy-to-use portable garbage container perfect for any outdoor activity. It has an enclosed lid to stop odors, avoid attracting bugs, and stop trash from falling all over your boat. It also conveniently stores away when you don’t need it to save space on your boat.
Learn more about the EcoGarby Trash Bag Holder.