Clean Seas

Sustainable Travel: Join The Pledge To Keep Our Oceans Clean

By Alicia Sharp
on  April 02, 2019

It’s no surprise that here at MedSailors we are all passionate lovers of the ocean and environment; that we are saddened deeply when we see plastic pollution on our epic trips and struggle coming face to face with the reality and extent this pollution is having on the ocean environment we treasure. It’s our place of work, rest and play.

Imagine, a few years down the track, heading off to your chosen paradise destination only to find yourself looking down at an ocean filled with rubbish, and thinking “I could’ve done something to prevent this?”

The news gets worse as recent scientific research is discovering the true extent of the problem with now an estimated 10 billion tonnes of plastic entering our seas every year and these plastics and toxins are now proven to be entering the ecosystem and food chains and it’s even in us!

Our oceans are the lifeblood of planet earth and humankind… Not only does the ocean produce more than half of the oxygen in our atmosphere, but it also brings us a bundle of happiness too! ⛵👙

But let’s not let this become just another social trend… we want everyone to start taking real action towards sustainable travel. 🌍

If not now, then when

Can’t bear to envisage a world in which our summers can no longer be spent on clean sandy beaches and swimming in crystal clear bays?

As the first generation to know we are damaging the world, and potentially the last that can do anything about it, let’s join together and do something!

If not you, then who?

For us, it goes without saying that we need to be taking every action we can to fight for our ocean, so we’re pledging here our commitment to help keep our oceans clean!

Here’s what we’re doing here at MedSailors and how you can help by taking the pledge to keep our oceans clean:

Help us, help each other, let’s be the generation that made the change.

1. Say no to plastic straws 🥤

One of the main items found on beaches and shorelines around the Mediterranean is masses of single-use plastic straws.

But, good news! This common, everyday object proves to be pretty unnecessary and is an extremely easy item to eliminate from your life.

What we’re doing:

After coming face to face with the issue of plastic straws in our #MedSailorsBeachClean’s we know that considerable impact can be made to keep our oceans clean by rejecting the use of single-use straws.

To contribute to this issue, we will be asking the bars and restaurants we visit during the sailing season to not provide our guests who order drinks with single-use straws. Guests then have to ask for a straw if they want one, rather than automatically being given one with their drink.

What you can do:

One awesome habit to build when out at bars and restaurants is to ask for no plastic straw in your drink.

It’s a small and easy thing to remember which can amount to hundreds and thousands of straws being prevented from polluting the ocean.

If you don’t see yourself becoming a non-straw user anytime soon, saying “no” to plastic straws doesn’t mean you have to cut ties with using straws entirely. With so many awesome alternatives, such as paper and metal straws, you can always bring your own sustainable straw to use.

2. Trade plastic bags for tote bags 👜

Here’s another common, everyday, single-use plastic item that is extremely easy to eliminate from your life; plastic bags.

Plastic bags also have a huge impact on our environment and our oceans, so simply rejecting the use of plastic bags can have a massive impact on the issue of plastic pollution in the ocean.

What we’re doing:

With the goal of encouraging guests to use fewer plastic bags and therefore reduce our plastic consumption as a whole, we’ve partnered with Bag of Ethics to produce some epic environmentally friendly and ethically sourced tote bags.

Made with eco-friendly dyes and fabrics and produced in ethical factories, these tote bags are handed out for you to use while shopping on your sailing holiday and for when you head home afterward too. You can read more about our Bags of Ethics partnership in our Mission Possible blog.

What you can do:

Rejecting single-use plastic, such as plastic bags, is one of the simplest ways to reduce plastic pollution while you’re travelling in the Med.

So, when out and about stocking up on snacks and souvenirs, remember to say “no” to plastic bags and take your own tote bag instead – even better yet, use the free eco-friendly ones that MedSailors provide for you!

3. Carry a reusable water bottle 🚰

Water bottles, along with the likes of plastic straws and plastic bags, are another single-use plastic that are a non-essential part of life. Yet, they cause so much damage to the environment.

What we’re doing:

On MedSailors’ pre-departure documents, sent out to guests prior to them heading off for their sailing holiday, we strongly advise all guests bring their own water bottles onboard the boats.

We supply fresh, clean drinking water for guests on board, so it’ll be super easy to top up when needed and means they won’t have to buy plastic water bottles when they’re out and about.

In countries that don’t have safe tap water to drink, many restaurants and cafes will refill your bottles for you, and many countries also have safe water stations you can refill water from for a coin or two.

What you can do:

One of the easiest habits to break is buying bottles of water while travelling. Help keep our oceans and beaches clean by opting out of buying plastic water bottles and bring your own funky reusable water bottle instead!

4. Use eco-friendly toiletries ♻️

Those travel-sized toiletries you bring along on holiday, although handy at times, can actually cause a lot of harm to the environment, so we suggest giving them a miss where possible.

Whether it’s plastic packaging or harmful ingredients, a lot of it ends back up in the ocean, making its way into the food change.

What we’re doing:

To restrict any harmful products from entering the ocean, where possibl we make sure to use vinegar and other local marine friendly products when cleaning our yachts throughout the sailing season.

On our pre-departure document, we also encourage all guests to pack eco-friendly toiletries with them for their MedSailors trip with the goal of restricting as many harmful products or empty plastic containers making their way back to the ocean.

What you can do:

We suggest you swap out those travel sized toiletries for some eco-friendly toiletries where possible. Here are some products to look out for when packing for your holiday:

o Opt for a shampoo bar or natural ingredient shampoo
o Use organic sunscreen that’s safe for the reefs
o Look out for a natural deodorant
o Bamboo toothbrush over plastic
o Use natural and organic beauty products where possible

5. Choose cone over cup 🍦

You really can’t beat digging into a cold ice-cream or gelato on a hot summer’s day.

To keep the ocean as happy as our tummies after an iced treat, make sure to opt out of a plastic cup and spoon and take the cone instead.

Not only does this mean the treat is entirely edible (yum!) but this also acts to eliminate the use of those tiny plastic spoons and cups that aren’t usually recyclable.

6. Take part in a beach clean-up 🏖️

The last thing you want to see when arriving at your desired paradise destination is what was once a beautiful turquoise bay littered with plastic.

While actively opting to not contribute to the issue of plastic is the foremost solution to preventing plastic pollution, cleaning up what has already reached the ocean is another incredibly effective way to contribute to keeping our oceans clean.

When the oceans are cleaner, we are all winners.

What we’re doing:

In 2018, #MedSailorsBeachClean was born which now involves numerous groups of guests and staff going out weekly to hit up the Med’s beaches and collect as much rubbish as they can.

We’ve already seen beaches that were once ankle-deep in plastic and rubbish, beautiful and clean again within weeks, so we can’t wait to see what we can achieve in our seasons to come.

Seeing the impact of these beach cleans has also sparked further initiative such as friendly competitions formed between skippers and guests to see who can scoop the most rubbish out of the sea while sailing to the next destination.

What you can do:

Join a #MedSailorsBeachClean! Not only will you be contributing to keeping our oceans clean, but you’ll also be left with an incredibly rewarding feeling, leaving the beach with bags of rubbish you’ve just saved from polluting the ocean.

7. Use recycled floaties at sea 👙

Have you really been to Greece if you don’t get a picture of you and your bestie lounging about on white swans in the beautiful blue seas?

We know, there isn’t anything better than floating around the bays, day to day, on that brand new floatie you bought just for the trip.

But the sad reality of these floaties is that large amounts of plastic end up are being brought into the country and, after a week of enjoyment, are then tossed out or left behind to contribute to the issue of plastic pollution.

What we are doing:

With the goal of eliminating the amount of unnecessary plastic that enters the ocean, we encourage guests not to bring new floaties with them on their MedSailors holidays.

In saying this, we know that simply giving up the fun of spending days floating around the Med on bright pink flamingos is a bit unrealistic, which is why we started up our awesome Recycled Floatie Programme.

Throughout the season, MedSailors staff collect the floaties leftover from guests each week and build up a bank of floaties for guests to buy at a cheap price and reuse the following week. Not only does this help to eliminate hundreds of new plastic inflatables from entering the ocean but all money raised from this programme goes towards a local environmental charity.

In 2018, the money raised from our Recycled Floatie Programme was donated to an awesome marine conservation project run by Archipelagos in Greece which helps to rehabilitate injured sea animals. You can read all about this project here.

What you can do:

We know, floaties are half the fun when embarking on a MedSailors trip, but please, leave the floaties at home!

Ditch that consumerist idea of needing a brand new floatie for your week-long holiday and get a cheap, recycled floatie from our Recycled Floatie Programme at check-in.

Not only does this mean you don’t have to worry about bringing one from home, but it will also be even cheaper, with your money then going towards supporting an awesome local environmental charity.

So, let’s say yes to change and no to plastic, together!

By making the pledges to help our planet, these lifestyle and sustainable travel changes, although small, can make a huge impact on helping to keep our oceans clean.

Whether you choose to take the pledge to one, some, or all of the above, you will be contributing to keeping our oceans clean.

Keen to jump onboard with keeping our oceans clean? Take the pledge with us by posting our ‘Keep Our Oceans Clean’ pledge on your Instagram story or Facebook page, adding ticks beside the sustainable travel points you pledge to take in 2019. You can screenshot the pledge template over on our Instagram story.

Want to put these sustainable travel practices into action? Book your MedSailors trip now to join us for an unforgettable summer in the Med.

Seas the day and let’s protect our oceans together!

Related stories