The Sustainability of Sailing

Charting the Eco-Friendly Course

While sailing isn't immune to environmental impacts, we're setting a course for eco-conscious practices on board. In this exploration, we dive into the reasons why sailing and sustainability are intricately intertwined. From harnessing the wind's renewable energy to cultivating a deep respect for our oceans, join us as we unveil the myriad ways in which sailing navigates the currents of sustainability.

Read the 6 reasons why sailing is closely connected to sustainability.

1. Wind-power

Yes, this one’s obvious – but it’s for a good reason! Simply put, on board we harness the power of wind in order to move from one place to another. Motoring is often necessary, but our main source of power are the sails. Everyone remembers when they’ve heard the engine stop and felt the Ship start moving by the power of its sails for the first time. The calm, the peacefulness. The sounds of rigging working in the wind. Beginning to understand the power of the elements, and feeling one with nature. What’s not to love?!

2. Water conservation

Have you ever showered in under 1 minute? If you’re a Tall Ship sailor, chances are you have! Somewhat ironically, water is a scarce resource on a Ship – a fresh water, that is. In order to conserve it, we learn to use it very conservatively, and that includes the (in)famous 1-minute showers when the water levels are low. It’s really not that difficult and the sense of accomplishment after learning to shower in under one minute cannot possibly be explained to your landlubber friends!

3. Responsible waste management

What about trash? Sailing across the Atlantic over 3 weeks, with 70 people on board, will produce tremendous amounts of it! Separating the trash is a must, both for storage and hygiene. If you fold your clean cardboard together nicely, you can store a lot of it below deck; same with plastic. Only the truly dirty trash goes to the bins, reducing the need for storage places, and the risk of unwanted creatures making themselves at home.

4. Practicing Minimalism

Downsizing is yet another necessity on a sailing vessel. Most of the time, you will get a really small storage space for all of your belongings. There simply isn’t enough space for redundant objects. Not only will you learn to limit your possessions to a minimum, you will quickly find out that you really don’t need all that much stuff anyway!

5. Minimal noise pollution

Turns out that we’re not the only ones who enjoy that feeling of calm when we sail without an engine. The marine wildlife is much less affected by our presence in their home when we’re not making too much noise. Compared to motorized vessels, sailing produces minimal noise pollution. No wonder all those dolphins and whales like visiting the Tall Ships so much!

6. Connecting with Nature

While sailing you have very direct contact with your surroundings. You can see and touch the ocean, you can smell the breeze, observe the wildlife. This certainly puts things into perspective. Experiencing nature makes you feel protective of it. This feeling doesn’t go away when you step off board. Most sailors will bring their new eco-friendly habits home with them, and think twice before creating more pollution than is strictly necessary.

Want to be even more eco? Join one of our sustainable Journeys with The Ocean Movement!

Skibladner II

Copenhagen (DK) - Copenhagen (DK)

08 Jul 2024 - 19 Jul 2024
Exchange@sea for young people (ages 18-25) from the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden. Join Skibladner II for an exciting youth voyage with sustainable theme. Make friends from...
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Gothenburg (SE) - Gothenburg (SE)

08 Jul 2024 - 19 Jul 2024
Sustainable Youth Exchange for trainees from the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden. Once again the Swedish ship Ingo welcomes young trainees for an international voyage. Join them...
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Brest (FR) - Dublin (IE)

19 Jul 2024 - 31 Jul 2024
*Last places available, only for Estonian trainees - at request.* Bon Voyage, Plastic! (Nr 3) Sustainable Youth Exchange for trainees from Estonia, France, Ireland and the...
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Gulden Leeuw

Brest (FR) - Langesund (NO)

19 Jul 2024 - 31 Jul 2024
Fair winds, fair planet in 3 countries: sustainable Exchange@sea youth journey co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. For trainees from France, Netherlands, Norway,...
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Antwerp (BE) - Kiel (DE)

21 Jul 2024 - 02 Aug 2024
Sustainable Exchange@sea on board the Morgenster. For participants from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Norway and France. Step on board in Antwerp, a famous port city of...
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Pelican of London

Dublin (IE) - Dublin (IE)

18 Aug 2024 - 23 Aug 2024
International Exchange for young people aged 14-17 from Ireland, Spain, Latvia and the Netherlands. Join a beautiful sailing voyage with international trainees. Spend 6 days on...
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Pelican of London

Dublin (IE) - Dublin (IE)

25 Aug 2024 - 30 Aug 2024
International Exchange for young people aged 18-30 from Ireland, Spain, Latvia and the Netherlands. Join a beautiful sailing voyage with international trainees. Spend 6 days on...
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Bonus: 7. The best-ever views from your toilet window!