Green News & Entertainment

Summer of Green 2009 -- Green Boating Tips for Environmentalist Boaters

The best way to enjoy a body of water is to view it from the shore and take pictures. However, we know there are many people who enjoy quality family time and recreation from boating. Since it’s going to happen no matter what, we thought we would provide some excellent boating tips provided by West Marine’s “The West Advisor” Green Boating Tips.

Exotic Plants & animals such as the Zebra Mussel, Hydrilla, and Mitten Crab can hitch a ride to your boat or trailer. Hitching from one water body to another these invasive aquatic species spread quickly and can become established in another water body.

They contribute to the degradation of water quality and fish & wildlife habitat by displacing native species and by blocking light needed by submerged aquatic plants. Once introduced, control of invasive aquatic species is very expensive and extermination is extremely difficult.

  • Never release live or dead bait or bait packaging into a water body, or release aquatic animals from one water body into another.
  • Shares left over live-bait with other anglers, or empty your bait bucket into a trash receptacle before leaving the area.
  • Inspect your boat & trailer after every excursion. Remove any plants and animals you see before leaving the water body.
  • Avoid chopping vegetation with outboard motor propellers
  • When hauling out your boat from a water body, drain your motor, wet wells, and bilge in a containment area on-shore.
  • Rinse your equipment, boat & trailer after every water trip. Use natural cleaners that won’t leach into drains or the local water body.
  • Always be extra careful if you’ve been boating in an infested lake, or if you’re buying a boat from out-of-state. Flush raw water-cooling systems and clean all sea & air strainers.
  • Air dry your boat & equipment for as long as possible (5 days is optimal).
  • For more information call: 877-STOP-ANS, or go to:

All of these examples provide the benefit of reduced fuel consumption:

  • Know your fuel consumption - Every boat has a sweet spot where fuel consumption is minimized. For many outboards, speeds between 3000 & 3500 RPMs are most efficient. For diesels, reducing power by 400 RPMs from full throttle can make a dramatic difference in gallons per hour. A fuel flow meter will help you find the most economical RPM.
  • Avoid Unnecessary Idling - Unless part of a warm-up or cool-down procedure, turn off your engines when not being used for propulsion. Diesels in particular do like to be run a low loads.
  • Don’t Push Water: Install & use trim tabs or hydrofoils. Most planning powerboats can improve hole-shot acceleration or reduce fuel consumption with properly adjusted trim tabs or hydrofoils. Staying on a plane at lower RPM can extend your range and reduce your time on passages.
  • Lighten Your Load – Boats, like garages accumulate junk which adds extra weight and decrease fuel efficiency. Take only what you need for that day on the water.

  • Prevent Fuel Spills – Use or install a device to prevent overboard discharges from your tank vent. The Fuel Whistle by Green Marine makes a whistling sound that stops when your tank is full to prevent spills.
  • Dispose of Used Oil Properly – Most harbors will have a waste disposal area that can accept used oil filters and oil absorbing pads. If not many gas stations also accept used oil.
  • Keep the Bilge Clean – Avoid an accidental discharge of oily water by using an oil absorbent pad or pillow in each bilge area. Consider a bioremediation product that converts hydrocarbons into safe compounds.
  • Consider a Bilge Water Filter – products like BilgeKleen, or any type of bilge water filter. These absorb even tiny amounts of hydrocarbons before they can enter the marine environment.
  • Oil Changes – For all oil changes use an oil change pump to transfer oil into a spill-proof container. Wrap a plastic bag or absorbent pad around the oil filter to prevent oil from spilling into the bilge.

  • Keep Your Trash On-board – Never throw cigarette butts, fishing line, or any other garbage into the water. Take advantage of shore-side facilities to dispose of all trash and recycle your glass, metal, and paper products into the proper receptacles.
  • Recycle your Lead-Acid Batteries: Batteries are among the most recycled products in the world. Never throw away any old batteries. Get up to a $10 credit on any new battery when you return the core to any West Marine store.

  • Limit Generator Time - Try to run your generator at 50% to 80% of full load to extent its life, and reduce fuel consumption. Turn off variable loads (water makers, air conditioning, appliances, etc…) to maximize efficiency during run time.
  • Use an Inverter-Charger in addition to your Generator – Use the inverter for 20 hours per day (when on extended overnight trips), and only kick on the generator during mealtimes (and when you need A/C). The charger built into the inverter will rapidly bring your batteries up to full charge when you need them, and your fuel bill & maintenance on your generator will be greatly reduced.

  • Use an Auto-pilot – Modern auto-pilots such as those by RayMarine can steer better than most helmspersons and have an unlimited attention span. You might only ever have to grab the wheel in coastal areas, or shallow reefs.
  • Use Tidal Currents – If you travel in salt water, plan your trip with an eye towards tidal currents. In many areas of the coast, using currents to your advantage can knock hours off your time underway. Always see if you can ride-the-tide on a tidal surge to your destination.

  • Tire Pressure – Reduce the chance of tire failure and increase your towing mileage by ensuring that your trailer tires are at the recommended pressure. Some tires require 65 psi or more for optimum performance.
  • Cover Your Boat – Reduce wind resistance of your boat by using a tight fitting cover when Trailering. Remove all extraneous gear that might increase wind resistance like: wakeboards in racks, towing pylons, or fishing poles & equipment.

  • Catch & Release – Practice catch & release fishing, especially if it’s just sports fishing, or if you’re not going to eat the fish. Handle fish gently while using a de-hooker for a more humane hook removal. Snap a photo if it’s worthy of a trophy, but it’s best to release the fish below the water, not above.
  • Recycle Monofilament – Recycle your monofilament line at any West Marine store or at most shoreside recycling locations. If your harbor doesn’t have a recycling location, go to the website Get a fishing Club Card at West Marine stores and save money when you recycle your old fishing line.
  • Eat Responsibly – Only eat responsibly harvested seafood. You can help protect fish stocks by using the free Seafood Mini-guide available at any West Marine store, or online at: Use the guide to help you choose a more sustainable variety at a restaurant or grocery store. Help ensure that fish stocks are available for our children and generations to come.

Natural Beauty Tips -- Care for Yourself & the Earth

Chemicals and synthetic ingredients abound in many beauty products. They lurk in hair-dyes, self-tanners, and even nail polish. But with some label reading, you can find products that work just as well and are made with more benign materials & ingredients.

Here are a handful of new ways to stock your medicine cabinet and make-up bag with Green Products:

Some companies like Aveda and John Masters Organics, make hair dyes that contain only trace amounts of ixidative dyes such as phenylenediamine, and are lead, tuolene, and coal tar free, says Julie Gabriel, author of “The Green Beauty Guide”.

A lot of things in the kitchen can make great treatments, says Jeanie Pyun. Pyun suggests mixing sugar and olive oil together for a body scrub. Start with 2 tablespoons of each, then adjust to achieve your desired consistency.

If so you’re inhaling a potent Molotov cocktail of toluene, formaldehyde andphtalates, Gabriel says,”and having nails painted when you are pregnant or breast-feeding is juust as bad as smoking.” Phthalate-free polishes are now on the market. “Look for the formulations that contain no toluene or formaldehyde in any form:, she says. “In general, pastel-colored or clear polishes are safer than deeply hued ines.” To be truly Green, skip the nail polish altogether.

Studies have shown that they can actually increase the damage done to the skin by the free radicals that we are exposed to everyday. According to Ganriel, 10 minutes of sunshine daily will give you a healthy glow – and vitamin D.

Inexpensive Green beauty products are now available at some low-cost retailers, or are available online at: - Beauty & Cosmetics.

To find more information about eco-friendly brands, go online to

The FTC Offers Tips to Conserve Gasoline

Here are some tips gathered by the Federal Trade Commission to help drivers use less gas and save more money during the Summer of Green traveling season.

1. Don’t buy high-octane gas if your car/vehicle does not specifically require it. Most cars do well with plain old regular gas.

2. Pack light. For every extra 100 pounds a car carries, its fuel consumption and economy is reduced by about 1 percent to 2 percent.

3. Don’t speed. Gas mileage decreases rapidly when you go more than 60 MPH, and it’s a lot safer for everyone on the road.

The FTC recommends checking out “The inside Story on Conserving Energy” at

Become a Flexitarian-A Lite Meat Diet

Give your health a boost by eating meat just a little less often. Known as a flexitarian diet, loaded with fruits, vegetables and whole grains, flexitarianism gives you the best of both worlds: You get your meat fix and the healthy perks of a vegetarian diet.

The 5 big reasons to do it:

1. You'll save money Vegetarian protein sources like beans, low-fat dairy and eggs cost a fraction of the price of meat.

2. It's naturally slimming "People whose diets are plant-based weigh 15 percent less than meat eater," says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, LDN, an American Dietetic Association spokeswoman and author of "The Flexitarian Diet" (McGraw-Hill, 2009). "For the average woman, that's about 25 pounds less."

3. It helps your heart A flexitarian diet lowers your risk of hypertension because you're eating lots of the blood pressure-lowering mineral potassium, found mainly in produce. Low in saturated fat and high in soluble fiber (which soaks up cholesterol and shuttles it out of your body), this type of diet also cuts cholesterol.

4. It protects against cancer People who eat a plant-based diet and exercise regularly slash their risk of cancer by 30 percent to 40 percent, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research.

5. It's kinder to the planet Animal protein requires 11 times more energy to produce than grains. What's more, raising meat uses 26 times more water than growing vegetable protein.

The nuts and bolts of "flexing out":

- Set a goal of how many days you'd like to go meatless each week. Many people start with as little as two and eventually do four or more.

- Add, don't subtract. Try eating new sources of plant protein like beans and tofu instead of taking away meat. Adding beans to chili or tofu to stir-fry dishes will help your taste buds adjust.

- Try the 50/50 swap. Trade half of the meat portion of your meal for vegetarian protein, like beans, tofu or a high-protein pasta or quinoa. For example, try a half steak, half-black-bean taco. Gradually work your way up to making the meal 100 percent meatless.

- Get the right grains. They're an important, satisfying part of a plant-based diet. Go with whole grains which have more protein, fiber and nutrients than refined ones like white rice. Go with brown. And whole wheat pasta instead of regular. Then venture into the exotic grain like bulgar, quinoa, millet and barley, and incorporate them into soups, salads and pilafs.

- Don't forget the dairy. It's an important source of calcium and vitamin D, and oyu need about two cups of reduced-fat milk, yogurt or cheese a day. If you don't do dairy, you can get the equivalent with fortified soy or almond milk.

- Satisfy a meat craving. "Many people who crave meat aren't necessarily wanting the actual protein as much as the meaty flavor known as umami," says Blatner. "Foods including mushrooms (which are also meaty in texture), cooked tomatoes, aged Parmesan and soy sauce have that super-savory flavor."

Date: June 15, 2009

For more tips, pick up the latest issue of Woman's Day magazine or visit

© 2009, Woman's Day magazine.