Updated: Dec 3, 2020
Kuma Too is a self-sustaining sailing yacht. We are part of Project Green Flag, a project that encourages environmental stewardship within the Virgin Islands professional charter industry. Using wind and solar for power and the ability to make fresh water, we can stay off-the-grid for several months. We strive to be a green business and environmentally responsible humans.
Keeping our carbon footprint minimal is a priority on board Kuma Too. Equipped with a 1040-watt solar array and a 400-watt wind generator to charge our (8) 6-volt AGM batteries, we have enough power for all basic systems on board (lights, refrigeration, heads, bilge pumps, fans and 110v outlets) indefinitely. Our eventual goal is to install lithium-ion batteries, so that our watermaker will be powered by our batteries to make us 100% self-sufficient. The water-maker currently requires the 9.5kw Onan generator to operate meaning we use diesel fuel. To make our own fresh water, our FCI Aquamiser Plus takes seawater and uses reverse-osmosis to extract the salt, purify the water then fills two 110-gallon fresh water holding tanks. Before the water comes out of the galley faucet, the water has passed through 5-filters and has been purified down to half a micron, and in our opinion, tastes even better than bottled water. Each passenger is provided with an insulated reusable water bottle to use during their sailing adventure.
On a boat everything runs directly into the ocean, so we are especially careful of what we bring on board. White vinegar is our main cleaning agent, but there are many other natural and/or eco-friendly cleaning products that we use. Green Works does wonders for red wine on fiberglass! At the end, I share more links to some our favorite products.
Reef-safe sunscreen, toiletries, and personal items are a hot topic for any waterfront community and should be at the top of the packing list for your next vacation. Mineral (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) sunscreen is the only truly reef-safe sunscreen, even though false-advertising leads the consumers to believe "oxybenzone free" is reef-safe. When choosing personal hygiene items, research the list of ingredients to protect yourself and the oceans. Scroll to the bottom to check out our favorite.
Single-use plastic is the most urgent concern for our oceans. On Kuma Too we have reusable grocery and produce bags, silicone storage bags, and metal straws. As a positive shift in the industry, most charter boats no longer offer plastic bottled water!
When replacing our fabrics and bedding last season my head was spinning, as I did extensive research on material and manufacturing processes. It's a personal choice when making decisions on these types of items, as there are so many pros and cons; it's impossible to say 'this is the best...'. For example, microfiber compared to cotton: microfiber is not biodegradable and uses more energy to produce than organic cotton, but it lasts significantly longer.
I am an average consumer trying to do my part to help the environment, and the best I can do is educate myself and make deliberate choices. That is the best any of us can do - just make an effort to be better. To learn about charters on board Kuma Too, visit www.SailingKumaToo.com.
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These are some of our favorite products and items specifically mentioned in this post:
Until Next Week, Happy Sailing!