Sail Maui Eco-Tour
Jan 20, 2016
Sail Maui Eco-Tour
Ask anyone what is so enchanting about Maui, and they’d likely tell you it’s the majestic waterfalls, the lush green jungles, white sandy beaches, or the towering coconut palm trees. If you were to ask someone at Sail Maui, we’d probably say it has something to do with the ocean; our year-round warm water, perfect trade winds for sailing, and world-class surf peeling over vibrant coral reefs. Any way you look at it, Maui, and all of Hawaii, is so enticing because of its splendid nature. Hawaii is so diverse that the state boasts 150 distinct ecosystems, and over 90% of the fauna and flora in the islands is endemic, meaning you won’t find it anywhere else on the planet.
As a true Maui eco-tour, we want to do our part in preserving our incredible natural resources
As a company that thrives off the sea, and as individuals who have a deep respect for the natural world, we want to do our part in preserving our incredible natural resources. We’ve long been considered a Maui eco-tour, with our efficient boats primarily operating under sail and only burning an average of 8 gallons of fuel on our longest trip to Lana’i; but as we implement changes at Sail Maui, we’re stepping up the game. Sustainability is quite a buzz word these days, so we checked with Webster and the literal definition is: able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed, or: able to last or continue for a long time. Anyone who’s ever ventured to Maui, snorkeling at Molokini Crater or seen a sunset light up Haleakala would agree that this place is special, and we want to make sure it stays that way for a very long time!
One of the first changes we’ve made is offering complementary reef safe sunscreen on
our boats that won’t harm the sensitive marine environment. This is extremely important, as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced a global coral bleaching event this past summer and the reefs here in Hawaii have experienced bleaching at unprecedented levels. According to Jennifer Koss of the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program, “We need to act locally and think globally to address these bleaching events. Locally produced threats to coral, such as pollution from the land and unsustainable fishing practices, stress the health of corals and decrease the likelihood that corals can either resist bleaching, or recover from it.” Added stress from components in chemical sunscreen is something we can all do our part to avoid.
We are transitioning to completely bio-compostable products
Sail Maui is also proud to be transitioning to completely bio-compostable products. All of our
plates, cutlery, cups, trash liners, etc, will now be petroleum-free and made from renewables
that can be broken down and returned to the soil without harm. Petroleum based products,
contain dangerous elements that can persist long after they’ve been disposed of, and can easily find their way into the marine environment where they pose a threat through habitat destruction, ingestion, and entanglement. We’re working with Sustainable Island Products (SIP), based out of Hilo on the Big Island, and their mission statement makes them precisely the kind of company we want to align ourselves with; “Committed to the Health and Success of our local Community, Economy and Environment”. Among their many awards and certifications, SIP received the Kuleana Green Business award and is a member of the Sustainable Association of Hawaii. Not only that, but we’re so stoked to support a manufacturer like World Centric that is completely carbon neutral and donates at least 25% of profits to social and environmental grassroots organizations! Here at Sail Maui we are really pleased moving forward being able to make a positive impact on our island and community, and of course to be able to offer our passengers an exceptional product when they chose to sail with us on Paragon and Paragon II.
Wondering what you can do?
Be smart about sun protection
Use the sunscreen we provide on the boat, and pick up a tube of “reef safe” SPF for the rest of your vacation! Also, wear protective clothing. Wearing a hat and rash guard can do your skin a lot of good and eliminate the need for sunscreen right before you go swimming.
Go with re-usables
We’re so stoked to offer bio-compostables, but there’s still an element of waste and consumption in a product meant for disposal. Why not bring your own? Insulated re-usable water bottles can be a life saver, keeping drinks cold for hours even in the hot sun. Outdoor stores and health food spots usually have pretty slick options for silverware, sporting bamboo or titanium. Throwing these in your purse or beach bag, along with a reusable shopping bag can cut your single use waste down immensely!
It seems like a no-brainer, but making sure your recyclables wind up in the right place is essential to conserving raw materials and keeping unnecessary items out of our landfills. It’s not always convenient, but especially on an Island we see first hand how space is limited and the need to be accountable. We keep separate bins and bags on the boats to make it as easy as possible; bonus points for picking up recyclables and rubbish that inevitably wind up on the beaches!