It seems there can now be little doubt that the well-being of our planet is under significant threat from both climate change and the unsustainable use of natural resources. Equally clear is that the behaviour of people everywhere needs to change if there is to be some chance of reversing this extremely worring trend. Superyachts - and SY Ree is no exception - are large consumers of fossil fuel and chemical products and all departments produce copious amounts of waste. We have therefore embarked on what we have called the gREEn strategy as follows:
Not all the places we visit have or can afford full recycling infrastructure, providing an easy excuse for yachts not to recycle. However the truth is some form of recycling is going on almost everywhere, it just takes a little effort to track down sometimes. SY Ree now separates all commonly recyclable waste and if reception facilities are not available on the dockside where we happen to be then we will take it ourselves to main depots, or store it aboard in biodegradable bags until the next opportunity to dispose of it properly.
SY Ree will now consciously avoid buying products that are over-packaged, not packaged in biodegradable or natural materials and bulk purchase everything we can in larger size packages. Convincing the packaging industry to delivery us more environmentally aware products will come through this kind of consumer choice.
Electricity and fuel consumption
The most effective way SY Ree can reduce the fuel burned aboard is to simply sail more and motor less. However the reality is that there is invariably a schedule to keep and that the winds of the world are fickle in both strength and direction. So we have made two commitments: a new gennaker is being proposed to keep us sailing better with the wind aft of the beam and, crucially, we will leave ports earlier to allow more travel time so as to make best use of what wind comes our way. Whilst this may seem an obvious step, for a busy yacht this is a big change in the usual policy.
As far as electricity consumption, keeping SY Ree's systems running 24/7 means we are very power hungry. This power must either come from our diesel generators or from a shore power cable. To reduce demand the long list of equipment not strictly necessary to the moment, will be shut down or turned off until needed, which is not always thought of on the average Superyacht. Most contentious is the AC system which consumes a great deal of power night and day. When on charter this of course run and the yacht is kept as cool as the current guest requires, but off-charter we are now routinely shutting down sections of the yacht not in regular use and preferring to simply open a porthole or hatch as an alternative to reaching for the cold air switch.
Above is the latest move in our gREEn vibe campaign: the acquisition of three beautiful Brompton folding bikes modelled by the Reegirls. For all local running around these will replace taxis and hire cars. They come with modular luggage bags so our Chef can do all her regular crew shopping by bike and with three bikes we can be much more flexible in our organisation than when restricted to one car.
Another benefit of these bikes is their availability for guest use. Bromptons are well known for being a joy to ride even for serious cyclists. They will be kept well maintained and spotlessly clean so they may provide a suitable way for guests’ to explore ashore with that special freedom and enjoyment bicycles provide - and perhaps on occasion be an alternative motorised transport for them too.