Southern Boating

Green Maintenance Tips

While a certain famous frog (the one with a swine fetish) once opined, “It’s not easy being green,” today’s boat owner has more options than ever to be as green as they want. Most everyone is on board with the basics when it comes to keeping our oceans clean, but what about those potential environmental problems that arise simply as a result of properly maintaining your vessel? In efforts to help you enjoy boating without damaging the environment, these three common maintenance items and tips still take good care of Mother Earth.

The job: Battery Replacement
Lead and sulfuric acid—the primary components of a typical marine battery—can contaminate water, soil, and even the air if not handled, maintained and disposed of properly. Under the right conditions, they can also be a fire or explosion hazard. Sulfuric acid is caustic, while lead poses a serious health risk to both terrestrial and aquatic life.

Keeping it green:
1.  Old batteries can’t simply be disposed of like nontoxic solid waste; they have to be recycled. Most retailers charge you a battery core fee if buying a new battery without a trade-in, which not only offers a convenient way to dispose of that old battery but saves you money as well.

2.  Replace cracked or leaking batteries immediately. Never try to drain the case of a leaking battery. Simply place the battery upright in a sturdy, acid-resistant, leak-proof container such as a sealable 5-gallon plastic bucket, and transport to a recycling center.