Published: June 19, 2018

    Most Environmentally-Friendly Ways to Enjoy Water Sports

    The great outdoors offer a rejuvenating retreat far away from the bustle of the city, but many water-based sports and activities can take a toll on the natural environment. While it seems obvious that a water park would waste valuable resources, thinking about the ecological costs of boating on a river is more complicated.

    Don’t let this deter you from scheduling a lake retreat or heading to the river with your family – follow our guide and make eco-conscious choices whether you’re swimming, boating, or going for a spin on a jet-ski.

    Boating Vs. Kayaking

    The commercialization of water sports and the boating industry has led to families cruising down natural waterways in steadily increasing numbers. A recent study found that the increase of gas-powered boats in a waterway increased the amount of algae growth in the area and kicked up additional sediment from the riverbed or lake floor, which can cause the water to spoil completely.

    Fast vessels can seriously harm marine populations of species like manatees, who cannot move quickly enough to avoid a speedy oncoming boat. To reduce your impact on the waterways and on the wildlife consider upgrading to a fuel-efficient vessel that isn’t prone to leaking or degradation that can harm the water.

    Kayaking is an environmentally friendly alternative to boating that also serves as a terrific exercise for your upper body. Kayaking won’t cause oil or gas to leak into waterways, and it won’t disrupt the environment with excessive speeds.


    One of the simplest ways to enjoy the water is to take a dip. While you won’t have to consider the energy source for this water-based activity you can take some precautions to protect the ecosystem while you swim.

    We know bugs and pests are everywhere in some climates, but many brands of bug repellants and sprays can kill organisms and, over time, cause an ecosystem to unravel. The culprit here is DEET, a toxic ingredient that can destroy bioluminescent organisms and cause neurological damage. When swimming or hiking only wear bug repellant that is DEET-free.

    Hawaii has just passed a law forbidding the sale of sunscreen believed to damage the coral reefs. If you swim in the ocean be sure to choose sunscreen products that are free of the chemicals octinoxate and oxybenzone.

    Jet Skiing

    Standard jet skis cause many of the same environmental issues that boats do. However, due to their smaller size they can have a lighter environmental footprint if properly maintained and driven at a modest speed.

    Eco-conscious jet skiers with a large budget can opt for a completely electric jet ski that is gentle on the Earth. This model can operate for 45 minutes on a full charge, and with a battery pack its charge can extend to one hour.

    No matter how you choose to enjoy the water this summer take steps to reduce your impact on the environment to protect waterways for future generations. You don’t have to wait until you’re out on the lake to make eco-friendly choices – research environmentally friendly appliances for small spaces today.