Why Kayaking Is Eco-Friendly
When you are looking to get out on the water, kayaking is such a great choice. Whether fishing, accessing unlikely spots, or getting in a good workout, there are so many reasons why kayaking has surged in popularity in recent years.
But we think one of the biggest and best reasons to use a kayak to get out into nature is that it is so environmentally friendly.
Why is Kayaking so Eco-friendly?
Unlike motor boats, kayaks do not run on oil and gasoline. So, they aren’t emitting harmful gasses into the atmosphere, nor are kayaks going to leak oil or gas into the waterways. These paddle (or pedal) propelled vessels can be made of recycled materials. Some kayaks can be inflated or folded so they are simple to transport without the need for a large trailer and truck to tow, so they even cut down on emissions that way as well.
Kayaks are not a culprit for big waves/wakes. Other motorized vessels out on the water can create large, forceful waves which can contribute to erosion. Even if the motorboat doesn’t even touch the shoreline, it can have an indirect impact on the ecosystem.
With no motor running, kayaks do not contribute to sound pollution either. In fact, one notable advantage to fishing from your kayak is how quietly you can approach your target. A light slap of a paddle or woosh of a pedal is nothing like the revving of an engine.
Another advantage of a kayak is it is much simpler to clean so you are less likely to contaminate or introduce foreign flora and fauna if you jump from one body of water to another. Motor boats that float on lots of different waters must be cleaned properly between each so that they don’t bring in invasive species that can impact the local ecosystem. If you give your kayak a good spray down after each outing, you are less likely to contribute to the introduction of a non-native or invasive species to an ecosystem.
The low profile of a kayak also makes it more eco-friendly as it displaces less water and creates less impact on the aquatic environment. As mentioned above, kayaks create less sound pollution and wake which can negatively affect aquatic life.
Of course, no matter how well-designed a kayak is for mitigating its effects on its surroundings, there is always the human factor in play. So make sure you are doing your best to be eco-friendly as well.
More Tips for an Eco-friendly Kayaking Trip
As eco-tourism grows, so does our responsibility to leave as little trace as possible. Even with a kayak as your mode of transportation, there are steps to ensure that you leave the habitat as unchanged as possible. We are responsible for passing it down to the next generation.
Whether you are spending a few hours on the water or making it an overnight camping excursion, you are responsible for everything that you bring in. Make sure any trash you create gets brought out with you. Clean up after yourself on land and on water.
It is always wise to do a bit of research on an area before you head out. If you know of a particular breeding season or risk of endangerment, you can avoid disturbing certain creatures. If you don’t know, then it is always wise to keep your distance from wildlife. Enjoy just being able to watch them in their natural habitat.
This one might surprise you because you think “I haven’t been releasing chemicals”! But sometimes you need to think outside the box. Did you apply lotions, creams, or sunscreen? That’s right: sunscreen! Increasingly calls are being made for swimmers, boaters, and kayakers to take care with the sunscreen that they introduce to the water. Unfortunately, chemicals in sunscreen are harmful to the environment. In fact, they have been found to destroy coral reefs in Hawaii. So, what should you do? Look for a sunscreen that doesn’t contain OXYBENZONE. That is the biggest culprit for killing coral and leaching into aquatic plants and animals.
Another sustainable practice you can maintain if you are an avid kayak angler is to practice catch-and-release. And, of course, obey the laws and policies of a local area. Sometimes, they will name the species of fish (like no salmon fishing during the spawn) or they will restrict size (throw back all fish under a certain length to ensure that it grows up and repopulates the area.)
There are many ways to keep our waterways pristine and ready for the next generation. Make sure that you are doing your part by kayaking responsibly. Happy Paddling!
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