Confronting The Rising Tide of Marine Pollution

 – A message from our 2019 Semi-Finalist ‘Green Sail

Green Sail was a semi-finalist in the 2019 European Social Innovation Competition – Challenging Plastic Waste. The organisation is responsible for leading initiatives that promote recycling and sustainable tourism along coastal communities and in our seas.

Meet Green Sail – a nautical business network, aimed at environmental protection

When a simple ecological initiative was envisioned to set the standards for sustainable tourism in Croatia, no one could have imagined that a few years later, with hard work and an innovative approach, the initiative would become a strong environmental organisation cooperating with both domestic and international nautical stakeholders for the preservation of the sea environment.

From the start, Green Sail developed programs within the nautical sector to promote environmentally responsible practices within the Croatian yacht charter and marina companies, initially recognising the nautical sector as an extremely important factor for the development of sustainable tourism across Croatia (and later Europe)

Green Sail first established the Yacht Charter Program to improve the business practices for the protection of the sea and ocean environment and later established The Marina Program through which it encourages the development and implementation of environmental policies within each marina system, placing a key emphasis on quality waste management and employee education. 

Today, more than 110 partner companies benefit from both of these programs.

 

Everyone working together…

In addition to volunteers who gain valuable practical experience whilst helping the organisation to achieve its goals, the organisation is also supported by local and international Ambassadors and members of local communities who share a passion for promoting environmental protection within those communities.

Each member of the wider Green Sail community supports the organisation in several ways and through joint initiatives, such as underwater and local beach clean-ups.

Moreover, Sail Green is also working hard to educate the general public on various undiscussed environmental issues across Croatia through its public videos, promotional materials, eco-tours and, most recently, online public campaigns.

The challenges of COVID-19 – staying together virtually

Despite the current decreased business operations within the nautical sector (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) Green Sail continues to support its tourism partners, both the organisations and their employees.

Knowing just how challenging the health and tourism situation has been throughout 2020, Green Sail have  initiated a joint eco-campaign, mobilising the international community and tourism industry to continue to work together. Green Sail called for its very first worldwide virtual movement, #GreenSailTakes5, on this year’s World Oceans Day. 

The campaign encouraged participants to take a short break on 8 June, no matter where they were in the world, collect 5 pieces of waste and post a photo of their clean-up on social media using the hashtag #GreenSailTakes5.

With the campaign, Green Sail aimed at tackling the increasing amount of waste (namely plastic) in the environment, and indirectly preventing that same waste from entering waterways, as most land-waste eventually does. 

Moreover, Green Sail wanted to create an opportunity for all those who have been socially distant from family and friends to come together online for a good cause, and virtually join others, participating the world over. 

The #GreenSailTakes5 campaign ended up connecting almost 200 like-minded participants from over 11 countries to protect our seas and oceans for a more sustainable future.

Moving Forward

Although our environment has seen some beneficial effects as a result of COVID-19 recently, the effects of this pandemic have been significant and undeniably negative on the entire nautical sector. Many nautical and tourism stakeholders suffer  from these effects  on their business.

A well-developed response is needed to deal with such a crisis. 

Green Sail continues to be a united community of more than 200 partners and associates (Croatian and international) as well as devoted ambassadors, volunteers and community members – who are all supporting one another to make the Croatian nautical sector sustainable now and for the future.

In spite of  the many uncertainties, the organisation is hopeful that the wide community it has formed in the past four years will continue to actively perform its business practices, with its sights firmly set on keeping the nautical sector sailing  towards  a sustainable and safe future.

Written by the Green Sail Organisation

 

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