Our commitment to our environment
For ESC's proud heritage of sailing and watersports to continue, we need to protect the environment upon which our Club, and the sports that we love, depend.
Running our club has an impact on the environment - we use energy, water, resources and we create waste. The waters we sail, SUP and kayak in, we share with wildlife.
To quote Jane Goodall, the famous primatologist, "You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make."
It is possible to make small changes to what we do and reduce the impact we have on the environment. We can also join in with community actions that protect our beautiful harbour.
Where did we start?
We all recycle in our homes, so it seemed natural to provide recycling bins at the Club, which we did in 2020. It was surprising that only 10% of the Club's waste was being recycled which meant there were easy gains to be had by simple habit-changing, such as recycling and reducing the amount of plastics being used. We are very fortunate to have a skilled and diverse membership and a member with expertise in environmental management offered to help to 'green' the Club and a small team began working together to see what changes could be made that would benefit the environment.
The Environment Working Group developed a Club Environmental Policy, to provide the framework to set out how we might go about making these changes and begin the transition. The Policy gained universal support from all Club committees and was approved in 2019.
To act on the Policy, a Plan Of Action set out the likely changes needed at the Club and this along with the Policy was shared with the membership in the spring of 2020. Local green businesses, environmental groups, neighbouring sailing clubs and the RYA Green Blue, were invited as we wanted to 'make waves' for the environment and let the membership know that the Club had a Plan and to encourage involvement. On the day, even the BBC turned up to film us for a feature on BBC South Today! ESC was the first sailing club in the UK to develop a policy and set out an action plan.
What are we doing?
Our action plan has 3 key themes;
- 1 - understanding the impact on the environment when we make a decision.
- 2 - reducing waste and avoiding pollution and making our clubhouse environmentally friendly.
- 3 - working with our members and others in the local community, to create positive environmental change
The ESC Environmental Action Plan is currently being reviewed and new targets set for 2021-22. It will be published in the coming weeks.
- What have we done?
- We've already made some big changes. Working with Ollie and his team, ESC has phased out single use plastics. Gone are the biscuits individually wrapped in plastic, plastic straws and cups. The sugar and sauce sachets have been phased out and the bar stopped selling bottled water.
To reduce the amount of water we use and avoid wasting it, hoses used for washing boats have pressure triggers. Recycling bins have been placed around the Club, so that members can recycle plastic bottles, drinks cans, paper and cardboard.
We've organised litter picks of the beach and dinghy park and our instructors make sure that the environment is part of the learning for sailors of all ages and abilities.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, some of our planned activities have had to go on hold, especially those that involve bringing us together in the clubhouse. Instead we have made changes to how we manage all our waste and we've been talking to local sailing clubs how we can work together on the environment. As soon as it is safe to do so, we will push ahead with exciting plans to run some events with environmental themes for members.
We have come a long way in 2 years and going forward we will need the help of every one of our members, from our oldest to the youngest, if we are to achieve our environmental goals. We are grateful to everyone who has helped, suggested ideas and supported efforts to make ESC sustainable. By going green, we will save our blue.
Links to organisations and individuals we are involved with;