Our Environment

Irish Sailing are taking steps to help support and encourage sailors, clubs, centres and boat owners to reduce the impact our activities have on the environment.

Irish Sailing have been working on a few actions of their own to help Irish Sailors, Events and Venues reduce their impact on the environment and work towards ensuring Irish Sailing remains Environmentally Sustainable.

With Damian Foxall as our Sustainability Ambassador we hope to spread the message of how much we can all benefit from keeping our sport clean and sustainable for the future, by making a few simple changes to our habits and routines while on and off the water.

We work closely with the development of World Sailing's Sustainability Agenda 2030 and delivery of the agenda will be ongoing. 

This page is packed with useful ideas and links to help sailors, events, venues and boat owners. ... #MakeADifference ... Are you READY ?


There Are So Many Ways You Can Help to "Turn the Tide On Plastic"

Get Started 

Here are a few ideas to get you started next time you hit the water ...

  1. Choose products with no or less packaging
  2. Plan your waste disposal
  3. Remembering reusable or bio-degradable items 
    • Use a refillable water bottle and bring your 'keep cup'
    • Avoiding pre-packed lunches in plastic bags for sailors on the water
    • Reuse cutlery and crockery (avoid disposable plastics)
    • Say no to straws
  4. Reduce the chemicals that go into the water ...
    • Bars of soap instead of soap in a bottle
    • Use eco clean products when you can
    • Be considerate in use of toxic chemicals, washdown waste, refueling, choice of paints
    • Carry an oil spill kit
    • Avoid products with microbeads (e.g. toothpastes, beauty products)
  5. Share resources, equipment, commutes
  6. Consider the Biodiversity of the waters you are sailing, windsurfing or powerboatin on - be aware of potential invasive species
  7. Before you head home, take time for a 2-minute beach clean and share on social #2MinuteBeachClean
  8. Share ALL your actions with others - BE PROUD of what you are doing to MAKE A DIFFERENCE

We’ll add to this list with your ideas – so let us know what you do to reduce your impact on the environment! email Gail on gail.macallister@sailing.ie

Clubs and centres can take steps to reduce their impact on the environment and help visitors to make their own contribution to the Make a Difference campaign.

10 easy steps you can make in your club and centre ...

  1. A Green Team
    •  2 or more on the team to implement and encourage environmental changes
  2. Have a club / centre environment policy AND promote it
  3. Local habitats
    • know what is living in your waters and shores
      • Mammals, birds, vertebrae, seagrasses and weeds 
  4. Changing Habits - 
    • Zero single-use plastic policy
    • Easy access hydration station (clean tap).
  5. Trio of bins -
    • Recycle
    • Compost
    • Landfill
  6. Oil spill action plan 
  7. Follow the Environmental Event guidelines
  8. Discharge sewage policy
  9. Boat maintenance waste plan -
    • washdown, paints, oil change

You may find these posters useful to download for use in your centre or club.




LINKS TO POSTERS IN CANVA - for you to edit as required.

Basic Guidelines for event organisers we recommend are -

  1. ECO OFFICER / GREEN TEAM … Give the role to a prominent and influential member and create a team
  2. WASTE … Provide a clearly labeled trio of waste bins: 1. Recycle, 2. Compost, 3. Landfill
  3. WATER … Label drinking water taps for refillable bottles.
  4. REDUCE OR REMOVE … decide on your policy for single use plastic drinks containers and announce it.
  5. NOR … Mention your environmental policies in NOR (see below).
  6. SAILORS FOR THE SEA … Register your event and follow their guidelines - https://www.sailorsforthesea.org/
    • This Tool Kit is a great help and having your GREEN TEAM is essential for a successful event.
  7. REDUCE … Consider the amount of waste that ends up in the ecosystem following the event when giving out branded goody-bags (even the stickers for boats for example).
  8. SHARE .. your environmental message and guidelines.

You can down recommended Notice of Race inclusion and event advise sheet HERE.

Check Clean Dry

Sustainability goes beyond plastics and refuse. Consider these elements when planning ...

  1. Source of food and drinks
  2. Education and Legacy
  3. Energy Efficiency
  4. Transportation Options
  5. Collaboration and Sharing
  6. Signage & Clothing Materials
  7. Accommodation sharing
  8. The next step



Clean Regattas Awards with Sailors for the Sea

Irish Sailing Women at the Helm 2019 - Platinum

Irish Sailing Women at the Helm 2021 - Silver

Irish Sailing Youth Nationals 2021 - Platinum



Here are just a few of the organisations and initiatives that may interest you ...

Irish Sailing and Clean Seas

Turn the Tide on Plastic

We all know the need to reduce the amount of plastics in our seas and oceans. Each year at least eight million tonnes of plastic leak into the ocean; it’s time to take action.

Irish Sailing has taken the Clean Seas “Turn the Tide on Plastic” pledge which will see us working to reduce the amount of plastics we use in all the events we host.

That includes looking at things like using recyclable or biodegradable materials for events, from promotional materials to catering,  and thinking proactively about how small changes can impact positively.

To find out more and how you can pledge go to http://www.cleanseas.org/

Clean Coasts

The Clean Coasts is programme run by An Taisce and has a number of initiatives and campaigns you can join to make a difference -

  • Join your local Clean Coast group or set one up
  • #2minute Beach Clean
  • Think before you flush
  • Beat the Micro Bead
  • A wide variety of competitions, talks and awards.

Take a browse through http://cleancoasts.org/ to find a programme that fits your life

Sailors For The Sea

Sailors For The Sea is a non profit organisation that helping to share a greater awareness of how to care for our oceans. One of their initiatives is Clean Regattas, which will give you and your events ...

  • Best Practice Guides
  • Green Team advice
  • Publicity Advice
  • Certification

Find out more here https://www.sailorsforthesea.org/programs/clean-regattas

The Ocean Race Sustainability Message

The The Ocean Race spread the message of plastic pollution as they sailed round the world with ...

  • Ocean Summits
  • Education Programmes
  • Impact and Footprint assessments and much much more ...

You can see all the action and ideas on how you can make a difference here https://www.theoceanrace.com/en/sustainability.html


Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas Best Practices


Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas has 20 Best Practices an event can strive to achive. The more you manage the higher your award from Bronze to Gold. The Platinum Award is achieved through a Gold standard with full report. If you would like advice on the awards please contact Gail on gail.macallister@sailing.ie

Find out more here https://www.sailorsforthesea.org/programs/clean-regattas

Elimination of Single-Use Items

 1. Eliminate Single-Use Water Bottles and Provide Water Refill Stations

 2. Eliminate Plastic Straws

 3. Serve Food with Plastic-Free Dinnerware

 4. Use or Provide Reusable Bags

 5. Award Practical Items or Use a Perpetual or Upcycled Trophy

 Community Involvement

 6. Publicize Your Sustainability Efforts

 7. Involve Local Organizations

 8. Post Educational and Reusable Signage

 9. Serve Local Food or Source Seafood Sustainably

 Responsible Waste Management

 10. Organize a Green Team

 11. Ensure Proper Waste Bin Placement and Signage

 12. Divert Food Waste from the Landfill

 13. Use Paperless Event Management

 Environmental Stewardship

 14. Host a Beach or Marina Cleanup

 15. Promote Alternative Transportation

 16. Increase Awareness of Wildlife and Habitat Protection

 17. Offer Vegetarian or Vegan Alternatives

 Green Boating

 18. Use Eco-Smart Race Management Techniques

 19. Prevent Toxins from Entering the Water

 20. Encourage Green Boating Practices