Eco-Friendly Houseboat

August 2018 Multimedia Jane Willow Web Exclusive


Houseboats are becoming increasingly attractive by offering lower heating bills than the average home, something that 9 out of 10 home buyers value. Houseboats are already a green choice, but there are always improvements to be made. Here are some simple things you can do to create the eco-friendly houseboat of your dreams.

Get a bigger engine

It may seem counterintuitive, but a larger engine could help you to cut your fuel usage. Houseboats tend to be heavier than other boats, with all that added living equipment. As a result, you may find that you regularly have to go to full throttle to reach your desired speed. This is a tough ask from a small engine, which will use extra fuel and release more carbon emissions to get up to speed. A larger engine, conversely, will accelerate more easily and smoothly, using less fuel.

Unlike a car, your houseboat doesn’t require the engine to be switched on so often. You are creating an environmentally friendly house, more than an eco-friendly vehicle. You will be static for much of your time on the water. Therefore, you can have a larger engine, which does the job when needed, but otherwise stays switched off. When updating your houseboat, invest in the most modern engine option for the greatest fuel efficiency.

Ditch the toxic cleaners

Many household and vehicle cleaners are full of harmful chemicals such as phthalates, triclosan, and ammonia. In the home, these release particles into the air which are harmful when breathed in. While washing a car, these chemicals usually end up in the sewage system and ultimately in the sea. In a boat, however, these chemicals will end up in our waterways even more quickly. A houseboat’s exterior must be regularly cleaned. Make sure you choose a natural cleaner to do the job. They can be bought online or made with simple ingredients from scratch.

Go solar

For ultimate sustainability, you need to be thinking about renewable energy. The cost of solar is rapidly declining and this is likely the cheapest option for your houseboat. Since you may be constantly moving from place to place, you need to be off-grid anyway. Solar is one of the easiest, cheapest and environmentally friendly ways of doing this. Every kilowatt installed will reduce your carbon footprint by 3000 pounds annually. This is one of the single greatest steps you can take to reduce your impact on the environment.

If you live on a houseboat, the chances are you care about living a simple, affordable and environmentally conscious life. Living in a smaller home that doubles up as your means of transport is a great start, but you can always do more. Ensure you have the right sized engine, use only natural cleaners and explore solar as an energy option. These will help take your boat to the next level in terms of sustainability.

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