Lively Bottle is a proud sponsor of the 107th Race to Mackinac, the oldest continuous freshwater distance race in the world! The Race was awarded Silver Level Clean Regatta Certification by Sailors For the Sea. Lively Bottle designed reusable custom water bottles for sailing using the official event logo, and operated water bottle refill stations at the Chicago Yacht Club.
Reusable water bottles encouraged by Sailors for the Sea
Clean Regatta is a term used by Sailors for the Sea to describe water-based events conducted in the most sustainable way possible. The certification system is based on Sustainability Indicators in various best practices. Upon final tally of best practices met, an event may apply for certification at several levels, including Platinum for a perfect score, and gold, silver and bronze levels for significant achievement in meeting best practices.
The best practices are organized in three major groups that conform to the NT3 Pledge – No Trash. No Trail. No Trace. Among the best practices is single-use water bottle reduction, ranging from 100% elimination of all single-use plastic water bottles, to providing or requiring participants to bring their own reusable water bottles. Companion best practices are to provide refilling stations to refill water bottles on land, and to provide water to participants out on the water via coach boats or designated water boats. Other best practices address recycling and diversion of waste from entering landfills, distributing compostable bags to competitors to encourage recycling on the water, encouragement of sustainable foods and energy sources and carbon offsets.
Among the best practices implemented by the Race to Mackinac were encouragement of the use of reusable water bottles, and providing water bottle refill stations at the Chicago Yacht Club. Lively Bottle produced the reusable custom water bottles for sailing using the Race to Mackinac official logo, and operated two water bottle refill stations.
Reusable custom water bottles sailing are preferable to single-use water bottles
Tyson Bottenus, Sustainability Director of Sailors for the Sea is enthusiastic about the growth of Clean Regattas; the movement started in the northeast, is moving to the mid-Atlantics and Midwest, both through word of mouth and education provided by Sailors for the Sea, and to the west coast. Over 600 Clean Regattas have been held over the past 10 years. A big challenge he noted was the manpower needed to run water filling stations; for example, the Volvo Ocean Race Newport, which received Platinum Level Clean Regatta certification, had 131,000 in attendance, which put lots of pressure on volunteers to hydrate them – they had 600 volunteers, and could have used many more; as a Platinum event, single-use water bottles were prohibited.
An impediment to eliminating single-use water bottles is the profit incentive of the vendors who sell them. For example, we have talked to high schools that have received sustainability awards for their green initiatives, only to learn that their reusable water bottle initiatives have been limited because their food service and booster operations generate significant income from the sale of single-use water bottles. So, money and convenience block the compelling environmental benefit of reusable water bottles, which reduce the billions (!) of single-use water bottles that annually end up in lakes and oceans and landfills. While this is disappointing, it also is an education opportunity that truly will change our world.