Giverny Cowie

AWOL

Having grown up in a beach town along the Garden Route in South Africa, where we spent almost all our time surfing, swimming and playing in rock pools, I have always had a deep connection with the sea.
When I first came to France to join the industry in 2011, I was taken back by how many chemical products were used for cleaning and maintenance onboard all the yachts.

My Chief Officer (who won the Sustainability award in 2018) was really the one who inspired me and educated me about the possibility of creating a movement to go eco in the industry. Since 2016 I have used my position as Chief Stewardess to convert our interior into a ECO-CONSCIOUS department. I work closely with Environmental Yacht Services in our product orders but also in educating myself and others about the changes we can make to be greener onboard!

I was featured as “#1 Crew Tips- GO ECO” on their website: https://eyservices.com/crew-tips-about-going-eco-1/

We have also recently been featured in The Islander Magazine for our eco-conscious approach to the industry: https://issuu.com/islandermallorca/docs/the_islander_march_2020___web_

When we discovered the Clear Ocean Pact in 2018, we signed AWOL up and have switched to Stainless Steel mini-water bottles from the standard Evian bottles. We also switched from plastic straws to stainless steel as soon as we discovered it in 2017!

I have hosted Top 5 Laundry Tips on The Superyacht Captain Youtube Channel which talks about secrets to keep an efficient laundry. We discuss our eco- tips that we use onboard:

We are always looking at ways to improve our Eco-friendly approach. We accept that we are still a motor yacht that burns fuel, however unfortunately this is not in our control to change anytime soon. What we can change is our habits and products we buy. I am no expert in this criteria however I am very proud of the enormous changes we have made to convert AWOL into such an ECO-CONSCIOUS leader in the industry.

I manage AWOL’s social media and like to share with people, our methods of sustainability onboard. It’s also interesting to have guests, crew and fans get involved in the discussion about The Eco Movement.

Some of the changes we have made onboard:

Eco-Friendly Guest Products -Bramley toiletries, sun lotions, bamboo toothbrushes and razors etc.
Eco-Friendly Crew Products -we cannot enforce this onboard however we do limit what AWOL provides to ONLY eco products. Crew generally have a unified approach to eco friendly products for personal use too.
Interior Products: We use eco friendly products for interior cleaning (laundry, cleaning, pantry and galley).
Kikois – although we do still have exterior towels available for guests, we offer and encourage kikois for guests to use. These are lighter and faster to wash and dry. They can be easily sun-dried whereas towels take ages, even with direct sun.
We hang-dry as much as we can. Fortunately we have a spacious boiler room that dries items in just a few hours.
Stainless Steel water bottles (which are dishwashed and refilled) from a larger 8L (recyclable) water bottle or always available for guests in our Bridge Deck Fridge.
Bulk Ordering- we calculate, based on previous season how much of each product we use and order accordingly.

I can definitely see the industry changing their mindset towards sustainability and eco friendliness. The yachting industry still has a long way to go and we are proud to have AWOL as one of the leading yachts in setting the example for ECO-CONSCIOUSNESS!