Thursday, March 13, 2014

Cruise Ship Earth

Top two photos show me and a guide using the reusable water bottles supplied on board our ship.
Also: reusable cups and glasses at the bar, unloading the laundry van.
Reusable water bottles for hikes, reusable coffee cups and glasses -- on a ship, avoiding extra trash or even recycling has a high impact. At the start of each Lindblad-National Geographic cruise we've been reminded that drinking water to refill the nice steel bottles in our cabin was freely available, as well as ice to chill it with. There's a policy against bottled water; it's simply not offered. And the kitchen does lots of dishwashing since they don't use disposable glasses, dishes, and cutlery.

Though passengers are given the option to keep the same towels and sheets or to request clean ones, our "technical" stop at a big dock one morning was interesting: a whole van of baled laundry was tossed up to the bridge deck, while a similar quantity was dropped off for washing. Yes, these resources are much more critical on a small ship, but this activity also reminds us what could be doing on our finite planet.

The excellent naturalists on the ship provided a great deal of information about Costa Rica and its policies of forest conservation, encouragement of sustainable agriculture, and development of eco-tourism in a very positive sense. It's assumed that if you sign up with Lindblad you have already given some thought to these issues, made a commitment of some kind, and want to learn more. I found this extremely interesting and worthwhile, and hope to live up to these higher principles.

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