Cruise Ships are Going Green!

Okay, almost everyone is talking about it, some people are actually doing it!  Going Green!  But, how does a cruise ship carrying thousands of people and tons of food cut down on pollution? 

Take a look at these statistics from the environmental group Oceana:

Each day, cruise ships generate an astonishing amount of pollution:

  • 25,000 gallons of sewage from toilets
  • 143,000 gallons of sewage from sinks, galleys and showers
  • Seven tons of garbage and solid waste
  • 15 gallons of toxic chemicals
  • 7,000 gallons of oily bilge water 

Wow!  And all we have to think about at home is our garbage disposals and septic tanks. 

Well, according to an article in Gliving in print, there is some good news for “green” cruise travellers. Some of the larger cruise lines like Carnival, Holland American, Royal Caribbean, and Princess, are making some positive changes for the environment. For instance:

Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cruise lines have added General Electric’s alternative engine technology — gas turbine — to their newest ships. This system reduces nitrous oxide emissions by 80% and sulfur oxide by 98%. As an added relaxation bonus, the engine is less noisy than traditional ones.

Cruise lines are also spending millions of dollars to help solve some of our poution problems:

Princess Cruise Lines has reduced air pollution created by idling vessels in port by modifying their engines so they can be turned off while docked and plugged into a nearby land-based hydro-electric power plant. The electricity from the plant is transferred to the ships via specially designed cables. While this currently exists in only one port — Juneau, Alaska, at the cost $4.5 million dollars — the cruise line feels it’s worth the environmental investment and hopes to expand this inventive solution.

So, to all of you that haven’t taken a cruise because you’re worried about the environment, do some research and book that cruise! 

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