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Posts Tagged ‘ocean

Climate change whack-a-mole

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALarge water desalinization plant installations that will replenish water supplies hit by shrinking aquifers are good and necessary things, but those plants require a tremendous amount of energy produced from heavily polluting coal-fired plants, a story in the March 18 New Yorker reported.

Uh-oh.

Devouring a passel of “mega-crabs” from the Chesapeake Bay is pretty great if you’re a big fan of the Maryland Blue Crab, but not so good if that enjoyment comes at the expense of the Bay’s oyster population.

Uh-oh again.

It’s hard not to get the feeling that addressing climate change and pollution is often a case of one step forward and two steps back. Or like a perverse game of whack-a-mole. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by William DiBenedetto

April 22, 2013 at 3:00 am

Can Supply Chains Reduce Emissions and Costs?

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It’s not necessarily an either/or proposition. Logistics managers trying to optimize supply chains for sustainability and emissions reductions face a tough question: how to implement those goals without breaking the bank.

The conventional thinking is that there’s always tradeoff: A transport company can reduce its CO2 emissions along a supply chain, but at a higher operating cost. Often much higher.

Findings released last month during a webinar sponsored by Finished Vehicle Logistics magazine suggest that in certain cases at least the best of both worlds is possible. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by William DiBenedetto

June 7, 2011 at 2:00 am

The July wave: Ocean policy in DC and the Plastiki in Sydney

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Written by William DiBenedetto

October 15, 2010 at 2:00 am

Recyclable Plastiki sailing on plastic sea

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A boat made out of more than 12,000 used plastic water bottles is on its way to Sydney, Australia, thus attempting to prove several things: That it can be done; that trash can be useful; and that the huge swath of plastic trash and other debris known as the Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch should never happen again.

David de Rothschild’s Plastiki – a 60-foot catamaran made entirely out of recycled plastic bottles – could also launch a new approach to boat-building, without fiberglass.

The Plastiki started on its 12,000 journey from San Francisco to Sydney recently with a goal of drawing attention to the health, or lack thereof, of the world’s oceans. The vessel’s itinerary is bringing it close to Hawaii, the Bikini Atoll, and the Tarawa Islands. Its course will follow the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, where floating plastic covers an area twice the size of Texas.

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Written by William DiBenedetto

April 13, 2010 at 8:50 am

Cruise ship pollution grows

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cruiseshippollution4Cruising is a big deal here in Seattle, bringing lots of tourists, their vacation dollars and economic development into the Emerald City. But those dramatic white behemoths also have a dark side – mainly in the pollution they pour into the world’s oceans and into the air.

The international ocean environmental group Oceana reports that pollution from cruise ships is a growing problem. Now there’s an understatement.

One example: Except for California and Alaska, “lax state and federal anti-pollution laws allow cruise ships to dump untreated sewage from sinks and showers and inadequately treated sewage from toilets into state waters,” the organization says.

Once ships are three miles from shore, they can dump untreated sewage from toilets. “This puts our coastal environment at risk from the threats of bacteria, pathogens and heavy metals generated in these waste streams.”

Some hard, dark numbers produced by 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

And without adequate regulation and attention, the problem will worsen because the cruise industry itself is growing, along with new cruise ships, cruise terminals and added destinations.

The cruise industry enjoys some sweet pollution exemptions. Under the Clean Water Act, cities and industries are required to obtain a permit to treat and discharge wastes. These permits ensure that sewage treatment systems are effective, and that both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and that the public know how much pollution is actually being discharged.

“Yet cruise ships are not required to have discharge permits,” Oceana reports. “They can dump sewage into the oceans without monitoring or reporting what they release. As a result, neither the government nor the public know how much pollution is released, and there are no means for citizen enforcement.”

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Written by William DiBenedetto

May 18, 2009 at 12:30 pm

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