People who choose to study abroad frequently do so because they have a strong interest in seeing the world and experiencing new sights. It is therefore little wonder that many foreign students are also fans of cruise holidays. The problem with this lies in the fact that students tend to be a particularly environmentally conscious demographic. According to a report cited by the Association for Consumer Research, they have a tendency to be more aware of green issues because they usually experience a high degree of exposure to them. So how green is the cruise industry? Do cruises pollute the world more than other types of holiday? Probably not, as companies have been making a concerted effort to provide more environmentally friendly cruises in recent years.
Modern boats are being created with green issues in mind in order to minimize their impact upon the environment. One of the most significant changes that has been implemented is that which has been made to the hulls of these vehicles. They are now painted using silicon-based paint, which enables them to glide through the seas more easily, decreasing the amount of fuel that is required in order to propel them.
One of the biggest drains upon cruise vessels’ resources is air conditioning. Constant recycling and cooling of the air around public spaces and cabins takes up a large amount of energy. In order to reduce the level to which energy is wasted by air con, Holland America Line have covered their boat windows in a layer of dark film that offers protection from the sun’s heat. This reduces the level of work that the air conditioning system needs to do. Some cruise providers also ensure that the energy that is used for air conditioning fulfils other purposes as well. Disney Cruise Line use water that is generated via the air con to power onboard laundry services.
Boats create thousands of gallons worth of waste water that requires treatment. However, cruise providers have spent large sums of money on creating effective water treatment facilities onboard their ships that capable of transforming waste water into water that is cleaner than some of the water that people drink. The water is then dumped into the ocean, as doing so does not result in pollution being generated.
Reducing Fuel Use
Fuel use is a major environmental issue faced by cruise operators. Keeping boats afloat requires a massive quantity of energy. Fortunately there has been a number of innovations that reduce the amount of fuel that is needed. Celebrity Cruises took the step of installing solar panels on some of their ships in order to provide power for the lighting. Disney Cruise Line keep their cooking oil and transport it to Castaway Cay, which is a private island that serves as a port for their ships, where they utilise it to power machinery. This saves approximately eight thousand gallons of fuel each year.
Protecting the Coastline
In addition to the cruise industry taking steps to reduce damage to the environment, some government authorities have also introduced legislation that ensures that cruises remain green when travelling through certain geographic regions. The US state of Alaska has stated that ships need to possess a permit in order to be able to cruise along its coastline. To obtain these permits, boats need to adhere to regulations regarding water and air pollution, the dumping of food waste and treated water and other issues that impact upon the environment. Cruising is becoming increasingly more popular as a way of exploring the planet. For this reason, the measures that are being introduced by companies that offer the chance for people to go on this type of holiday are more important than ever. They mean that it is now possible for individuals to go on journeys via boat without negatively impacting upon the world that we live in to a greater degree than taking other varieties of vacation. This is good news for students who do not wish to confine their travelling to the country that they are studying in. It means that they are free to travel all over the globe without worrying that they are wreaking havoc upon the environment by doing so and acting in an irresponsible manner.
Source: Iglu Cruise.