Cruise lines have been working to become even better environmental stewards and to help protect the beautiful blue oceans and rivers that are their pathways. For example, many lines have embraced simple ways to reduce their use of fuel, such as adding sun-resistant coatings to windows; and more complex technologies, such as a system that uses air bubbles to reduce friction between a ship and the sea.
But it’s not just the cruise lines that must strive to be more eco-friendly; passengers can take steps toward ecological sustainability, too. Here are some easy things you can do to be more eco while on board:
Bring your own reusable water bottle, reusable drinking straw, and reusable shopping bag. Having a water bottle you can refill eliminates the waste you would produce by going through multiple plastic bottles of water. And, it’s amazing how many disposable paper or plastic straws you could go through on a cruise; packing your own sturdy, reusable straw will prevent that. A reusable shopping bag won’t take much room in your suitcase. On board, use it to take sunscreen, sunglasses and books to the pool deck; on shore, use it to collect your purchases and tote them back to the ship.
Use the app. Instead of asking for paper receipts and schedules while you’re on board, use your cruise line’s app to check your account, details of the day’s entertainment and dining options, and deck plans.
Use your towels and sheets for more than a day. To save on water and soap usage, talk with your room steward about leaving your towels and bed linens in place until you ask for them to be changed.
Make good use of recycling bins. It takes only a moment to sort your waste into the proper bins for paper, plastic, glass and cans. Some ships even have composting bins where you can dispose of food scraps.
Be mindful of your energy usage. Just as you would at home, turn off the lights in your cabin when you don’t need them and unplug electronics that aren’t being used. If you have a window or balcony door, open it to the breeze and turn off the air conditioning.
While all major cruise lines have eco-friendly programs, some might catch your interest more than others. Talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor, about what your favorite cruise lines are doing to contribute to a greener planet.
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