Although it might sound counter-intuitive, cruise lines are interested in becoming more efficient and better stewards of our planers natural resources. While these giant floating cities do consume a huge amount of fuel as well as other resources, the corporations understand that any and all efforts to protect the planet are important. And each cruise line appears to have a renewed dedication to doing their part to go green.
Carnival Cruise Line recycles, incinerates or offloads a massive amount of material. What is not incinerated goes to land-based facilities for proper treatment recycling or disposal. Some of the materials include plastic, glass, aluminum, oil, electronics, and even toner cartridges. Even the dirty, oily water from the bilge goes through a three-step process to be cleaned. In addition, the cruise lines donate items such as linens, electronics, appliances, and clothing whenever possible to eliminate them as much as possible from ending up in landfills.
Crystal ships also incinerate onboard, recycle or dispose of all material on shore. In addition, the cruise line now focuses on purchasing more inventory in bulk to reduce packaging and waste created on each ship. And as of this year, Crystal has eliminated the use of all plastic stirrers and drinking straws from their fleet. Low flow showers, energy efficient lighting and a creative recycling program for unused toiletries round out the green initiative on Crystal ships.
Cunard has made the lofty pledge to eliminate all single-use plastics from their ships by 2022. This means that there will be no plastic single-use drinking straws, water bottles or food packaging of any kind. They have also outfitted their ships with state of the art compactors for the garbage, and incinerators. For example, the incinerator on the Queen Mary 2 is a full four decks high to handle the quantities of trash created on a cruise.
The Disney Cruise Line is even going a step further to be ultra-environmentally friendly. Every drop of cooking oil used on the cruise ships is offloaded and recycled. Some of the oil is even converted to biodiesel and is used to fuel a fleet of vehicles in the Bahamas. In addition, excess heat that is created by the power generators is then used to convert seawater into clean drinking water. And finally, some 30 million gallons of water used to wash the decks of the ships is actually condensation from the air conditioning units that have been reclaimed to be used for cleaning.
While passengers might not always be thinking about protecting the environment and making the best green choices while on vacation, many cruise lines are working diligently to do their part for the planet.