Thinking of taking a cruise?
The cruise ship industry won the "Dinosaur of the Year" Award this year from Germany’s Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU), which draws attention to "anachronistic actions related to nature and the environment.
The industry is notorious for its unregulated emissions and garbage disposal … directly into the ocean.
NABU says a cruise ship produces pollution equivalent to 5 million cars driving the same distance, and the industry has yet to invest in particle filters or in ways to switch from heavy fuel oil.
The 15 largest cruise ships emit as much sulfur dioxide each year as do all 760 million cars in the world.
The heavy, polluting fuels leave visible black oil on white ice. The black soot is known as a "climate forcer," which is responsible for
quickening the melting of the polar ice caps and the world’s glaciers.
Thene there’s the garbage side of the cruise ship industry. A typical ship with 3000 passengers, according to Surfrider, generates 1 million gallons of gray water; 210,000 gallons of sewage; 25,000 gallons of oily bilge water; 100 gallons of hazardous or toxic waste; and 50 tons of garbage and solid waste.
Some cruiselines are better than others, of course. Check out this Cruise Ship Report Card, which ranks some of the biggest cruiselines. As of 2010, Holland America and Norwegian
Cruiselines got the highest scores – both got B minus.
Here’s an article that points to some of the "greener" cruiselines, some of which are incorporating solar and LEDs, in addition reducing waste and emissions.