When living, working, or vacationing on a cruise ship, it’s easy to ignore what’s coming out of the smoke stack, or the back of the ship. While cruise lines go to great lengths to be environmentally friendly, here are some handy tips to help you do your part while cruising around.

1. Take paper off the ship to recycle it

Often paper and paper products recycled onboard are simply burned. While efficient, it releases CO2 into the atmosphere that doesn’t need to be there. Take your paper products ashore where they can be recycled properly.

2. Cold showers, short showers

While there may be water around you in every direction, it takes quite a bit of energy to produce and heat that drinkable water coming out of your taps. Don’t leave the water running longer than necessary, and if it’s bearable, tone down the temperature of your showers. Little by little, it reduces the electrical demand, reducing the fuel consumption, reducing CO2 emissions.

3. Turn lights and electronics off

This works the same way it does on land. The ship generates it’s own power, so every little bit you save, saves the ship from burning more fuel to compensate.

4. Don’t purchase skin products with plastic beads

These exfoliating beads have long been known to cause damage to aquatic ecosystems when not properly filtered. While I’m not exactly sure of the ship’s sewage filtration specifics, it’s probably safe to say that it’s on par with the ones on land. If they can’t filter them, the ship probably can’t either.

5. Don’t throw anything overboard

Seriously, it can be damaging to our already well-polluted oceans, and you’re gonna incur a large fine if you’re caught.

6. Opt for eco-friendly transport when on port leave

The option won’t always be available, but seeing a port by bicycle is a fun and healthy way to rediscover the place. Most ships will have bikes for hire right on board for the crew.

7. Don’t dispose of any chemicals or products down toilets or drains

Certain products can kill bacteria designed to break down waste products before releasing treated black water back into the oceans. Without these living bacteria, pollution can occur.


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