Further evidence that growing public awareness of green travel is helping to grease the wheels of environmental action in the cruise industry, Norwegian Cruise Line recently completed an initiative at the Port of Miami to recycle used cooking grease from Norwegian Jewel and Norwegian Pearl. Approximately 1,300 gallons of used cooking oil were donated to an organic farmer in Vero Beach, who then converted the oil to 870 gallons of bio-diesel for his farming equipment.
This isn't NCL's first experiment with the conversion of cooking oil to fuel. In Hawaii, all NCL and NCL America ships have been offloading their used cooking oil for recycling to bio-diesel. Last year, the company reports that it recycled approximately 40,000 gallons of used cooking oil in Hawaii.
NCL isn't alone in its efforts to show the increasingly concerned public its renewed commitment to the environment. Other lines have responded to the public discourse in their own innovative ways:
Costa has introduced a new aluminum recycling initiative for its ships calling on the Port of Savona in 2007 and 2008.
In April 2007, Holland America installed a sea water scrubber system to Zaandam's smokestack, which effectively removes much of the sulfur oxide and significantly reduces particulate matter emissions.
In the Pacific Northwest, Princess runs a program in which its ships "plug in" to clean, local hydroelectric when they dock in Seattle and Juneau. Currently featured on eight ships, Princess has signed an agreement committing to doing the same in 2008 with its vessels when they dock at the Port of Los Angeles.
While no question, we applaud efforts by the industry -- once vilified as for its lack of environmental commitment -- to take innovative steps to enhance and protect the places in which its ships cruise. We want to know: Does a cruise line's dedication to green travel impact your vacation choice? Would you cruise on a line because of its efforts or boycott one that makes none? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
--by Dan Askin, Assistant Editor
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NCL Donates Used Cooking Oil to Organic Farmer in Miami
August 3, 2007