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Tag Archives: protect the ocean

90M motoryacht NERO and other luxury yacht charter vessels lauded for green practices

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THE AWARD

The Charter Yacht Brokers Association (CYBA) has announced the 2017 winners of the “Going Green To Save The Blue” campaign, and the crew onboard superyacht NERO have been recognized in the “Designer Water” contest.  The contest recognizes the crews of private luxury yacht charter vessels for their “yacht-made” water, as an effort to reduce the use of disposable plastic water bottles on yachts.

three round glasses containing water infused with strawberries blueberries pomegranate orange cucumber

 

 

THE MESSAGE

Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters, and a CYBA member, explains the program – and the urgency of the underlying message

“The campaign is designed to encourage yacht owners and crews to reduce, and eventually forego, the use of plastic water bottles by both the crews and the onboard luxury yacht charter guests.  The goal is to raise awareness as to the massive volume of water bottles that are consumed during charters, and the impact disposable plastic has in our landfills and more importantly, our oceans.”

 

THE WINNERS

The “Designer Water” contest is held annually at the opening of the Caribbean yacht charter winter/spring season.  The season, which has just concluded for 2017, saw more than one dozen private yacht charter vessels and their crews showcase their “flavored” waters, all generated from onboard watermakers that convert seawater into clean, safe drinking water.

This year’s winners are:

  • 111 foot sailing yacht REE – for Hibiscus Martini Water
  • 183 foot sailing yacht ROSEHEARTY – for Moranga-infused Detoxifying Water
  • 265 foot mega yacht NERO – for Coriander and Passionfruit Water

 

THE PROGRAM

Now in its fifth year, the CYBA “Going Green To Save The Blue” campaign has a dual-fold strategy.  By encouraging yacht owners and crews to offer eco-friendly options, private yacht charter guests can participate in this sustainable initiative.  Hopefully, the guests return home with a clearer understanding of the impact of plastic pollution, as well as how they can incorporate simple changes in their daily lives that can make a difference in safeguarding our environment for future generations.

“The ‘Going Green’ campaign highlights the numerous opportunities and options available to our private yacht charter clients, yacht owners, and crews – from avoiding plastic water bottles, to using green cleaning products, reef-friendly sunscreens, and solar panels for energy,” says Sheeder. “We congratulate motor yacht NERO and her owner and crew and all of the other Caribbean yacht charter teams for their commitment to the long-term health of our oceans and the marine environment.”

 

If you’re considering a private yacht charter vacation, turn to 1-800 Yacht Charters, the company with the industry-leading Best Price Guarantee, and a fleet of Eco-friendly yachts around the world. Call us toll-free in North America at +1.800.922.4824 or local and international at +1.305.253.7245 to plan your yachting vacation. 

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It’s Random Acts of Kindness Week  #RAKWeek – Spread the Kindness

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The week of February 14-20 is your chance to ramp up the idea of “being kind” as the world celebrates Random Act of Kindness Week, 2016.  Let’s extend Random Acts of Kindness Week!!!

Logo with animated dog under umbrella that says Random Acts of Kindness Week

 

Created by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, the week-long event is a way for all of us to “…step up your acts of kindness, be loud with your generosity, and commit to being a better person throughout the year. We believe kindness is a daily practice, but this is a week to celebrate and inspire others to join you.”

There are soooo many things we can do, and sooo many ways to get involved.  All it takes is a bit of time — and a big heart!

A few ideas for you:

  • Smile at or wave to a stranger
  • Hand a cold drink to a police officer directing traffic
  • Compliment a parent on how well-behaved his/her child is
  • Defend someone who’s being unfairly bashed on the internet
  • Put your phone away when you’re at dinner or having a conversation
  • Compliment an employee to his/her boss
  • Donate that bag of clothing items that you really didn’t want to part with yet…
  • Let a person with just a few items check out in front of you at the store
  • Write a thank you note on paper – the snail mail kind – and send it!
  • Give an unexpected gratuity to an employee who’s gone above and beyond for you
  • Write a nice comment on a random blog
  • Say thank you to a postal carrier
  • Give a tip to a janitor because the cleanliness is appreciated and made your day
  • Buy an extra umbrella and give it to someone in need when it’s raining
  • Do something nice and remain anonymous!
  • Buy lemonade from kids’ lemonade stands – and compliment them (always)
  • Change your phone’s alert ringtone to Temple Bells, and every time the bell chimes, state something for which you are grateful (Jana Sheeder calls these bells, “Gratitude Bells“)

Here’s a real-life example from yesterday:

We were inspecting private yacht charter vessels at the inaugural Superyacht Miami Show, when I noticed our company President, Jana Sheeder, bent over picking something up on the docks.  A few minutes later, I saw her do it again.  I asked her what she was doing, and she proceeded to lay a handful of objects out on the dock for us to see.  It was small items of debris – a used book of matches, some plastic, a metal bolt, and more. “Any of these objects could end up in the water, possibly harming the marine environment or adding to our problems with plastic pollution at sea.  It only took a couple of moments to stop and pick these items up and try to make a difference.

Miscellaneous trash items found on dock of yacht marina laid out on the top of a metal dock box

Suddenly, I found myself looking down as I walked along the dock, hoping I too could “chip in” and do my small part…   Generosity and kindness are contagious, and it feels so good to do random things for others and for our community!

Need a little more motivation to jump feet-first into Random Act of Kindness Week?  Sign the online “Kindness Pledge,” and you’ll be on your way to inspire others to do their part in making a kinder world for everyone.

SIGN the pledge here:  https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/rakweek2016#pledge-form

We’d love to hear your suggestions of Random Acts of Kindness. Please leave them in the comments section for others to follow your lead in kind acts!

Have a kinder, generous week everyone…  Thank you for making a difference and for being the change with us!

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Trash in Luxury Yacht Charter Marinas. It’s Simple to Make a Difference.

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sampling of debris picked up on dock in a marina - washer rope bolt fishing line plastic cloth

We took this photo during the Yachts Miami Beach Boat Show.  We were inspecting several private luxury yacht charter vessels docked at the Deep Harbour Island Gardens marina, near downtown Miami.  As we walked along the docks, I noticed our company President, Jana Sheeder, often pausing, bending down, picking up something, and putting it in her “Eco-Hero” tote bag.  I asked Jana what she was picking up, and she paused and poured a few of the contents of her bag onto a locker box on the dock.  “Take a look,” she sighed. “This debris can easily end up in the water where it becomes part of the ocean pollution problem, as well as a threat to birds and marine life.”

 So, I snapped the photo you see above…

THE IMAGE

When I look at this photo, I see beautiful superyachts that serve as a gateway to experience the wonders of our oceans.  I see a segment of the tourism industry – private luxury yacht charter – that generates millions of dollars of revenue annually.  I see a support network of thousands of crewmembers, dockhands, marina workers, and maintenance and repair staff – all supporting their families from a livelihood that is inextricably dependent upon healthy oceans.

For me, the trash in the foreground of the photo is a harsh reminder that the refuse we see floating in marinas and along the seawalls and walkways is a direct threat to the health of our waterways, and therefore, a threat to our own livelihood.

As you read this blog, I can guess what some of you are thinking – “I’m not part of the problem – I would never throw trash in the water.”  Good intention, ladies and gents, but you or someone you know might still be directly responsible for pollution in our waterways.

 

MYTH BUSTING —

It’s a common misconception that most trash comes from people throwing things directly into the water…  

“Believe it or not,  much to the trash in our waterways comes from litter thrown out of cars, litter that blows from surrounding areas into the waterways, illegal dumping, and this item really irks me – cigarettes left on the ground,” says Jana.  “During a big rainstorm, all that junk ends up in the watershed, and some of it eventually makes its way down to the bays, harbors, marinas, beaches, and worse – onto our fragile coral reefs and into the stomachs of marine life (like fish and turtles) and shorebirds.”

 

CLEANUP  EFFORTS

Efforts are underway to rid our waterways of trash.  In Baltimore, Maryland, two (rather cute) trash wheels are pulling debris from the harbor before it flows into Chesapeake Bay. Mr. Trash Wheel (male) and Professor Trash Wheel (female with eyelashes) are solar and hydro-powered trash interceptors in place in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Over a million pounds of trash has been pulled out of the water by Mr. Trash Wheel since it was installed in May 2014 (Professor Trash Wheel was installed in December 2016).

Mr. Trash Wheel in a marina

 

Professor Trash Wheel - with eyelashes

John Kellett (a true ECO-HERO!) invented the trash wheels and tracks the debris collected.  Since May 2014, when Mr Trash Wheel went operational, almost nine million cigarette butts and over 300,000 plastic bags have been collected.   Additionally, Mr. Trash Wheel picks up an average of 14,000 Styrofoam containers a month – second only to cigarettes.

Kellett echoes Jana’s thoughts that the problem starts on shore.  “I thought we were being ambitious with the harbor, but now people are talking about cleaning up the ocean,” Kellett said. “But I think the most effective solution is to get the trash before it gets there.” 


WHAT YOU CAN DO

No matter where you live, you CAN make a difference and help protect our natural resources.  Let’s review some simple steps we can all take:

  • No butts about it!  Are you a smoker, or know someone who is?  Don’t throw your cigarette butts out of your car window or onto the ground.  It takes just a second more to locate an ashtray or garbage receptacle.
  • Say “NO” to single use, disposable plastic products.  Reusable shopping bags are available everywhere!  They’re affordable and many places give them away as promotional items.  Please think twice when your grocer asks you, “paper or plastic?”  Say no thank you to either option, and hand your grocer a reusable bag.  Many stores give discounts (Target and Whole Foods, for example) when you use them, and you can turn your discount around and donate it to charity, through the store!
  • Pick up at least one piece of “someone else’s trash” and properly dispose of it today.  If everyone did this, it would make a HUGE impact and keep trash from finding its way into our waterways and environment.  It’s amazing how many people just don’t care…  (Many people refer to picking up refuse left by others as “karma trash,” or cleaning up poop at dog parks as “karma poops.”  It’s just good KARMA to help the earth and the environment!)
  • Be the change you want to see in the world.  If you have children, lead them by example when they are young and/or are especially eager to learn.  Show them that you refrain from disposable plastic bags… Get them to drink from reusable water bottles and not plastic water bottles.  Take them to the beach and show them the pollution that washes up on the shore and share with them how it harm the birds, creatures, and corals in the sea.   Track down a video of a sea turtle eating a plastic bag (thinking that it is a jellyfish)…or a seabird or sea lion with a plastic six-pack ring around its neck (which can easily eventually kill the animal).  They will follow your lead!

What do I hope will happen?  I look forward to the day that Mr. Trash Wheel and Professor Trash Wheel are forced to take days off because there is no debris for them to clean up!

Jana Sheeder sitting on the aft couch of a yacht in a marina

Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters and 1-800 BAREBOAT, with Eco-Hero Reusable Tote Bag

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If you are ready to make a difference, text HERO to 305-720-7245 and we’ll send you an “Eco-Hero” tote bag – just like the ones Jana carries with her and also uses at boat shows.  It’s Jana’s gift to you – from Jana and our team at 1-800 Yacht Charters!

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Will Synthetic Sponge Revolutionize Ocean Oil Spill Cleanup?

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Wow. Can it be that the BP Deepwater Horizons oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was five years ago?

For those of us who make a living from the sea, the memories of millions of gallons of crude oil spewing into the Gulf is still fresh on our minds.  As private yacht charter consultants, we look for every opportunity to promote sustainability and environmental awareness to our clients.

That’s why we were thrilled to read a recent report from a team of researchers at Australia’s Deakin University.  These scientists claim to have found an effective solution to clean up a major oil spill at sea.

They have developed a special porous material that can soak up to 33 times its own weight in oil and organic solvents.

3 glass dishes showing steps of oil removal with inserted sponge

About two years ago, the researchers developed a boron nitride powder which they named, “White graphite.” The powder exhibited strong oil-absorption properties.  From there, they developed a sponge containing the boron nitride powder. They broke the powder down into thin nanosheets, consisting of tiny flakes measuring only several nanometers in thickness. The flakes have tiny, microscopic holes that serve to increase the sponge’s surface area per gram to the size of five and a half tennis courts.

“The pores in the nanosheets provide the surface area to absorb oils and organic solvents up to 33 times its own weight,” says Dr Weiwei Lei, lead researcher for the University’s team.

Additionally, the sponge material is said to be flame-resistant.

The Deakin researchers are now looking for industry partners to begin trialing the technology, with the hopes it can be adapted to form ultra-light aerogels and membranes to clean up large-scale ocean oil spills. With any luck at all, the idea of a Florida yacht charter vacation being postponed or cancelled due to a nearby oil spill might become a problem of the past.

Photo of birds flying in orange sunset

Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters is thrilled about this and says, “This is good news for charterers, and great news for our coastal wildlife and marine environment!”
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What actions do you take in your daily life to improve and protect your hometown’s natural resources?

Share your actions and ideas with us below, and we’ll send you a complimentary Eco-tote bag.

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