Sustainability on Tallships

Datum: 30.12.2023
Nautische Position: 16°52’931N 25°00’386W
Etmal: 0
Total: 2870

Contradictory to what we state most of the time when it comes to sustainability, is the intrinsic motivation of sustaining our ecosystems, our sea, our earth merely or at least mainly an attempt of sustaining mankind itself. Because the ability to sustain our species is highly dependend on our planet, our ecosystems, our biodiversity and of course, the health of our seas:

Not only are we dependend on the great impact on the CO2 circle, the temperature regularing effects of the streams, it is highly possible that our sea and its species contain genetic data for curing the next epedemic disease, finding technological solutions…

But in how far do we contribute to sustaining a habitable planet? How sustainable is sailing really?

Because, at first sailing seems highly sustainable: Using the power of the wind.

And indeed; the idea of sailing as a sustainable way of moving is not entirely wrong. This is not only because of the way we make our distance but also considering our lifestyle. We consume less water (about 2tons per day for 47people) than the average. We also consume less energy, since our generators couldnt suply a tremendous lifestyle.

We are forced to lower our energy consumption, but that is quite easy because much of our at home, highly energy consuming activities, cannot be exercised on the Pelican anyways. We are 47 people on a really small space, which reduces our energy consumption a lot. And space effiency doesn’t only effect the consumption of energy: Space itself is a precious recource, especially in cities. Every citicen of a city puts a lot of pressure on the already overloaded traffic networks, the canalisation or the garbage system. Lastly, because of Ocean College, our food is of higher quality, though still wrapped in plastic.

But on the otherhand, tall ships (that is what every crewmember told us so far) have a much better image than they are in reality. Ships don’t work on benzin but on diesel which has (since it contains only heavy oils) higher CO2 and contamination emissions. The diesel that we burn contains approxametly twice the energy we need, because our engine only has an efficiency of roughly 50 percent (and it already a new one).

All of our energy is generated by generators running on benzin, creating large amounts of CO2.
Another point is the garbage disposal, we cant store all of our foodwaste (we are producing lots of foodwaste), so we dispose it directly into the sea, the same with our sewage that is (after it gets the same treatment as our greeywater) lead into the sea.

In general, we are following the legal requirements of e.g MARPOL (Marine Pollution Regularities, a set of laws about garbage, hazards etc) but they are, because of economic reasons, not that effective for protecting the sea.

One example of an outdated requirement is a minimum amount of meatdays a week. That comes from the fact that back in the days seafare companies provided low quality food for the seamen, which led to new laws.

In conclusion, eventhough sailing is in general a sustainable principle and it can be done as a sustainable life, tall ships are not as sustainable as you would probably think them to be. There is still room for improvement and I hope that sailing on tallships will become more sustainable over the next years.

Note: Dear parents, there have been rumors that there has been a lot of hair cutting going on the last few days. So from now on, every day, we will reveal one student, watchleader or teacher with a new look. So, dear parents, keep a close look on the next daily reports to see whether your child is among the happy not so few.

P.S. von Greta: Liebe Matti, alles Gute zum Geburtstag! Ich hoffe, Du hattest einen sehr schönen Tag und einen leckeren Kuchen🎂😋 Lässt Du mir ein Stück rüberwachsen?👀 Hab‘ Dich lieb!

P.P.S.: Ganz viele Grüße nach Hause, an meine Familie, meine Freunde, die Südallee und meine Klasse!
~ Karoline

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