Friday, August 12, 2011

Sorting Trash on the Boat

Join Aquarium Teen Program Coordinator Liz Whitlinger and campers with the Harbor Discoveries Schooner Adventure Camp. After a week of preparation, our crew of young explorers boarded a Grand Banks schooner and set sail for a five-day, four-night excursion exploring Massachusetts Bay.

Here are some thoughts from campers about the experience on board the Spirit of Massachusetts:

Being at sea for a week with 15 campers, three chaperones and nine crew, trash starts to increase quickly. The tricky part is figuring out what trash is taken back to land and what can go overboard. All of the leftover food scraps from our meals go into a slop bucket and will eventually be tossed overboard. Food will eventually degrade with the tides.

There is also a second bin for things we can toss overboard including paper, metal and glass. There are laws that permit these things to be tossed overboard when you are three miles out to sea. There is one more sorting of plastics and Styrofoam that cannot be thrown overboard because they will never break down. These are the only things that will go on land and be put in the trash.

This great way of sorting our trash on board the Spirit of Massachusetts not only helps to protect marine life, but has also greatly reduced our carbon footprint.  When I get home I will always think twice about what absolutely needs to go to the landfill.

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