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Old 01-02-2016, 07:02   #16
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

Nancie and I seem to fall in line with many here, - 'maybe most similar to what Oldragbaggers are doing. We still use a couple of "hank-on" sails, we rarely use our shower below deck, we cruised for twenty years without refrigeration or even a depth sounder and we do well with our manual windlass.

I'd like to claim a motivation of environmental concern with no ownership of an automobile for the last fourteen years, but in truth, we are "selfish hedonists" languishing in our own desires and doing exactly what we want without much thought of global consequences!
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Old 01-02-2016, 07:05   #17
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

You need all that gadgetry because keeping it running keeps you from dying of boredom?
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Old 01-02-2016, 09:27   #18
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

I respectfully submit that you may be over-thinking this whole thing.
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Old 01-02-2016, 09:40   #19
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

All good and valid points - life can be as simple or complicated/complex as you wish it to be on any boat.
Boats have got bigger but that trend does not have to be followed; it is not mandated. The issues often come from 'experts' that have cruised hundreds of millions of sea miles, battled massive sea monsters and endured pirates and force 59 sea conditions whilst never having left the comfort of their arm chairs; yup, these people always know best!!

This trailing post however makes real sense......we also have a water maker, solar panels etc but no diesel genset or air conditioning.




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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
Each to his own. We have a watermaker, and it greatly simplifies our lives. Now instead of constantly thinking about where we'll get our next tankful from, we don't have to worry.


Solar panels are cheap, silent, clean, and provide us with ample power almost all the time.


Internet connectivity isn't essential, but it again makes life easier. For example - yesterday I paid our boat registration online. Our rego papers are sitting in a PO box a thousand miles away. Without the internet, just staying legal would be a much greater hassle. We can also find nearby amenities online, stay in touch with friends and relatives, arrange to meet when we're in nearby ports...


I'm reminded of a discussion I had with a guy regarding EPIRBs. He said he wouldn't carry one - "a REAL sailor should be self sufficient!". But he said he WOULD carry flares - "of course, any PROPER seaman would carry flares!"


I pointed out that flares and EPIRBs perform exactly the same function - indicate your position and that you are in distress - but that EPIRBs just do it much more effectively.
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Old 01-02-2016, 09:43   #20
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

I see it as a balancing act.
Needs vs wants
Comfort and safety play into it.

The mindset when pre-cruisers are trying to decide seems to trend towards "worst case scenario", which can upset the balance.

We have a watermaker. But we conserve water so well that it is hard to justify. Schleping water is just not that hard.
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Old 01-02-2016, 09:53   #21
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
I like where you're driving at Roland, but I think you're mixing up two overlapping, but slightly different aspects or issues. Your title asks about being eco-friendly, but your discussions seems more aimed at the rising affluence demand for the "typical" cruiser. Those two are related, but at least in my mind, I see them as two separate questions.

From my limited perspective (I'm slowly transitioning to full-timer), I think sailboat cruising lends itself to being a low-impact lifestyle, but it doesn't have to. It's certainly possible to live a high consumptive, high impact lifestyle on a boat. It depends on the choices one makes.

I actually think a lot of the modern tools can make green living more viable. Being self-sufficient in electricity means smaller ongoing impact on the global environment. A watermaker means you can have a reduced impact on land-based water systems -- and in water-distressed areas of the world this is probably a very good thing. It's certainly true there is a real environmental cost to producing solar panels, wind generators and water makers, but it seems to me these tend to produce a net positive environmental impact.

As for the apparent rising material standard and equipment "needs" of the typical cruising boat, I fully agree. The trajectory is steeply up ... but this is no different than in the rest of our affluent society. Everything is bigger, faster, with more electronic and labour-saving doodads. Our homes, both on land and at sea, are full more of everything, including a plethora of electric tools and labour-saving devices. It's a trend with an ever-increasing environmental, financial and complexity impact.

Personally, I've tried to live a simpler lifestyle. In part this is b/c I value living lightly on this planet, but it helps that I'm poorer than most . My homes (both on land and now on the water) lean toward the simple and minimal. I try and focus on actual needs, not wants. This is why some accuse me (and others like me) as "camping" while cruising. I see it as living simply and easily. But to each his/her own.

Anyway, interesting thread. Hope it has legs.
I always read what this guy writes on the environment -- he always has an interesting perspective, with an unusually high level of intelligence , on a subject where most of what one reads is full of sound and fury, but lacking in much of anything in the way of serious thought.



To the OP: In my opinion, you are kidding yourself if you think that any kind of cruising is really an "eco friendly" way of life. You might use marginally less fossil fuel energy than you would use living on land (or not), but almost all human activity which takes place around shorelines has got to have a high impact. Construction and maintenance of marinas, for example, must be incredibly destructive of delicate coastal habitats; anchoring destroys sea grass; etc. Building cruising boats involves a large expenditure of resources which are wasted more than those spent on house construction, because boats depreciate and get scrapped much sooner than houses do.

If you want to have a REALLY low environmental impact, live in a one-room apartment in an ultra-green high-rise building (to use up as little land as possible) in Denmark (where nearly all energy is renewable), and ride a bicycle to work. And forget about cruising. Or better yet, just kill yourself.
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Old 01-02-2016, 09:55   #22
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

The mindset of humankind toward consumption is the danger. It is not about having the latest, biggest, modern stuff. it is contributing to the over consumption demands driving civilization. We are quickly using up this planet. The smallest % of the population gets to consume the biggest share rather than reduce demand and focus on equanimity and conservation.
How much copper is left in the Andes for the locals to dig out in the cheapest possible way? Is all that wire necessary for living or is it to make the balance sheets end in black?
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:23   #23
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

I have to clarify the last point; schlepping water is not always a mission but other times it can be very, very challenging.
Yet, other times having a water maker can transform your life and comfort. We have spent a considerable time in the Indian Ocean and many places potable water is not available, at any price. In other places we have had to carry it in 20 litre cans over a considerable distance and across soft sand (could not use trolley/cart). If carrying >40kgs for several km's through soft sand, loading it into your dinghy and then walking back to the tap and repeating, until your cans are all full and then using the tender to transport the lot back to the mother vessel, pouring the lot into your tanks and then repeating until the tanks are full - this is not a schlep........!!! Hmmmm. ....not to mention the need to do washing of bedding and clothes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Minggat View Post
I see it as a balancing act.
Needs vs wants
Comfort and safety play into it.

The mindset when pre-cruisers are trying to decide seems to trend towards "worst case scenario", which can upset the balance.

We have a watermaker. But we conserve water so well that it is hard to justify. Schleping water is just not that hard.
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:28   #24
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

I am not sure how many barrels of oil are required to build a mid-sized fiberglass cruising sailboat, but I would guess that it is quite a few.
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:29   #25
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

You know, if your the type that wants to , you could live on a boat with very little environmental impact.
Build a wooden boat, no plastic, cotton sails, hemp lines, heck even a big rock for an anchor. No motor, beeswax candles, it could be done I think with very little impact?
It's do-able, just I chose not to, and I love the Earth as much as anyone.

Now the ones I dislike are the ones who make money out of selling "green", when they are not. Remind me too much of Televangelists
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:33   #26
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

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I am not sure how many barrels of oil are required to build a mid-sized fiberglass cruising sailboat, but I would guess that it is quite a few.
I think maybe the bigger issue is what do you do with it, when it's "used up"
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:34   #27
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

Balance sheets always end in black. It is profit/loss sheets that may end in various colours. Black means you have earned more than you have spent, or at least the same ... which is usually a desirable outcome.
Anyway, I don't think all humankind has a mindset towards consumption. I think this is the mindset of a certain culture, a subset. Hence not inevitable.
The question of inequality is a different issue again ... interesting enough but not really related to consumption overall.

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Old 01-02-2016, 10:35   #28
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

Unless you are willing to unlive, then worrying about your carbon footprint seems rather pointless.
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:03   #29
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

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Unless you are willing to unlive, then worrying about your carbon footprint seems rather pointless.
I don't know what unlive means, but I disagree a little.
You can make easy decisions that will make a little difference, myself, I avoid plastic whenever possible, I really think plastic packaging out to be phased out.
You can go out of your way to recycle, return Ni-cads to Lowes, that kind of thing.

A few things have me curious though, is it better to continue to nurse the old vehicle, or buy a newer, less polluting one?

I feel sure though if governments really want to make a difference, then make it economically viable for me to be "green", by that I mean make it save me money, then I'm much more likely to comply.
Until water bottles are outlawed, I'd support a 10c return fee on each one, charged of course upon sale of the bottle, Make those tings worth money, and I doubt you would see so many floating around. If 10c doesn't work, then maybe 50c would.
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:19   #30
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Re: Tread Lightly - Is cruising still an alternative eco-freindly lifestyle?

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Balance sheets always end in black. It is profit/loss sheets that may end in various colours. Black means you have earned more than you have spent, or at least the same ... which is usually a desirable outcome.
Anyway, I don't think all humankind has a mindset towards consumption. I think this is the mindset of a certain culture, a subset. Hence not inevitable.
The question of inequality is a different issue again ... interesting enough but not really related to consumption overall.

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Sorry mine is an MFA not an MBA Do you even get the point?
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