“Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.”  – Mark Twain

Pollution control starts with smart measurement. But how do you measure sound pollution? By numbers of killed wildlife each year, at various coasts? And whose business is it to collect the plastic debris in our oceans once it has left the 12 mile coastal zones? As humans, the answer is simple and crystal clear. Economically and technically speaking, the picture gets rapidly complicated.

Environmental science is comparatively young, technical instruments are improving at high speed.  Time is pressing but a lot can actually be done to turn the tide and protect our beloved blue marble Earth much more efficiently. The trick of course is to use our tools well, cooperate and take action, action and action.  Like brave witty environmental journalist George Monbiot put it, asked about his expectations of the Copenhagen Climate Conference: “I don’t fear that they don’t talk about climate change. I fear that they talk us to kingdom come!”

Meanwhile, there is a lot sailors can do to minimise additional debris ending up in the waters. See here.

And you might also like to read that Yanmar produced an interesting  “Green Procurement Guideline for procuring materials, parts and products“, aimed to instruct their suppliers about environmentally friendly materials to deliver. Quote: “Our products are made with parts and materials provided by many suppliers. In view of that, our efforts alone do not suffice towards reducing environmental load across all stages of production; it is absolutely essential that our suppliers from whom we purchase products, parts and materials cooperate in our environmental efforts as well.” Fine example of a company who acknowledges their role and responsibility in a complex supply chain in practise.

About mele

I research and write about the intersection of yachting with the environment aka 'sustainable sailing'. From sourcing planet-friendly yacht construction materials, sailors for ocean science, clean regattas, renewable energies aboard right up to yacht recycling. Academic training in environmental science, sailor, living at the shores of the Dutch IJsselmeer. Want me to write for you, too? Get in touch!

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