America's Cup. AC/PC
11 June 2017
Please read the last paragraph or two, of this posting, if not the entire post. I feel it isn't proper to complain or criticize without offering a solution. The solution I offer is something we can all do to help. But on with the rant! I didn't come to the America's Cup Village in Bermuda to be lectured to about the environment. But that seemed to be the theme everywhere you looked. In the children's area, they even had plastic bottles and tongs for the kids to practice picking them up. Kids seemed to be enjoying the work normally performed by prisoners with good behavior.
The pictures are a sample of the messages around the Village. What's more disturbing are the quotes and mottos of some of the competing teams. Emirates, New Zealand, “The team constantly tries to foster sustainable lifestyles.” We all do, or else we die if our lifestyle isn't sustainable. N'est pas? Artemis, Sweden, “A commitment to eliminate single use plastics.” OK, no problem there, but how about winning the America's Cup? Groupama, France, “We are committed ambassadors for the protection of our seas.” Perhaps if they protected their lead on the race course they wouldn't have been the first boat eliminated.
I do like Land Rover, UK motto, “Bring the cup back to British waters for the first time since 1851!” They had a great effort but I think Ben Ainsle was overburdened as skipper and team manager. I also like Oracle, USA motto, “Work harder!” That certainly worked when they were down by 6 races in the last AC.
But back to the AC village. There were several bottle refilling stations with clear signage, shaming those who throw away plastic. Land Rover had a nice display in the Village because their shed was on the end adjacent to the Village. It was 80% environmental 10% human power potential and almost nothing about actual sailing, just some stats on their boat. They even had a large display about Lionfish and a bit about global warming. Their plastic preaching included a machine to shred plastic bottles, compress them into flower pots and place them in a solar kiln to fuse together. Cool, but I'm sure they used more plastic in the construction of these machines than they processed the entire month.
It is clear to me that disposal of plastic is a problem for our environment. In fact it was clear well before entering the AC Village. I'm sure very few in attendance were surprised to learn that disposal of plastic was a problem. We paid good money to visit the AC Village, not to be lectured. Oh, a large part of the village was covered by Astroturf. Which I believe is a massive amount of plastic. And drinks were served in thick, trendy plastic cups with the thumb indentation. Not cool!
Now for my solution to the problem. The French West Indies do not give bags of any kind at the grocery store. If you forget, you rummage through a pile of cardboard boxes to carry your (delicious French) food back to the Mother Ship. Or they will sell you strong, reusable bags. It doesn't take but a few trips to the store to change your habits. We have a good supply of reusable shopping bags on Uproar. Some are recycled from flour bags with sturdy handles and great decorations. They hold a ton too. Please from now on, do not accept any purchases in the flimsy plastic bags, bring your own!!!
OK, this is becoming two paragraphs. Can anyone remember when it seemed preposterous to buy plain water in a plastic bottle? Shame on us for adopting this as part of our lifestyles. Drinking fountains are disappearing in public places, everyone buys water and throws away the bottle (which I now know lives 450 years in landfill, thanks AC Village). Don't do it. On Uproar we use those bottles, over and over. They last for months, refilling them from your own tap or boat. The habit of buying water and discarding the bottle is something we can all break. Glass or Aluminum cans are much more environmentally friendly if you decide to buy a beverage. I like Coke but cans only please!
I'm going to write further about those plastic islands in the oceans. Some will love my ideas and some will hate them! Bet you can't wait. But let's start now and do our part to reduce plastic in our trash cans.