In Africa Geographic land and beyond, green (in its sustainable sense) is a serious buzz word. It marches hand in hand with any number of nouns – green tourism, green shopping, green eating, green schools and green transport, to name a few.
The thing is that the word ‘green’ has a decidedly terrestrial connotation. I for one do not think outside this paradigm much. I hear ‘green’, I think ‘land’. However, a squiz through the October issue of Africa Geographic print magazine has got me thinking.
The goal of Mike Horn’s Young Explorers Program is to take a group of young people on a life-changing expedition to foster in them a love and respect for the amazing world in which they live, and to help them to realise their responsibility in protecting it. It seems their main method of transport is a 35-metre sailing boat and that’s where my brain got to ticking.
The Pangaea, as the vessel is known, is an exercise in sustainability all on its own. Here’s why:
- The body of the boat is built from aluminium, a recyclable metal.
- All the light fittings are LED energy-saving models.
- Pangaea will be propelled principally by wind and sails and manpower, but the vessel is also equipped with an energy-efficient diesel motor.
- All batteries on the craft are powered by the combination of solar panels and wind generators that are installed on the boat.
- Waste management on board is very strict, with designated bins for glass, plastic,etc, all of which is off-loaded at the various points-of-call.
- Attached to the boat are trawling nets that will be used to pick up items that pollute the ocean, such as plastic bags and bottles.
And with that I conclude (I am definitely land-centric, and thus probably unqualified to say this) that Pangaea may just be the greenest thing out there on the big blue. And if Tom Peschak’s photo spread on the whale sharks of Djibouti (also in the October issue) and Mike Horn’s Super-Pod video (below) is anything to go by, this is a GREAT thing because our oceans need all the help they can get.