a plastic water bottle and a boat…

The other day I found myself listening to someone going on about their stainless steel bespoke water bottle as a must have for the cruising sailor. I was not impressed.

The argument that an expensive water bottle is good for the environment is somewhat dubious in that its fabrication requires energy which is, more often not, provided by fossil fuels so not exactly as green as we’d like. Worse in fact, because do you really think someone who requires a designer water bottle is going to drink water from the tap?

Some years ago at a charter yacht show the organizers provided show attendees with “green” reusable plastic water bottles because there had been some complaints about using single serve water bottles. Of course, I found the fact that they were filling the reusable water bottles from single use disposable water bottles sorta/kinda defeated the whole purpose of the exercise.

I’ll add another point regarding the bespoke designer stainless steel water bottles and say that the person hyping them had an affiliate link so was making money on any that were sold. It’s just another link in the chain selling you stuff you don’t need for a profit.

My choice of water bottle is reused soft drink bottles. I’ve mostly kicked my soft drink habit but still, from time to time, have a bottle of ginger ale. Being loathe to throw plastic away to go into landfill for like forever, I’ll save it and reuse it as a water bottle. Aboard “So It Goes” we keep a dozen or so water bottle of this ilk and they’re a much more green solution then that bespoke designer stainless steel water bottle.

They’re also, for all practical purposes… free.

Which, sorta/kinda brings me around to an interesting but somewhat stupid sailboat design you might want to check out. It’s the Sterne 25 and it’s built of eco-friendly materials like bamboo, basalt, jute, linen, and plant sourced resins all of which I think is a goodly thing.

It’s a cool boat for sure and as a test bed for greener materials it certainly makes sense. The downside, for me at least, is that in a world with thousands and thousands of excellent already built sailboats going for near giveaway prices,

 why are we still building new boats?

That CAL 27 or Chrysler 26 (for example) going for cheap are most certainly a greener solution than most eco-friendly designs coming down the pike with the added advantage of being a whole lot more affordable. 

One issue with greenish materials is they’ve recently become a hip commodity and as a result materials known for being readily available and cheap are, all of a sudden, all kinds of expensive and difficult to get. For the last few months I’ve been trying to find a good source for jute (AKA burlap) to use for a dinghy build I wanted to do. The idea of replacing fiberglass with burlap was very attractive until it became hip and now is selling for more than fiberglass. Made worse by the fact that I’d need to buy a bolt of cloth rather than a few meters. The sad fact is that building green has been co-opted by consumerism and folks wanting to make a profit don’t give a shit about the environment.

The real bedrock way to be green in this messy world is to use less rather than more and whenever possible, reuse, repair, and recycle.

That might make a great t-shirt as well…

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