Editorial May 2008 Issue

The Greener Perspective

Just to put things into proper perspective: When it comes to water-bound polluters, sailors are the smallest of small fries. But a search for proper perspective on environmental issues can be maddening. Whenever I dig deeply into the topic, I soon find myself far down a rabbit hole conversing with hatters and griffins. The surging movement of "green" consumerism is particularly sticky. At the surface, the trend inspires hope. The wider non-sailing marketplace is finally reflecting sailors’ long-held concern for the environment, and manufacturers are responding to this development (and some tough legislation) by offering what they deem eco-friendly products. Conveniently, some of the green products actually cost less than the products they replace. Even better, most are far safer to use. But measuring the environmental impact of any product defies simplification, particularly if you want to gauge the product’s carbon footprint, the amount of carbon that is pumped into the atmosphere as a result of the product during its life. Add to this mix an unscrupulous marketer out to make a buck, and the truth becomes even murkier.

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