Saturday, November 22, 2008

From SF to Sydney on a Plastic Bottle Boat

In March, 30-year-old environmentalist David de Rothschild, heir to one of the world’s great banking fortunes, intrepid polar explorer, children’s book author, and celebrity tabloid target, plans to sail from San Francisco to Sydney in a 60-foot vessel constructed entirely of recycled materials, mostly plastic water bottles.

de Rothschild's organization, Adventure Ecology, organizes expeditions to environmentally sensitive areas to raise awareness, particularly among children. He is the youngest Brit to have visited both geographic poles, and has crossed the Greenland Ice Sheet in record time. This particular expedition will demonstrate what people can do when they recycle their junk, and what happens when they don't recycle.

The boat will navigate through the Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch, a floating landfill, twice the size of Texas, that's located between California and Hawaii. "Along the way, he’ll highlight other environmental problems, schlepping a crew of filmmakers and scientists (maybe even musician Jack Johnson) to places like Bikini Atoll to examine nuclear fallout, and the sinking island of Tuvalu to investigate global warming."

One of de Rothschild's crew members spoke at the November Surfrider San Francisco meeting. The boat is under construction at Pier 31 in Fisherman's Wharf, and the crew would like us to set up educational displays, to encourage the public and school children to come visit, before they depart for Sydney in March. Being a big fan of Captain Michael Moore's own awareness-raising journey on a plastic bottle boat, I am excited about the opportunity to get involved with this adventure!

I just read about 2 artists who've made similar journeys. You can read more about them here, in this Good Magazine blog post.

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