Regatta parties need to embrace change

Published on May 16th, 2018

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
Our love affair with convenience has heightened our reliance on plastic goods, which seems harmless until we understand how our environment is not too stoked with this trend. And because we now are so addicted to these products and packaging, changing habits is hard.

Sensitive to how our sport should be trailblazers when it comes to environmental stewardship, we see with regularity how regatta organizers are setting standards on how to be clean. Reduce, reuse, and recycle is the mantra. All good ideas for habits to follow.

So now we go racing with re-fillable bottles and look after our trash, but when we hit the dock and the regatta party fires up, all our eco-friendly initiatives get lost. Tyler Black describes a typical scenario:

“Despicable is the only word I can use to describe the Annapolis NOOD. The racing was great. The bartenders at the tent were great. However, their mismanagement of single use plastic cups was appalling.

“Mount Gay Rum was obviously flowing, and I respectfully asked to reuse my single use plastic cup upon my refill. Unfortunately, this was not an option. The bartender informed me that they were ‘counting cups’ and every drink had to be in a new cup. She then informed me that everything was being recycled.

“As we all know, recycling helps but does not solve the problems of single use plastics. In addition, I fear that was not the case as everything from limes to plastic plates and even general rubbish were discarded in the same bin.

“Combating plastic use and ‘being green’ is not my mission in life but when it’s as easy as re-using a cup, I try to do what I can. The amount of plastic waste generated at this event was more than anything I’ve seen lately by an exponential factor. Unacceptable is an understatement. We all need to do our part and event organizers need to too.”

This topic also came up at Charleston Race Week where the Gosling’s Rum was flowing. The event didn’t appear to be cup counting, and even if it was, that method needs to be abolished. Rather, instead of issuing daily wrist bands for the nightly parties, it was suggested to issue a different color cup each night to reuse.

As much as we love our sponsored parties, these need to embrace change too.

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