Environment is talk of Newport showJul 1, 2013 by Lucy Chabot Reed
The talk of the 30th annual Newport Charter Yacht Show was the rigid plastic bottles that the charitable organization Ports of Cause distributed. In an effort to help reduce the amount of plastic water bottles yachts use, the hard bottles are designed to be reused, but include a central, perforated cylinder for citrus or other flavorings that look a tad bit phallic.
“They don’t look at all like they did in the catalog,” said Joyce Clear, a yacht interior designer who started Ports of Cause last year. “At least they’re getting people talking.”
Ports of Cause was started to couple yachting with environmentalism, primarily in an effort to end plastic waste in the water. It supports five charities, including the International Seakeeper Society, Waterkeeper Alliance and Thirst No More.
The organization had its launch party during the Palm Beach International Boat Show and had an event that included about 30 percent of its guests from outside the yachting industry.
“We want to get the word out that it’s OK to be a yacht owner,” she said. “This industry is constantly developing new technology and practices social responsibility. If we get behind it as an industry, we might change how people see it and help grow it.”
Initially, Clear seeks a like-minded yacht owner refit a vessel with the latest green technology and then use that vessel to host VIP events around the world, inviting many outside the industry to not only contribute to its various causes, but also to learn about yachting. She thought she found that yacht in M/Y Highlander, but the arrangement didn’t work out, she said.
“I’d like to do a refit each year, so that in 10 years there is a fleet of amazing yachts.”
The organization’s next event will be held during the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show this fall.
Lucy Chabot Reed is editor of The Triton. Comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.