Expedition floats length of Mississippi River on raft made from trash

Recycled Mississippi is traveling the length of one of America's iconic rivers, which also happens to be one of the most polluted, and filming a documentary along the way.

Rafting down one of the great rivers of the US is an adventure in itself, but floating down the Mississippi on a raft made of trash sounds like an eco-adventure which is second to none, at least if you were raised with tales of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. And that's exactly what the Recycled Mississippi expedition is doing, with the aim of producing a documentary about how the river's pollution impacts local communities, as well as what efforts are being made to clean it up and restore it.

The crowdfunded expedition, which began its river journey in Minneapolis, MN, in June, is being led by Dan Callum, who has been leading 'recycled expeditions' on plastic bottle kayaks in his spare time over the last few years, and includes an environmental filmmaker, two engineers, and an experienced skipper, with the aim of reaching New Orleans in August or early September. Crewmembers all paid their own expenses for the trip, reserving the funds raised via Indiegogo for building the raft, transporting it to the starting point, and producing the documentary.

Here's the original crowdfunding video pitch:

The catamaran-style raft, which is named "ioco," was built with reclaimed wood (from old boat docks), along with more than 800 recycled water and soda bottles, integrates a recycled sail and an outboard motor, and the gear includes a SPOT tracker that allows people to view the raft's current position on the expedition website. In addition to making an epic trash-raft trip down the Mississippi and filming a documentary along the way, Recycled Mississippi is also aiming to make the entire journey a zero waste trip, as well as picking up any floating river trash as they go, including adding plastic bottles to the raft as they are found.

You can follow along on this noble recycled raft trip via Callum's YouTube channel, with 18 episodes having been uploaded so far, and more are yet to come:

According to an interview with the Southeast Missourian, Callum stated, "The overall message is how can we take waste, especially single-use plastics, and give them a second life through proper recycling. To inspire to think about how do we can produce and consume in a more sustainable way."

Learn more at Recycled Mississippi.

Tags: Recycled Consumer Goods | Rivers


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