Eco-Friendly Ship Embraces Environment

Its name is Hawaiian for "embracing the sea," and, true to its moniker, the Hi'ialakai has been dubbed the most environmentally friendly ship he's been on by Allen Gary, its chief steward.

"I've been sailing quite a awhile and I've seen the evolution of the old sailors who dumped everything and now we're to a point where we need to be concerned about Mother Earth," Gary tells KHNL.

The only thing that gets tossed overboard on the H'ialakai: Its "wet" garbage, food scraps from meals.Part of the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Ocean Service, the H'ialakai will be conducting coral-reef ecosystem mapping, bio-analysis assessments, and coral-reef-health and fish-stock studies.

In addition to installing low-flow toilets, shower heads, and energy-efficient washers, the crew reduced their water usage to 2,400 gallons a day. (We're guessing long, hot showers will have you swabbing the decks and peeling potatoes.)

"NOAA has a big culture where everyone is real excited and respects the environment, and we don't want to make an impact. We want to study it, but not make an impact," says Commander Jon Swallow. ::KHNL

See also: ::When The Eco-Ship Comes In and ::Ship Ahoy! Aboard the S.S. Solar Shuttle

Tags: Hawaii