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Lost Shipping Containers

Have you seen pictures of cargo ships with containers stacked high above the deck? And have you wondered what happens when the ship is in a storm? Yes, containers get swept overboard, floating just below the surface for a while, then slowly sinking to the sea-floor. But what happens to them once they hit the bottom?

sunken shipping container

Out of the estimated 10,000 shipping containers that are lost every year only one has been found on the sea-floor. And that one was an accident, this container landed in an area being surveyed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI).

Under the sea: Life on a lost shipping container[^] is an interview BoingBoing’s Maggie Koerth-Baker had with MBARI’s research coordinator, Andrew DeVogelaere. In the interview they discuss some of environmental impacts of these steel boxes, such as corrosion and their possible use as a habitat for deep sea creatures. If nothing else it makes you realise how little we know about this strange, hostile environment.

Oil Spill Comes Home

Gulf Oil Spill - Melbourne

For some people it can be hard to visualise, or understand the spread of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. IfItWasMyHome helps to fix that, it shows current limits of the spill centered on a Google Map [^] anywhere in the world.

Seeing that the spill has spread from Hamilton to Wangaratta certainly came as a shock to me! Moving the spill to Swindon, Wilts, England sees the spill take in the Welsh coast by Milford Haven, the Portsmouth on the English South coast, most of Greater London, and big slice of the Norfolk coast. Anyway that you look at it that’s one big mess to clean-up, and it’s only getting bigger!

via: Londonist [^]

Bunny Tossing

Strange things happens in New Zealand. - Tourist No Bunny as a Thrower

A German tourist has been crowned New Zealand’s champion rabbit-thrower [^] in Waitomo according to Lisa Lutz managed to overthrow the Kiwis by tossing a dead rabbit into a trailer attached to a motobike; something seen across farms in New Zealand and Australia.

Event organiser Barry Woods said that the event was staged as a stand against political correctness. Rabbits are not native to either country, and cause a great deal of damage to indigenous flora and fauna. Only dead rabbits were used in the competition.

Packaging Blunders

How could someone get this so very wrong?

These bananas were seen recently in a UK supermarket. Can you imagine how much more this adds to the cost; and there is no reason to claim “value-adding” like there is with peeled oranges.

Platic Packaged Bananas - UK Supermarket

Plastic Packaged Bananas - UK Supermarket

Over-packaging a product, especially as blatantly as this, should be a crime. Bananas have gone from being a healthy, convenient snack to an absolute environmental disaster [^] in one small step.

There are plenty more Un-TreeHugger-y Things [^] for you to check-out at [^] a website devoted to trying to make sustainability mainstream.

A Green Christmas

Yes, I know that it is only October but people are starting to think about Christmas already.

This f-bomb laden website offers some guidelines [^] for an environmentally friendly Christmas.  The site was spurred on by the fact that an estimated $1b was spent on unwanted presents in 2007 in Australia, and £2.3b in the UK.

The top tips are:

  1. Send e-cards
  2. Avoid gifts with too much packaging
  3. Use recyclable shopping bags

Check the website for the other seven tips [^] to avoiding a throw-away Christmas.  Or buy the shirt and help spread awareness of the damage that our Christmas waste causes.