Greenheart Initiative For "Zero-Emissions" Small Cargo Ships

I just want to promote a really good idea that some people are working on: they call it Greenheart, a way to "bring economic resilience to marginalized coastal communities around the world while combating the pollution of the shipping industry by putting a ship in the hands of the community thus eliminating the need to depend on polluting port towns and middle men who drive up prices for goods."

It is all about shipping. In a better way. Well, best of luck to them!

Jen over at Ten Thousand Things says:

...we are working hard to launch our first zero-emissions, environmentally low-impact, solar/sail container-ready ship for a global pilot voyage in 2013. To this effect, we have kickstarted our first major grassroots campaign here:

We have an ambitious goal of $120,000 and we need to get the word out.

The Greenheart idea is to create a new type of low-cost, zero-emissions small cargo ships that use environmentally clean and sustainable sail and solar power, to provide needy coastal communities around the world with an affordable means of transport. Such ships can help impoverished coastal and island regions improve their standards of living, while preserving their traditions and protecting the environment. In addition, they will use the publicity generated by such an inspiring enterprise, to promote Fair Trade, renewable energy and international cooperation.

Frankly I have doubts about the "sail and sun" option as I think they ought to have a strong backup engine on board in case something goes seriously wrong on a long journey. And things often do, out at sea! But any attempt to reduce the ships' dependency on diesel fuel will be helpful. Discussion will be heated, no doubt! Current open design options are updated here.


Well it was all sail at one time! Too bad the attrition rate of ships, cargo and sailors was a significant part of the cost of product...
Jen said…
Forgive me if I end up posting twice, but for some reason my comment does not appear below. Thank you Martin for spreading the word! I will get someone to respond to you more about the technical aspects of the backup engine, but that is what the solar is for. Take a look at the Tres Hombres ship. They have done over 50,000 nmiles on the wind ONLY.
Martin J Frid said…
Thanks for the comments, I am all for sail but safety first to avoid mishaps... Tres Hombres looks impressive!
Jen said…
This is a response from our director Pat to your very valid concerns! "The idea of having back-up power is a good one. That's why Gh ships are twice as safe as standard ships in this regard. A Gh ship will have more options. Should the wind lapse, we can run the powerful electric motors off the batteries, whether the sun is shining or not. Almost none of the present fleet - coastal or offshore - has back-up propulsion. If the power plant goes, or if they run out of fuel, they are dead in the water."
Martin J Frid said…
Pat and Jen, that suggestion makes a lot of sense! I hope lots of people will get interested in this project. Best of luck!

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