The New Dawn Traders leading a sail renaissance

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We recently helped an exciting environmental campaign The New Dawn Traders with a social media strategy to help them communicate their exciting 7-month sail voyage around the Atlantic.

We believe they are sparking important conversations about the future of global trade and how by looking to the past we can create a fossil fuel free sail transport future.

A voyage of discovery

On the 14th October our friends at The New Dawn Traders, Alex and Lucy set sail on 7-month voyage around the Atlantic with wind powered cargo vessel Tres Hombres who are pioneering a renaissance in shipping cargo.

The sailboat for the voyage is 100% wind-powered and emission-free. This 32 meter, engine-less brigantine has been successfully trading between Europe and islands in the Atlantic and Caribbean since 2009. This year will be the ship’s first voyage to Brazil

Before the advent of the steamboat global trade was conducted by sail boats similar to the Tres Hombres boat. With the discovery of fossil fuels we very quickly shifted away from sail boats that had served global trade well for centuries.

The New Dawn Traders voyage is divided into two mutually supported departments: Trading Under Sail and Storytelling. Their ultimate goal is to manifest a self-sustaining, theatrical cargo ship, trading in goods, knowledge and culture by the power of the wind.

Creating environmental and social change for the better requires a groundswell of many individual efforts, and The New Dawn Traders hope to motivate this through documenting and sharing their own path towards a healthy, happy, enchanted and fair planet.

The shipping industry has a direct impact on coastal environments and communities. Apart from pollution to the air and through discharge of black and grey water, ships cross-contaminate ecosystems through the intake and discharge of huge volumes of ballast water from port to port. Even sound pollution from shipping affects the migratory patterns of marine species that rely on sound for navigation and ships can kill marine mammals on impact, should the unfortunate creature be in the way. The human impact is significant too – coastal communities that once thrived on the providence of their oceans have been losing their livelihood to large multinational companies, from cargo ships, cruise liners and industrial fishing trawlers, whilst then also being hardest hit by the pollution of these beasts.

Meet The New Dawn Traders, Dr Lucy Gilliam Alex Geldenhuys:

Dr Lucy Gilliam Alex Geldenhuys

Fossil fuel shipping was reported this year to make up 4.5%  of global carbon emissions. Shipping emissions are not currently included in the EU carbon cutting targets. And with the IPCC predicting global shipping emissions to rise by another 30% by 2020 we feel this is vital campaign for all of our futures.

Key Facts about global shipping:

  • 90% of everything you buy or own has spent time on a cargo ship.
  • A single cargo ship can burn 250 000 litres of fuel every 24 hours.
  • Just 16 of the world’s largest ships can produce as much sulphur pollution as all the world’s cars.

We wish the New Dawn Traders all the best on their voyage and we can’t wait to taste some of the delicious sail cargo on their return.

You can support this fantastic project by visiting the New Dawn Traders Indiegogo funding campaign.

Keep updated with their voyage by following them on Twitter and liking their page on Facebook and following their voyage blog.

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