top50stl business idea of the week: Cruise Ship Waste

My wife and I recently took a cruise that travelled to Jamaica and Haiti. At least, I think we did. We didn’t really experience either country. In Haiti, Royal Caribbean built it’s own resort area to host cruise passengers. It’s basically an extension of the ship, which is nice, but not really an opportunity to experience Haitian culture. In Jamaica, we had a similar experience. Royal Caribbean yet again built its own area to host cruise passengers. It didn’t quite feel like authentic Jamaica, I think it may have been the Nathan’s Hot Dogs or the Quizno’s or the fact that most of the authentic Jamaican goods were labeled with a ‘Made in China’ sticker. It’s safe for me to say that I’ve physically been to Jamaica and Haiti, but I haven’t really experienced either place.

We had a nice vacation, but I was disappointed that we didn’t really get to immerse ourselves in the culture. We did get to meet some of the locals but I fear they were not the best representatives of their countrymen. Most were anxious to sell us some authentic ‘Made in China’ goods and were quite assertive in their delivery. I’m only guessing but I’d imagine their home life is a little more laid back.

As we travelled to both Jamaica and Haiti, I imagined what life is like for the people who live there. I’ve heard stories about some of the poorer parts of Jamaica and I know Haiti is still reeling from the massive earthquake they had in 2010. As we stuffed our faces with an endless supply of food on the cruise ship, I couldn’t help but think about hungry bellies in the countries we visited especially when I noticed how much waste there was from leftover food that was either uneaten or untouched.

So, my idea is to think of a way to collect the leftovers and distribute them to the people on land. I just hate the idea of wasting food especially when a need could potentially be met. I’m wondering if there’s a way to freeze dry or somehow package the leftovers and drop them off when the ship arrives at its destination. I’m not sure what technology needs to be utilized, but I find it would be a worthwhile venture.

I recently read that France became the first country to ban supermarkets from throwing away or destroying unsold food, forcing them to instead donate it to charities and food banks. I don’t see why Royal Caribbean and all the other cruise lines shouldn’t follow suit.

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