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Old 11-05-2007, 10:30 PM   #1
Auzzee's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Home Port: Darwin
Vessel Name: Sandettie
Posts: 1,917


After two weeks living on the boat, I have relearned a few truths from previous times aboard. First, is the realisation of the amount of garbage we generate individually. Aside from a few potato peels, onion skins and an apple core or two, all other garbage which must be taken ashore is plastic, cardboard and paper. It seems to me that a sensible financial investment would be in packaging firm's stock. Every day the garbage going ashore is nearly equal in volume to the product which originally came onboard.

We are therefore, reassessing the way we shop. Many products below and above the eyeline 'power' shelves in supermarkets, have less packaging. For instance cereals in bags alone, rather than bags inside boxes....same with washing powder and, we are taking our own reusable bags to the checkout.

I looked at the cleaning products under the kitchen sink at home and realised how much duplicity exists there. Just washing liquid, a scouring paste, one surface polish and a bottle of methylated spirits has replaced 13 separate products and their plastic containers.

On my behalf the motivation here is space saving and limiting the amount of garbage I have to carry away everyday....the benefit to the environment is coincidental but of no lesser importance. The marketing people have created a crap filled environment...

Which brings me to my second observation....I was astounded to be informed by the management of the marina, that some cruisers/liveaboards are choosing to use their onboard heads (sans holding tanks) rather than the facilities provided ashore. Apparently the practice of allowing human, solid effluent into the waters around other's boats is not as infrequent as most responsible yotties would think. The management says this is a problem which is constantly under review by professional marina associations worldwide.

I came by this information when I went to the marina office to 'dob-in' a cruising yacht which I saw pumping pulverised poo into the pond at 7am while I was walking ashore to dump the daily garbage collection. The yacht in question was just 80 paces from 'le bog'.....

Cheers. David.

"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!

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Old 11-07-2007, 02:07 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Home Port: Washington DC
Vessel Name: SV Mahdee
Posts: 3,236

Because we realized that sodas are important to us and that they take up a lot of room--and lugging--we purchased a CO2 cylinder to make our own at home. We re-use 2 liter bottles (using a cap fitted with a tire pressure fitting to fill them) and our own water. You must use cold water when filling and you can add flavors, dispense into smaller bottles, etc. Its very cost effective too--about $0.05/2 liter bottle to fill with the CO2. There are many recipes for things that taste like cola, 7up, Dr Pepper, etc. We just add a little citrus juice or drink the "bubbly water" straight since its the bubbles we crave.

Where we were once lugging home all those plastic bottles, we now only purchase a new 2 liter bottle with soda when we need a new plastic container to make our own! It costs about $20/ 20 lbs of CO2 and that lasts for several hundred (yes, hundreds) of 2 liter bottles.

Cheaper and no more trash!

"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

What we're doing - The sailing life aboard and the Schooner Chandlery.

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Old 12-04-2007, 09:57 PM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 27

When we went cruising up Qld coast this year, garbage was a big consideration for us right from the outset. Every item purchased at the supermarket was scrutinised for its packaging and effectiveness.

We also found it much easier for storage and garbage maintenance if we "unpackaged" everything prior to taking it onto the boat. This allowed us to dump the waste ashore prior to setting sail and also reduced the likely hood of getting cockroaches onboard, a problem that we do not have at the moment.

It does look a little unusual unwrapping all of your new items and shopping on the dinghy wharf at the local yacht club prior to jumping into the tender and making your way out to the boat.
Leaving Footprints.... Taking Memories

"Man cannot discover new oceans until he has the courage to loose sight of the shore"
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Old 12-13-2007, 05:50 PM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 12

Originally Posted by Footprints View Post
It does look a little unusual unwrapping all of your new items and shopping on the dinghy wharf at the local yacht club prior to jumping into the tender and making your way out to the boat.
We try to do it immediately after the cash desk in the supermarket. It lightens the load carried back to the boat, and loads up the supermarket's trash containers instead of the marina's.
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Old 12-14-2007, 02:01 PM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 396

We repackage nearly everything. As mentioned the bags out of the cereal boxes, and the cereal into a tupperware container. Nearly all shelf items are in glass, or tupperware containers. What plastics we do take we clean, and sometimes reuse, or cut into small pieces, and repackage to throw away later.

As far as meats we take them back to the boat, and repackage them in ziplocks using sheets of waxpaper to seperate items. While in St. Maarten on the Dutch side the large grocery at the circle vacuum packed all of our meats at the store, and they had a van to get us back to the boat. We also mentioned we were cruisers and got a couple of % discount. You can believe we told everyone about this store. They were brand new at the time.

We drink very few soft drinks, and myself practically zero. I use Wal-Mart's brand of Crystal-lite. It says it makes a quart, but I make a gallon.
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:05 PM   #6
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 129

As everybody has mentioned live-aboards usually end up with a museum quality collection of plastic sealable containers in every possible size and configuration. Everything from the grocery and other stores that is in cardboard or paper packaging gets put into plastic containers and the cardboard and paper promptly removed from the boat (make that immediately removed - the glue that is used to hold the cardboard cartons together is laced with mega amounts of cockroach eggs).

At the grocery store we only accept the thin plastic bags - absolutely no paper grocery bags.

Tuperware, Rubbermaid, and generic sealable plastic containers are the answer to storing food and keeping salt air away. Meats and such stuff is removed from the store packaging and put into ziplocks type baggies in "portion" sizes. For a meal you just remove the desired ziplock bag and defrost.

Veggies are more of a complication especially on long voyages. In the "health-food" / "co-op" type food stores you can find the "green sacks" (Ever-Fresh) which are green colored plastic baggies that have a chemical to retards spoilage of veggies. You can usually double or triple the shelf life of a veggie by using the green sacks. And all veggies and fruits that are hard skinned get immersed in a bucket of chlorine(bleach) and water for 5 minutes to kill all the surface mold and other critters. That doubles and triples the shelf life of those foods.
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Old 12-02-2011, 03:04 AM   #7
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 15

We definitely give for granted on firm land the easiness of just being able to put the garbage in the containers and put them out on the curb for the trucks to pick it up. Many times garbage is the last thing one thinks of as something to prepare.

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