Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tuesday Tips #4 - Trashy Talk

Tuesday Tips #4 - Trashy Talk

One of the biggest challenges in living on a boat is trash. If you're underway on an extended voyage, or if you're in the islands where it might be a week till you get somewhere that has trash pickup, storing your trash can be a challenge. On Kintala we've come up with a method that helps us deal with it.

  1. We deal with as much trash as possible before we leave the store parking lot or dinghy dock. We remove anything from cardboard boxes - cereal, crackers, bacon, soda - if it comes in a cardboard box it gets removed and the boxes tossed. Even in the States we bring our cart out of the store, park it right by the trash or recycling bins, and go to work. Anything that can be bought in bulk and stored in reusable containers is great - flour, sugar, oats, pasta.
  2. We transfer milk from the plastic container into quart stainless bottles. It's easier to get to the milk (which is usually on the bottom) if you're only trying to pull out a narrow quart jug instead of a full gallon jug. It also gives us the opportunity to recycle the plastic jug while we're near trash rather than carrying it with us.
  3. Anything that can be washed, dried, and squashed is then stowed in a dry trash bag - glass bottles, tin cans (flattened), aluminum cans, plastic jars and bottles, paper, cardboard. The dry bag can be stored anywhere in the boat, even on the aft berth, without fear of odor or drips.
  4. Anything organic that can go overboard does. We have a "does it float?" test. If it floats and we're at anchor or in a harbor, we don't toss it overboard. Nobody wants to be enjoying their pristine sunset vista with somebody else's salad floating by. Examples are lettuce, orange skins, egg shells. If it sinks, it goes overboard. Examples are pretty much any meat bones, some meat scraps.
Following these procedures leaves us with only the remaining food scraps that can't go over as well as coffee filters and other soiled paper and plastic - we can usually go 10-14 days on one tall kitchen can bag. I recently read an article about a woman who generates no trash. We're a long way from that, but working toward it the best we can.

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