Plastic Free Adventures
Provisioning for a plastic-free and low waste kayak trip is definitely a challenge! We gave it our best shot.
Every piece of marine debris we collect along our coast comes from an item that has been used and discarded as waste. We collect marine debris and litter off our beaches to keep our oceans healthy, the last thing we want to do as we sail the coast, kayak or head off on surf trips is add to the problem by creating more waste.
When we sailed the West Australian Coast last year we provisioned plastic free and as low waste as we could. We learned a lot from that voyage and gathered some new skills to help make plastic free adventures a little bit easier.
Taking on a 6-week kayak voyage and provisioning low waste and plastic free for four people is the challenge that we are now taking on. We are headed off on a citizen science project called ‘A Salty Voyage – Ningaloo Reef’. We will be remote camping and kayaking and will need to be self-sufficient for the majority of the trip. We are taking on the challenge to keep our voyage low waste and single-use plastic free.
We will have limited space, limited funds, and limited chances to reprovision… But with some of the skills we learned from sailing the coast last year, we are taking it on, with creativity and flexibility. I know we can make it happen.
Below are a few of the ways we are going about this and along the way we will be sharing how we went with meals and snacks and where challenges pop up.
- Plan and Prep
Think of the meals, snacks, and drinks you want to have during your trip. Make a list of what you like to eat and start brainstorming how you are going to buy them and store them single-use plastic free.
We used a lot of reusable and durable containers to store food we bought in bulk. We were able to cover about 90% of the food we provisioned this way.
2. Be open to eating differently
Having instant meals is a convenience and that doesn’t exactly fit into the low waste adventure. Instant noodles might be a go-to meal for camping, but you can come up with lots of simple and easy recipes that can replace instant packaged meals.
Start by looking at what ingredients you can access from a local wholefood or bulk store. From there come up with some meal ideas. Here is a sample menu that we are using on our kayak voyage along the Ningaloo Reef.
Homemade Museli ( tasty and really easy to make from bulk ingredients)
Porridge with nuts and seeds
Pancakes ( savory and sweet)
Lunch: (on action days these are made in advance)
Stir Fry Veggies with Quinoa or Cous Cous
Leftover special ( from a big dinner the night before)
Easy frypan bread sandwiches ( will share this one soon!)
Snack platter with nuts, seeds, veggies, cheese etc.
Veggie curry with spice mix and rice
Veggie stew with lots of long life veggies (pumpkin, Sweet potatoes, etc).
Trail mix, Roasted nuts, and seeds, Fruit, Popcorn. Homemade muesli bars
These are just a few ideas that we provisioned for and each an everything on this menu was single-use plastic free. By having lots of ingredients you can always be more creative during your voyage when you have more time to create interesting meals. When in doubt, you can always google camping meal ideas and come up with plenty of new recipes.
- Do what you can.
Low waste adventures are a process, you may not nail it the first time, but by giving it a go, you can make improvements for the next time you head out on a trip. We live in a very eco-conscious city and we have access to plenty of wholefood and bulk stores with a great variety of ingredients. This makes plastic free provisioning possible for us. If you have limited access to these types of stores, you can try online (but know that it usually come with lots of packaging) or you can try buying in bigger packages rather than smaller packages.
As we travel into more remote communities of Western Australia our provisioning options for low waste get harder and harder. But we can still choose better. For example, if we need milk, instead of UHT long life cartons, we buy one bag of milk powder and mix it ourselves. It equals less waste overall. Doing what we can.
The most important thing is not to get overwhelmed and give up. There are solutions and ways you can make things yourself, or buy in glass or paper rather than plastic. Stick with it and know that every positive choice you make is one step in the right direction and it all adds up.
- Monitor the waste you create
Keep track of the waste you create. Hold on to it until the end of your voyage and then go through and write down what waste you’ve collected. This gives you a good starting point for your next trip of trying to find those items plastic free or even going without them.
An example: Cheese. We bought big blocks of cheese that had plastic wrapping. We also bought a big wheel of waxed cheese, this worked well and even having cheese from a deli in a container can also work. Next time we will provision cheese only that way.
5. Get Creative
We had lots of food, but storage was always the challenge. So we asked around locally on Facebook and were given reusable 2L yogurt containers with tight lids where we could store our bulk goods.
Some things I made as we went along the trip like museli, trail mix, and cliff bars.
I had all the ingredients in bulk and made them as we ran out.
Another way to provision for your next adventure where you can’t do as much cooking as you go is to dehydrate meals and package them in containers. All you do is add water and cook. We did this on our sailing trip for rough weather passages and had a few of these meals ready for this voyage.
Just remember, it’s a challenge to provision for low waste adventures, but it is totally doable.
Give it a go next time you head out camping, hiking, kayaking or sailing!
We will keep you updated as we go to see what works for us and what doesn’t during our 6-week adventure.
For our Oceans,
Base and Jamie
and the Salty Voyage Team
Next… Meet the Salty Crew and amazing Supporters that helped make this expedition happen – Read More Here