Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Reduce, Re-use, Recycle

Trash is something cruisers have to deal with daily. On HanaCrew we do the best we can to discard trash without hurting the environment. Our food waste goes overboard and feeds the fish but other trash, like paper and plastic needs to be disposed of in other ways. Since we carry this trash for days, if not weeks, to ports and throw it away on the dock we need to compact it when we are on long passages so we don't live among trash bags for days on end. To do that we’ve had to get creative. Empty plastic soda bottles and waxed juice cartons get stuffed with paper and remnant trash and voila, an on-board trash compactor is born! Everybody gets into the act. At first it was used as a disciplinary measure for the kids. Disobedient? Stuff 5 pieces of trash into a receptacle. But Henry actually thought it was cool to use a screw driver to stuff the trash into a plastic Fresca bottle. So, now it’s simply part of everyone’s day, whether we are good or not-so-good.

Water is something else we’ve had to figure out since we don’t have endless storage tanks onboard. We have two-60 gallon tanks for fresh water onboard HanaCrew. We filter the water going into the tanks and again as it comes through the galley faucet but even with conscious conservation, it runs dry after a while. As a result we have taken to making fresh water from the body of salt water that surrounds us. HanaCrew’s water maker has supplemented our cooking, bathing, and drinking water so well we can now see how it will be possible to go on longer passages without having to stop and refill the water tanks every two weeks. To help conserve water we wash our dishes and ourselves in salt water off the back of the boat where there is a very convenient step to stand or sit on while washing. Once clean, we rinse with fresh water. Pretty efficient!

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