With limited space on board we are careful to consume and accumulate only what we really need, and it’s always a struggle to reduce the waste we produce in our daily lives. I’ve been slowly noticing what we throw away frequently and looking for alternatives. According to the EPA statistics for the year 2013 in the U.S. “On average, we recycled and composted 1.51 pounds of our individual waste generation of 4.4 pounds per person per day.” Aboard Carodon this year we recycled and composted about 75% of our quarter-pound per person per day of waste. What does this look like? We now walk up the dock with approximately one gallon bucket of compost, a gallon to five gallons of recycling (depending on how many bottled drinks are consumed on charters) and only a half of a gallon bucket of landfill-bound waste every other day- for five people living aboard and a busy charter business that’s pretty good!
If you are looking for some gifts that help reduce our impact on the earth, here are a few of the products I like that help us REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE and ROT:
Wash with soapy hot water and re-use these bags over and over and never throw away plastic baggies any more!
Buy on Amazon Prime for $14.99 HERE.
Plastic razors and blades are difficult if impossible to recycle so I took the leap and started using an old fashioned razor this year with surprisingly satisfying results. What’s even better is buying it from a company founded by sailors. Buy direct from the makers of ALBATROSS HERE.
After plastic bags, coffee cups, lids and straws are some of the most common items of plastic I see floating by so here are my favorite portable alternatives that contain NO plastic at all:
These Pura bottles come in sizes for the whole family, insulated or not, and you can use the disk caps to turn the mini one into a snack or soup cup that truly does not leak if you screw it down tight! I like that they are lightweight, grippy and fit in most side pockets on a backpack or in any cupholder. Order the small one HERE or the large insulated ones HERE.
We try to say no to plastic straws when eating out, but bringing our own works too! The kids love smoothies with these plastic-free straw spoons:
Plastic toothbrushes also have an alternative now that are totally compostable:
And last but not least we buy all our bulk foods and produce from the local market with these great organic cotton washable sacks:
For the sailor on your list here are some of my favorite sailing items, tested and tried day in and day out on San Francisco Bay…
Most comfortable sailing shoes by ZHIK:
Best sailing sunglasses the polarized, anti-fogging Maui Jim WATERMAN:
Warmest down waterproof MITTENS for night watch:
Favorite navigation device (for the math-challenged):
Most often used item in the cockpit, a floating, color changing solar lantern:
Most fun for everyone, waterproof glow-in-the-dark playing cards: