Ocean-Friendly Boat Lunches

Hurricane Michael is far offshore from Tampa but it’s spinning off storms in our direction. The clouds are passing over our house so quickly we can watch them from the window like cars driving by. I hope everyone in the Panhandle is boarded up and hunkered down. This post has been a long time coming. Go anywhere on the coast, whether out on a boat or for a walk on the beach, and you’re bound to find some litter. Since Hurricane Irma, we’ve found some very strange things in the water around Big Pine Key. But mostly, it seems like we find trash from people’s boat lunches. We can easily stop the boat 10 times a day so I can net coke cans and plastic water bottles. I’m pretty good at it. I don’t think people litter our ocean on purpose. I think it’s often a matter of loose stuff flying out of the boat while running fast. It happens. But I can’t help but think we can all do better to cut back on certain things that notoriously trash up our water, and it starts with the way we pack our lunch.
Our time in Port Alexander, Alaska taught us a few new things we’ve recently incorporated on our own trips. Those folks get all their groceries from a boat that comes once a week, and while they do have recycling they can ship out, they have to burn all the other trash generated on-site. Out of necessity, they’ve learned to cut back on disposables. They pack sandwiches in tupperware containers rather than plastic bags, and each guest uses a stainless steel water bottle with a unique sticker. There is very little trash at the end of the day. That inspired us to do a little more.We’ve always used refillable water bottles, but now we’re also using stainless containers for our sandwiches. We like our snacks, but I don’t bring bags on board (they fly out too easily). I pour bags of chips or pretzels into pop-top containers. If I feel like I really need a bag for something, I use these wax paper bags, which break down in the water much faster than plastic, just in case one gets caught by the wind.I’d love to hear about your favorite boat lunches and any tips you have to make them more ocean-friendly.

Also, my mom asks everyone to pick up one piece of trash per person on any boat trip. We do, and we think it brings us better luck fishing.

 

10 Comments Ocean-Friendly Boat Lunches

  1. Matt McGraw October 10, 2018 at 11:55 am

    Great post!

    Reply
    1. suwanneerose October 10, 2018 at 12:04 pm

      Thanks, Matt!

      Reply
  2. Dorothy October 10, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    Let’s see how much we pick up next week! Last trip I netted a ‘Playmate’ cooler! Didn’t dare open it. Just let it drain. Unfortunately it wasn’t recyclable. And too stinky to make the trip to the mainland :-/.

    Reply
    1. suwanneerose October 10, 2018 at 1:14 pm

      Ha! Anyone’s guess what was rotting in there. Remember when I found that message in a bottle on my kayak? We’ll definitely be netting up our share next week. We should do boat trash bingo.

      Reply
  3. Paula October 10, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    THANK YOU DANIELLE! Great post!

    Reply
    1. suwanneerose October 10, 2018 at 6:46 pm

      Thanks, Paula!

      Reply
  4. Nicole October 11, 2018 at 9:21 am

    We have the same experience on our boat, usually bringing home home a bag of trash we find out there. This is an opportunity to incorporate tips our mothers taught us, including using hard-sided containers, not plastic bags or pre-packaged items. I haven’t used stainless lidded containers yet, but now they’re on my list! I also like to use containers for double duty, which helps reduce the # of containers in our cooler (like packing sandwiches, carrots & cheese in one container, and crunchy snacks in another). And whenever we bring coffee on the boat, we use our 25-year old stainless thermos – no paper or styrofoam cups for us!

    Reply
    1. suwanneerose October 11, 2018 at 10:52 am

      You’re famous for your boat lunches (and breakfasts), Nicole! Thanks for those tips. The stainless containers were a bit more expensive, but I think they’ll last longer than the plastic, which seems to crack eventually. I like the doubling up idea, too. And a big thermos of coffee on the boat on a cold winter day makes me so happy.

      Reply
  5. Cheryl Bredin October 11, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    Thanks for posting this. I’m going to share it on Facebook.

    Reply
    1. suwanneerose October 11, 2018 at 3:48 pm

      Thank you so much, Cheryl!

      Reply

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