Packing for the Caribbean with Zero Waste in Mind

After floating a lot of ideas around about how to make this challenge a reality, it’s time to start packing. I’m using The Boy Scouts of America’s motto as I go–BE PREPARED. (My best friend, Kyle Dean, Eagle Scout, would be proud.) This is what makes me a meticulous and amazing packer…but also what causes me to spend hours doing so.

I figure this motto is the name of the packing game. My partner (J) and I must be constantly armed with all the reusable products that everyone will try to give us as well as the things that we might commonly use around the house. For example, we will need:

  • Stainless steel water bottles
  • Reusable cup/mug (for specialty drinks like coffee)
  • “plate lunch” type of Tupperware container, that we can have for leftovers OR for some of our favorite island food that is always served in Styrofoam.
  • Bamboo Utensils
  • Cloth Napkins
  • Cloth “Paper” Towels
  • Cloth tissues (J doesn’t use these, but I do)
  • Water filter (to make buying water obsolete)

So, we are now fully equipped with all these items. (Thanks Mom, for all the sewing. The napkins were made out of fabric we already had and the tissues from old t–shirts. Thanks Kyle Dean for Christmas present this year of a roll of reusable cloth “paper” towels. Note to self, take sewing class and learn to sew 2015.)

I noticed myself doing a little bit of cheating as I packed. Unwrap that now so I don’t have to dispose of the packaging on island. Some of this was a good idea–meaning, the packaging that was recyclable in Arkansas. Other things were just cheating, because no where is the plastic that encompasses a new jar recyclable. I also bought a few bags of chips in Arkansas, thinking I love chips and I won’t be able to have them in St. Thomas because chip bags aren’t recyclable. But they also aren’t recycled in Arkansas! Meaning I really shouldn’t have them there either. Depressing. Remember when Sun Chips tried making their bags compostable? I loved this idea but the reality was a bag that was SUPER LOUD. So I don’t know how long those stayed around because I’m not sure they were good for their business financially. But great idea and we need more of this stuff happening!

So, step one: Be Prepared.

Step two: Get ready to implement the #1 rule to live by, REFUSE.

Here we go!!!!!!





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