Day 349: What Do You Do on a Family Vacation?

beach familyThis weekend, we went to the seaside for Grant’s annual family weekend get-together.  I started the weekend by smashing a homemade jar of jam on the kitchen floor in my haste to get out the door; I celebrated the  midpoint by dropping a mug on the tile floor of our rented cottage; but I rounded up by toting three bags of compost home on my bicycle.

Do you think the landfill waste diverted by the latter make up for the former?

beach volleyball

That's Grant trying to steal my glory

Seriously though, we played volleyball on the beach, celebrated 3 birthdays, spent a good chunk of time eating and drinking, and (as a group) made quite a bit of garbage.

So what are you to when you are trying to be a zero waste purist while balancing the need not a) preach to your loved ones and b) make family gatherings any more hectic than they already are?

What we did in the end for our unit was allocate meals to different couples -Grant and I did two lunches and one dinner, and we kind of pooled what we had for breakfasts.  That way, G and I could make sure our groceries were package-free without cramping the style of anyone else (or needlessly guilt-tripping).

shopping trailer

grocery shopping directly into the bike trailer

It actually worked out quite well.  The Vancouver Island shops accommodated us with cheese, chicken, and spot prawns in our own containers at three different establishments.  They didn’t even question us when we filmed it all in the grocery store (that just does not happen in the city where you pull out a video camera and get shut down in about 30 seconds).

I planned ahead and baked cookies and crackers.  We made pizza straight on the BBQ for our assigned dinner (who knew you could even do that! -thanks for the tip Nick)

There were a few mumblings about “what would Jen and Grant think” when the paper birthday cake plates were pulled out, but we honestly didn’t say a thing (we quietly used ceramic ones out of the cupboard), and I assure you that all guilty consciences were completely self-imposed.

The only thing we ‘interfered’ with was the compost.  I simply can’t stand to watch good kitchen scraps be wasted in the landfill.  So we packed up everything from our communal kitchen and toted it home for a happy ending in the backyard composter.  Once you cycle 35 kms and take a ferry ride with a bicycle trailer full of kitchen scraps, you know you’re converted.



Filed under composting, no waste on the road

4 responses to “Day 349: What Do You Do on a Family Vacation?

  1. You guys rock! I feel so wasteful. Conversion beginning….

  2. Monica

    So here I was thinking we were doing well by bringing our mugs and napkins (to save the muffin bag – thanks No Impact Man!) and containers for takeout sushi (they call us The Container People).

    But bringing your own containers for meat and cheese? Five stars to you clean binners! And, um, why didn’t I think of that? I’m embarrassed. If I can get our local deli and fishmonger on board, I’m officially opting out of supermarkets.

    Food packaging should be BC’s next takeback program. We’d have to build in economic incentives to encourage consumers to bring in their own packaging, of course, plus give companies incentives to cut down on single-use packaging.

    Monica (the garbage critic)

  3. Layla

    WOW!! You took the compost home!! GO you!! 🙂

    I absolutely & totally adore you guys, have I said that already?!! 🙂
    /not enough times, I’m sure!!/

    It’s really wonderful how you managed to inobtrusively ‘do your own thing’ too!! 🙂

    & I think I really need to bookmark this post for any future reference!! 🙂

    (the thing with the shopping still evades me a bit – did you & Grant buy stuff for everyone & then split the costs, or..?)

    • Thanks for the support guys. No, we didn’t buy stuff for everyone. We split up the meals so we were zero waste for our part and they could do whatever for their part. It was like we had them over for dinner and then they had us over for dinner. It’s not perfect, but that way there weren’t any arguments in the grocery store and no one felt pressured by us.

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