Reducing waste with bushwalk foods

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Reducing waste with bushwalk foods

Postby Neo » Tue 08 May, 2018 12:45 pm

G'day

Only been in the game for a short while (many here have been out walking since before I was a twinkle in the eye, yet I'm early 40's!) and I was quick to notice the amount of extra plastic waste that can be created by repackaging and in the pursuit to reduce weight on the food side of things.

Who has some good tips?

Here is one of mine, gleaned from a friend. I don't have 240V so using a dehydrator is not an option:

*Plastic jars. I put a muesli and milk powder in a jar. Just add water and shake for breakfast. OK for 2-3 brekkies. Also use one for biscuits, this pic is two Kingston's and 11 wafers. Nutritional value is close to most muesli bars and so much cheaper.

Rinse and re-use next walk.

Cheers
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Aldi Aus Organic honey jar
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Re: Reducing waste with bushwalk foods

Postby Mark F » Tue 08 May, 2018 2:25 pm

Like you I mix my muesli and powered milk in a single ziplock bag and empty it into a screwtop container before adding water- cup muesli + 1/3 cup powdered milk - add 1 cup water and stir. I portion control almost everything - generally in to ziplock bags, so no food waste. As far as the packaging goes, as long as the ziplock bag only contains dry ingredients then the bags are easily reused several times usually with the same ingredients. One ziplock bag becomes the garbage bag each trip and may be discarded when I return home if it is oily or wet. I usually keep biscuits in their original cardboard carton. My oil container just gets topped up. At the shops I either buy in bulk to maximise the quantity to original packaging ratio or single serve - no extra packaging required. Things like grated parmesan I often take them in their original packaging and I take a rubber band to close it off once opened - any that makes it home just goes back into the fridge.

For day walks it is fresh ingredients in a Decor type container so no disposable packaging.
"Perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove".
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Re: Reducing waste with bushwalk foods

Postby Neo » Tue 08 May, 2018 2:32 pm

Thanks for your style input Mark.

A couple of days is easy, which is as far as my menu extends.

Was too efficient last walk with nothing to use for rubbish, sacrificed a TP ziplock.
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Re: Reducing waste with bushwalk foods

Postby Lamont » Tue 08 May, 2018 2:38 pm

Hi, I am not sure. Are you saying you mix up the muesli with milk powder than add to another container and add water then eat ? I just add water to the zip lock and eat straight from it and wash it when I get home. Do you have to have an extra plastic jar/container? Does this make things easier?
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Re: Reducing waste with bushwalk foods

Postby Neo » Tue 08 May, 2018 2:46 pm

Plastic jar (maybe 20-30g) add water and shake, eat from jar, can then use it as a bin. Re-use 100 times...
Ziplocks can be reused yet I think most of them get ditched to the trash aka landfill 10,000 yrs.
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Re: Reducing waste with bushwalk foods

Postby Lamont » Tue 08 May, 2018 2:52 pm

Sorry, but what do you carry the muesli mix in, before it goes in the jars, is it another plastic jar container? Not sure what you mean by ok for 2-3 brekkies?
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Re: Reducing waste with bushwalk foods

Postby Neo » Tue 08 May, 2018 3:00 pm

Ok.
I save a plastic jar from honey or whatever, wash and dry it.
When packing food, put a portion of cereal of your choice and a few spoons of milk powder in that jar.

In the morning at camp add a bit of water, hot or cold. Shake the jar and you have milky cereal to eat. From the jar. Carried in the jar...
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Re: Reducing waste with bushwalk foods

Postby Neo » Tue 08 May, 2018 3:04 pm

Here is a simulated before (left) and after (right) shot.
Rinse after use.
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Re: Reducing waste with bushwalk foods

Postby Lamont » Tue 08 May, 2018 3:18 pm

Yep, got you.
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Re: Reducing waste with bushwalk foods

Postby Neo » Tue 08 May, 2018 3:23 pm

Look out, I pulled out the scales. Anything not moving might get weighed!

Beechworth honey jar 36g. (narrow)
Aldi organic honey jar 41g. (wider)
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Re: Reducing waste with bushwalk foods

Postby Neo » Tue 08 May, 2018 3:25 pm

Standard urine specimen jar 10g.

Kraft/Bega 780g plastic jar 53g.
(saved for a future two meals pre chopped fresh veg).
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Re: Reducing waste with bushwalk foods

Postby Warin » Tue 08 May, 2018 5:01 pm

Aldi peanut butter jar - 500 g container. 44 g weight.

Cannot compare different containers weight unless you know how much they can contain.
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Re: Reducing waste with bushwalk foods

Postby Orion » Wed 09 May, 2018 1:37 am

I find that while bushwalking I produce less plastic waste, consume less fuel, and use less water than when I'm not bushwalking. And by a large margin. So in my mind the emphasis ought to be on how to conserve the rest of the time, particularly since that's most of the time for me.

That said, I find jars problematic because of their bulk and weight. One is okay. I use a plastic 0.5L measuring cup as a food bowl, drinking cup, and as a water gatherer. The way I try to reduce plastic bags is to combine things. Instead of each meal or one meal's worth of an ingredient per bag I fill the bags full and portion stuff out. And with food like cereal I often use a large produce bag. They are thinner plastic and will hold several liters worth of food. It helps to eat simply, with a minimum of variety, when the goal is minimal packaging.
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Re: Reducing waste with bushwalk foods

Postby Nuts » Wed 09 May, 2018 9:53 am

Neo your jar of wafers does look inviting.
Have you considered solar dehydrating? there are lots of simple structure ideas to use the sun for dehy, at least for vegies, especially living in that warmer climate. Also bulk buys and from bulk bins at wholefoods places reduces the initial packaging. Can you dig a pantry storage/ cellar'? :)
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Re: Reducing waste with bushwalk foods

Postby Neo » Wed 09 May, 2018 7:14 pm

Yeah its a bit tricky with no fridge, not able to portion out of larger containers.

I'll check out some wholefoods stores. Have heard you can buy dehydrated ingredients at some.

Other trick is where to keep bulk purchases. I might have to be like a bushranger and have a secret booty spot!
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Re: Reducing waste with bushwalk foods

Postby Moondog55 » Thu 10 May, 2018 8:18 am

If you use a wood fire then the old methods work well because the packaging becomes your fire starter.
Small brown paper bag for the food, wrapped in wax paper then more paper which got dipped in melted wax.
It is a robust and waterproof solution over the span of weeks [ perhaps years] but it is much heavier than reusable glad bags
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Reducing waste with bushwalk foods

Postby Drew » Sun 20 May, 2018 7:18 pm

We tend to use a lot of zip lock bags for hiking food these days as they are so convenient but I do feel guilty about it. However we reuse them multiple times and when they're no longer useful we add them to our soft plastics collection which is taken to Coles for recycling every now and again. It's incredible how much soft plastic we accumulate despite trying quite hard to avoid them. Bring on some serious regulation and some vegetable based alternatives!
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Re: Reducing waste with bushwalk foods

Postby andrewa » Sun 20 May, 2018 9:33 pm

Orion wrote:I find that while bushwalking I produce less plastic waste, consume less fuel, and use less water than when I'm not bushwalking. And by a large margin. So in my mind the emphasis ought to be on how to conserve the rest of the time, particularly since that's most of the time for me.

That said, I find jars problematic because of their bulk and weight. One is okay. I use a plastic 0.5L measuring cup as a food bowl, drinking cup, and as a water gatherer. The way I try to reduce plastic bags is to combine things. Instead of each meal or one meal's worth of an ingredient per bag I fill the bags full and portion stuff out. And with food like cereal I often use a large produce bag. They are thinner plastic and will hold several liters worth of food. It helps to eat simply, with a minimum of variety, when the goal is minimal packaging.


Yes, like you, we tend to "bulk pack and decant",eg rather than putting muesli and milk powder in single day zip locks, I'll just take a big bag of muesli and a zip lock with however many days of milk powder in it - based on 2 spoonfuls per day. Each day we remove predetermined amount of muesli, 2 spoonfuls of milk powder, add water and eat ( in our favoured eating bowl). Only 2 bags used for 2-10 days.

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Re: Reducing waste with bushwalk foods

Postby Neo » Sun 17 Jun, 2018 12:40 pm

Preparing for a 4 nighter. Trying the large plastic peanutbutter jar, pre chopped two carrots and a head of brocolli.

Most of the items come in plastic, reeeally notice nowdays :(

Taking a cucumber as is, half a Savoy cabbage already wrapped, an onion au-natural. Some tomatoes, may chop and put in a honey jar as mentioned above, although they get eaten in the first two days so will probably survive.

Went for a cooked chook, will take the main meat/boobs in the freezer bag I bought the brocolli in.
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Re: Reducing waste with bushwalk foods

Postby north-north-west » Sun 17 Jun, 2018 1:11 pm

Neo wrote:...will take the main meat/boobs in the freezer bag I bought the brocolli in.

:shock:

I'm laughing too much to work out what you meant to type there. Whatever it was, please don't edit it.
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Re: Reducing waste with bushwalk foods

Postby Neo » Sun 17 Jun, 2018 2:43 pm

NNW I always say chookboob not chicken breast.

An old mate says 'poo tickets' not TP. Think about it! Makes me laugh every time I use it :)
(shopping lists)
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Re: Reducing waste with bushwalk foods

Postby keithy » Tue 19 Jun, 2018 9:33 pm

This is one thing I've been trying to cut down on - my plastic waste while bushwalking.

I found some reusable silicone seal bags in Singapore earlier in the year. They work great and seals air tight, but there is a weight impost. Mine has 1L capacity, so doesn't compare favourably with a single disposble ziplock bag (4g ziplock bag vs this reuseable silicone bag at 130g). They are these ones https://www.amazon.com/BEEHOME-Reusable ... B01MYRWIBV

I'm using it at home for freezing things that I would normally have used freezer bags for. And I find if I squeeze the air out before sliding the top lock on, there's no freezer burn like I get with freezer bags.
Reusable-Silicone-.jpg
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There's also been another reusable silicone product called Stasher bags https://www.stasherbag.com, but they were quite expensive in Australia. A mate of mine should be coming from the States later in the year so I'll get them to go to Target for me before coming. https://www.target.com/p/stasher-precis ... A-52598383

I don't know how much that large 32oz (900ml) one weighs, but their medium 7" sized 15oz 425ml one weighs around 115g, so again a weight impost. And it can be used in sousvide cooking as well - to reduce more plastic at home.
IMG_20180619_212133.jpg


There is another reuseable zip lock bag that is made in the states I've been looking at - the (re)zip bags. https://rezip.com/ Again in Target US https://www.target.com/p/re-zip-174-lea ... A-52070579

Unlike the silicone ones however, these are made of FDA-grade PEVA material. Reviews have been mainly good, and I think the weight is lighter than the silicone ones, but not being silicone, it can stain and might not be as easy to clean - and a few people mention the seal not working as well as it should.
rezip.jpg
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For day walks I've gone old school and made some bees wax cotton sheets for wrapping sandwiches for the day so I do without the ziplock bag I normally would have used.
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Re: Reducing waste with bushwalk foods

Postby jobell » Fri 22 Jun, 2018 9:51 pm

This is something I have been thinking about lately as I seem to use a lot more plastic packaging for my walking foods than I do in my everyday. Thanks for the ideas - I will definitely look at the bulk packaging idea for things like my porridge on my shorter walks. My problem is for my longer walks I tend to pre-prepare a lot of meals at once - as in, 50 plus, at a time and I vacuum seal them to get them to stay fresh and last until I need them. I use very small freezer bags to separate out the finer ingredients that won't agree with my vacuum sealer and seal those with the rest of the ingredients in vacuum sealer bags but.... there's an awful lot of plastic there. :(
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Re: Reducing waste with bushwalk foods

Postby wildwanderer » Sat 23 Jun, 2018 8:38 pm

Seems everybody is thinking about this.

Came back from a 3 day trip a week ago and I had about 60-80 grams of rubbish. One medium size ziplock completely full of all the other rubbish :(

So still have a lot to improve on but so far Ive:

I used to have all my food divided by meals. (in seperate ziplocks)
Solution - Now I have one ziplock per day.
Issues - food gets crushed more easily and I ended up with squashed baby tomato and sticky juice inside one days bag.
Messy food is still a problem eg Dinner, I usually need a seperate ziplock for each dinner.

Salami? I buy it preplastic wrapped and was wondering once its take out of its wrapper how long it will keep for ?
Answer -Read on Choice.com.au that once its out of the wrapper or cut into bad things happen :(

Other big problem for me is muesli bars. (from a waste weight/space perspective) I love them and go through a ton each walk,
Solution: Experimenting with putting a days supply in a single ziplock and then a master ziplock with the rest. This will eliminate all the individual bar wrappers I need to carry out (of course doesnt do squat for the enviroment, its actually worse)
Issues" Though.. I dont like idea of using my grubby mid walk hands on the bars.Not sure if its risky from a food poisoning persepetive? The individual packaging provided a bit of protection.

I was planning to use paper bags but I read that producing paper bags is a massive enviromental no no.
Link http://www.allaboutbags.ca/papervplastic.html
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Re: Reducing waste with bushwalk foods

Postby Gadgetgeek » Sun 24 Jun, 2018 8:24 am

Salami is a tough one. I'm comfortable with it for a few days as the block. Longer if its had time to dry out a bit. In fact I'd prefer it as a block to pre-sliced.

Ultimately any wrapper will come with a cost, either at production or at end of life. So the best you can do is total up the cost and see which is lowest overall. I get that paper has a high production cost, but I would suspect that overall the cost is still lower than plastic, considering the entire life of the product. I don't know if you noticed the very bottom line of that bags website. Canadian Plastics Industry Association. Not saying who's right or wrong, I have no idea, but they may have a bias.

for your granola bars, could you make them yourself, and make them into more of a ball, or cluster? that would sort a couple problems packaging-wise. a little alco-gel or a bit of a hand wash should cover you pretty well, unless it is really unsanitary where you are walking! Food poisoning, or other illness from your hands is pretty hard to get, unless your toilet habits are on the other side of rustic.
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Re: Reducing waste with bushwalk foods

Postby Neo » Sun 24 Jun, 2018 8:46 am

The plastic jars worked pretty well. Had tomatoes cut in half in one and used one to shake up coconut milk powder.

I've been liking the Macro natural mixed nuts from woolies with some added chocolate bits. They come in a tough zip package that could be reused next walk. Another one in a reuseable bag is dried pineapple from coles.

So far I'm having some success in not adding more waste.
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