Thursday, April 22, 2010


Chip and I both have tree hugger tendencies, not in a tree hugging way but more in a reduce, reuse, recycle way -- except for hating that song. (THAT sentence could use some editing.) One of the things that attracted us to sailing was the potential to go mostly off the grid. 

We'll use some diesel fuel when we can't sail. We'll fill up our water tank until we install a watermaker that converts salt water to fresh. We'll use propane to cook. After that, we're on our own.

Reduce is not so much a concept as a constant awareness. The second I started filling the water tanks myself -- with a hose -- and monitoring usage on a gauge, I became much more aware of my slovenly water habits. I no longer let the water run like a Bernini fountain. I wet my hands, turn it off, lather and turn it on for a quick rinse.

When we're not plugged in at a dock (which we won't be when we're cruising full time) we rely on batteries that have to be recharged from either running the engine or using solar panels. That too can be monitored, including our current amp usage. No more blow dryers, no more leaving lights on when not absolutely necessary. No more microwave, TV or toaster. We now have a hand-crank coffee grinder and  a hand-crank blender. All other kitchen gadgetry is gone. And, you know what? I don't miss it at all.

We now have to search out places to dispose of trash, which makes me more careful about producing it. No more paper napkins. The same fate awaits the paper towels when we leave land.

Soon we'll even abandon those carbon-emitting cars and fly on the wind.

Happy Earth Day, Earth!

No comments: