As I am starting to pack my family up for a week camping and long weekends on our sailing boat this summer, I am starting to think about what we are going to be eating, how we are going to be storing our food and what we can do with our left overs. Amazingly in the UK we throw away 7.0 million tones of food a year of which 4.2 million tones could of been saved or eaten. Although we do our up most to avoid food waste at any cost at home, going away enjoying being back to nature and preventing food waste becomes harder.
Over the years of planning our camping trips and recently our sailing trips away, I have nearly perfected our holiday food waste dilemma with each year becoming less waste full. When we go camping we have the luxury of taking a caravan that has a small freezer, fridge, 4 burner hob and grill/ oven. But in the sailing boat we only have a 2 burner hob, grill and 2 inbuilt cool boxes. Storage space is different too, as the caravan has lots of storage for food and our sailing boat has hardly any. But when I plan our family trips away, I treat them both the same as far as food waste is concerned.
Enjoying Back To Nature And Zero Food Waste
- Plan a menu in advance – We all know when we plan on going on holiday how long we are going to be, so planning each days meals in advance is easy to do.
- Plan at least one day on the holiday to eat out at a local child friendly restaurant, bistro etc.. – There is nothing like tasting the local food of where you are staying.
- Don’t buy everything you need in advance – By buying all the ingredients you need to create your menu in advance will highly likely cause a lot of food waste. Especially if you change your mind on what you will be eating when you get here. I usually pack around 2 / 3 days worth of ingredients, to give me time to chill out and relax before going shopping around the local area you are staying.
- Buy local – There is nothing like popping along to the local bakery to where you are staying each morning to get your bread, the local deli during the week to stock up on ham, cheese and eggs etc.. or the local farmers market for salad, meat, fruit, jams etc.. Not only does this save food wastage but you will be offered an enchanted array of choice that you would of missed out on if you have brought everything with you.
- One pot meals – When we are away the last thing I want to be doing is hovering over the cooker for hours cooking meals, let alone all the washing up that comes with it. One pot meals are easy, take less time, less washing up and saves food waste. For example, I may cook our family favorite bacon, pasta and onions one night and if there are any left overs have it cold as a salad the following day. Or I may cook bolognese (with pasta) and what ever is left over have with baked potatoes the next day. (if we are in the caravan, on the sailing boat we would have it warm with fresh crispy bread rolls and a bit of butter.) There are lots of meals you can create in one or two pots that can be reused the next day with a very slight twist so you are not eating the same meal twice.
- A filling breakfast – By dishing up a very for filling breakfast, you are less likely to go looking for a big lunch and a carrot with sunflower seed muffin would be enough instead. Our family breakfasts can be anything from an oat porridge with fresh fruit or bacon, egg and sausage (although a lot of washing up with a fry up). It doesn’t matter what you serve up as long as it fills every body’s tummy’s to the top.
- Make in advance and bring with you – A couple of days before we go away I bake some muffins, cake bars and biscuits to take with us. I then make some pasta sauce and freeze the pasta sauce in glass jars and half of my baking in glass containers. The day we leave to go camping or sailing I take out the freezer our frozen treats and pasta sauce to put in the cool boxes. They will slowly defrost during the week allowing them to keep longer while we away and reducing our food waste.
- Pack small – All our condiments, tea, coffee, sugar I place in small glass jars that can easily be stored in a small space. Not only does this save space but it also reduces any wastage of what we don’t use.
- Free food – Take part in the local food foraging events or buy a fishing licence to catch your own tea. There is nothing like going out and collecting your own fresh free food that nature provides for us. The whole family can get involved having fun collecting your next meal.
With a bit of extra thought out planning, your holiday zero food waste can be the same as at home.
What tips do you have to share that reduce food waste while camping ?