With more people hitting the road to explore Australia’s remote beauty, keeping these destinations clean and open for all to explore is more important than ever. One organisation that is dedicated to keeping Australia beautiful for future generations is Outback Cleanups Australia. We caught up with Boe, their founder, to find out more about OCA and what every traveller can do to keep Australia beautiful.
Tells us a bit about Outback Cleanups Australia and how it all started.
I’d been planning and working toward to travel full time since 5th grade in school. After a near death experience involving a roller door spring and a chisel, I decided to take my Troopy into the bush finally. I was shocked at the amount of rubbish, and that led to founding OCA. I saw the need for a non-profit organisation to help tackle this problem and keep Australia beautiful and accessible to all.
OCA was founded in 2019 to combat the rising level of rubbish pollution across beach, bush and marine environments around Australia, including 4WD tracks, conservation parks and state forests. These areas are frequently being closed as the rubbish pollution is becoming an unmanageable job for rangers and part time volunteers.
How do you guys go about cleaning up Australia?
One piece at a time! We collect it in one of our OCA sacks, weigh it, pour it on a tarp and sort through it. We categorise and data log all the rubbish we find before taking it to the correct waste facilities to be correctly disposed of.
Power is critical for keeping you guys going in some of Australia’s most remote destinations, what products do you use to keep you going off-grid?
For power in our Troopy we run a REDARC BCDC1240D in-vehicle battery charger to keep our deep cycle batteries charged through solar and vehicle alternator power and a 1500W pure sine wave inverter to keep our Makita tool batteries charged for work and repairs on the road. For solar power, we use a solar blanket. We generally travel with a boat on top, so a mounted panel wasn’t an option. We’ve also got the Tow-Pro Elite in the cab as we travel with a trailer.
How is this system working for your travels?
REDARC products play a critical part in our clean-up operations around the country. Our REDARC system is the real McCoy. Time and time again it keeps all our 12v gear topped up so we can just pull up to camp and the fridge and all our other accessories are working. They deliver premium performance to all our vehicle accessories. We chose REDARC for reliability to ensure we can get the job done and keep travelling safely.
What are your top tips for people looking to travel sustainably?
We always suggest carrying bulk water, so you don’t need to buy plastic bottles. Running a good solar setup is also a great idea so you don’t need to run your car as frequently to charge your batteries.
How can people leave their campsites and destinations better than they find them?
Avoid taking anything in that you don’t need in the first place, for example opt for cans over glass bottles to avoid glass being broken and bottle tops being tossed and lost. Always throw cigarette butts in the bin. Take reusable gear and avoid disposing of everything in a big plastic rubbish bag that animals can potentially get into and make a mess. Taking just a little time to clean up and leave the site better than you found it makes all the difference.
What simple things can people do to reduce their waste while camping?
Take less packaging away in the first place to avoid it blowing away or getting lost. Bring a compost bin, we had a little one in our drawer and all our fruit and veggie scraps go in there, and then in the compost or green bin when we get home. Always lower your tyre pressure and follow others’ tracks to reduce track damage and environmental impact.
How can people go about learning more or volunteering to help Outback Cleanups Australia?
On your next outing, grab an OCA sack or reusable bag, take some PPE and pick up some rubbish. Sort it out when you get home, enter it into the beach-bush-marine data sheet available on our website and dispose of it responsibly. If you’re after more information or to donate you can check out our website, outbackcleanupsaustralia.com, or follow us on socials.
REDARC has been proudly supporting OCA for their last few vehicle builds. Supporting environmental causes is extremely important to REDARC, and OCA are one of the many community causes REDARC are proud to help support.