Two years is a bit too long to be cooped up in the house. After all, composting and interior design projects can take us only so far. Luckily for both us and our endless list of in-house projects, the world is starting to open back up, and with this comes the possibility of going somewhere other than the grocery store. A great place to start would be the great outdoors – breathtaking scenic routes and an endless supply of peace.
However, before venturing off into the great green unknown, think about everything you’ll be bringing with you – will it harm the Earth in any way? Before setting off, consider making your camping trip just a little bit greener with these seven simple tips!
Treat the campsite like it’s your backyard
No, this doesn’t mean setting up a barbeque in the middle of the camp. Rather, it means collecting your trash and keeping it clean just like you would with your own garden. After all, imagine walking into a campsite that resembled a garbage dump rather than a nature reserve – it wouldn’t be the calming back-to-nature trip you were counting on, would it? Thus, always remember to leave the campsite just a bit better and cleaner than you found it. That way, some first-time campers that come after you will have the chance to fall in love with nature and learn to appreciate it even more. Just keep one thing in mind when cleaning – even biodegradable trash is trash, so dispose of everything properly!
Keep toxins to a minimum
A camping trip doesn’t have to last only one night. It can go on even for an entire week with the right group. However, if you’re planning on camping for more than a day or two, chances are you’ll need to shower and do some washing at one point or another. While showering in the stream is a camping must, make sure to use biodegradable soap – there’s really no good reason for polluting our rivers any further. Another eco-friendly must here would be bringing reusable plates and cups on the trip. This will both minimize waste and give your silverware a sentimental meaning.
Bringing the right gear
Even though the camping crew is an important part of the trip, there’s little you can do without the right gear. After all, a heartfelt campfire song won’t work as well as bug repellent once the mosquitos start swarming in. Thus, before throwing your bag in the trunk, double-check the essentials. For one, make sure you’ve packed enough bug repellent to go around. To keep with the green initiative, use insect sprays based on natural repellents rather than toxins. Another must is quality OTF knives. While chances are you won’t be fighting a bear, these knives will come in handy for everything from cutting rope to cleaning fish for dinner.
Opt for an eco-friendly tent
Every well-versed camper knows that tents are a camping must. While sleeping under the stars may sound like fun the first time around, a well-put-together tent is what keeps you dry during summer storms. Alongside being the most practical item on the trip, your tent can become the eco-friendliest one as well. Its greenness comes down to three factors – the tent, floor, and fly. When choosing an environmentally conscious tent, it’s important to find one with solvent-free polyurethane coating. A lack of toxic dyes will only be a bonus. For more experienced campers, there’s always the option of hanging tents. This works wonders when the ground is too soggy or cold for a good night’s sleep.
Embrace solar-powered lamps
A lamp is something that has to be on top of every camping list. However, more often than not, it takes up more room than anyone could have anticipated. It appears that this bothered someone so much that they came up with a solution in the form of collapsible and portable solar-powered lamps. Alongside being easy to pack, these lamps soak up the sun during the day and keep your campsite well-lit during the night. All you need to do is hang them on a tree branch in the morning – no batteries necessary!
Green foods and green containers
Packing the right food is crucial for any successful camping trip. The balance between junk food and leafy greens should be just right. However, alongside what you pack, it’s also important what you pack it in. When thinking of containers, think of something unbreakable, spill-resistant, and yet compact enough to fit into the trunk. Additionally, aim for containers without BPA or phthalates, as these can easily leak into your food. Last but not least, just like cutlery, camping containers should be reusable. Although a pre-packed dish in a cardboard container is everyone’s first choice, it creates unnecessary waste. Thus, plan and pack responsibly.
Conscious water bottles
Now that the food is taken care of, it’s time to dive into the issue of eco-friendly water bottles. Even though they may be an initial investment, they’ll pay off in the long run. Unfortunately, more often than not, campers drag a pack of plastic water bottles with them to the campsite. When an entire group does this, the amount of plastic waste skyrockets. Thus, to avoid unnecessary waste, consider reusable bottles and a few preferably glass gallons of water. This way, you’ll always be able to refill and bring the waste down to a minimum.
If it wasn’t apparent before this article, there’s more to responsible hiking and eco-friendly camping than meets the eye. While keeping the campsite clean is a start, it’s by no means enough. Thus, whenever we spend time in nature, we should aim to leave it just a bit better than we found it.
Author bio: My name is Brigitte Evans and I’m a lifestyle blogger with a passion for design, culture, and health. I’m a regular writer and contributor to numerous lifestyle blogs and online magazines. I also love to travel and enjoy the great outdoors.