How to make Camping Eco-Friendly
Camping can be much fun, especially if go camping with your family or with good friends. However, camping can harm our environment in many different ways.
Thus, it is crucial that we are aware of those issues and take measures to avoid an adverse impact on our planet. In this article, several ways how you can make your camping more eco-friendly are shown.
31 simple ways to make your camping experience greener
- Use camping gear made out of sustainable materials
- Eco-friendly sleeping bags
- Avoid waste
- Separate your waste
- Avoid bottled water
- Cook yourself
- Gather food
- Organic instead of conventional food
- Eco-friendly BBQ
- Use a solar cooker
- Cooking pits
- Use soap nuts
- Rely on reusable products
- Fix rather than discard things
- Cleanup challenges
- Leave your spot as you’d never been there
- Avoid single-use batteries
- Avoid chemical insect repellent
- Avoid excessive use of sunscreen
- Natural body products
- Use solar gadgets
- Reusable cups
- Reusable kitchen roll
- Use eco-friendly detergents
- Use cutting boards from organic materials
- Avoid the use of disposable cutlery and plates
- Stay on official campsites
- Do not light up a fire in the wild
- Don’t dispose of your waste into nature
- Respect the local flora and fauna
- Raise the awareness of other campers
Use camping gear made out of sustainable materials
When you go for a camping trip, you often need to buy camping gear of different sorts. This could include tents, backpacks and several other gadgets. However, most of these things are still made out of quite eco-unfriendly materials, which implies enormous levels of pollution in the long run.
Thus, it is crucial that you be aware of this issue and that you buy eco-friendly camping gear. For instance, make sure that your tent has been made out of sustainable fabrics instead of fully synthetic materials.
Also make sure that your camping gadgets have been manufactured within the framework of fair labor to make sure that workers in poor developing countries get a fair wage to be able to provide for their families.
These criteria should not only be applied when it comes to buying a tent, but should be crucial for buying decisions for all camping gadgets.
Eco-friendly sleeping bags
Also for sleeping bags, there is a variety of different versions from different materials and in many different price ranges. When it comes to buying a new sleeping bag, make sure that it is made out of organic and sustainable materials like cotton.
Moreover, make sure that fair labor requirements have been met in the production process. By doing so, you can improve your ecological footprint and you can also improve the living standards of poor people worldwide.
The production of excessive amounts of waste is a serious global problem since it implies various forms of pollution and also contributes to global warming. Thus, it is crucial that you avoid waste whenever possible, not only at camping but also back home.
Therefore, when you go on a camping trip, make sure to use as many reusable items as possible instead of things that have to be disposed into the garbage after just a single use.
Moreover, try to use as much unpackaged food as possible in order to reduce your waste production even further and therefore to improve your ecological footprint.
Separate your waste
In order to make your waste available for recycling, it is crucial that you separate your waste. This is especially important when it comes to metal waste since a high fraction of metal waste can be recycled and reused for other purposes. Thus, by separating your waste properly, you can fight the issue of resource depletion.
Moreover, make sure that you treat the different types of waste appropriately. This means taking great care when it comes to disposing of things that could be harmful to our environment.
For instance, batteries should never be disposed into the normal household trash, since they often contain quite toxic materials. Instead, you should return them to your local electronic shop when you are back home.
As you can see, there are many reasons why separating your waste in a proper manner is crucial to protect our environment. Thus, the next time when you go camping, make sure you act accordingly in order to minimize your adverse impact.
Avoid bottled water
In our nowadays society, still quite many people use bottled water while they go camping. However, bottled water leads to the production of enormous amounts of plastic waste, which in turn leads to several other issues for our planet.
In many regions, the groundwater and tap water quality is pretty good and there is actually no need to use bottled water. Thus, if you camp in those regions, use filtered tap water instead of bottled water.
As an alternative, you could also use the water from nearby creeks. Especially if you go camping in the mountains, the water from creeks is often excellent. If you are not sure about the water quality, ask official authorities if the mountain water is suitable for drinking.
By avoiding bottled water and using tap water or water from creeks, you can save significant amounts of plastic waste and therefore improve your ecological footprint while camping. This is not only true for camping, but also when you are back home.
Instead of relying on canned food, make sure to cook your own dishes. This could be a little bit of a challenge while you are camping since you will probably be confined in your cooking space and gadgets.
However, there are many simple meals which you can cook in a short period of time. For instance, grilling corn over the campfire is always pretty nice. By doing so, you can avoid the waste that is implied by canned food and therefore also save natural resources.
Another simple but quite interesting approach would be to gather your food right from nature. For instance, you could collect mushrooms or berries from nearby forests. However, make sure that you only collect food that you are 100% sure that these berries or mushrooms are eatable.
There is a number of people dying from toxic mushrooms every year. Thus, if you are not entirely sure about certain food items, don’t use them to protect yourself and your family from intoxication.
Organic instead of conventional food
Also make sure that the food you use for your camping trip comes is organic and also comes from local sources. By relying on organic food, you can be sure that the animals have been treated in a fair manner.
Moreover, by relying on local food, you can reduce greenhouse gas emissions since your food has not been transported over quite long distances by plane or ship.
Thus, by simply buying local and organic food, you can significantly improve your ecological footprint and can also set a positive example for your kids or friends.
Barbecues are a great way to spend your time while camping. However, there are many ways how BBQs can be harmful to our environment.
For example, by using conventional coal, harmful gases are emitted into our atmosphere, which leads to air pollution and also contributes to global warming.
Moreover, coal is a fossil natural resources which may become depleted in the near future. The same is true for gas.
Thus, instead of using gas or coal for your barbecue, you could switch to electric grills instead if you have a suitable power source.
Although the use of electric grills also implies certain levels of pollution, electric grills are considered to be more environmentally-friendly compared to gas or coal grills.
Use a solar cooker
Even though solar cookers are a rather exotic approach compared to conventional cookers, they can be a nice complement for your camping trip.
With the help of solar cookers, you can cook your meals in a fully green manner. However, don’t forget that these solar cookers only work when the sun is shining. Thus, you should have a conventional backup for rainy days.
A quite original and also fun way to cook is to use a cooking pit. Cooking pits have been used by native tribes to cook their meals for centuries. However, before constructing and using a cooking pit, make sure to make sure that this is allowed on your campsite in order to avoid any trouble.
Use soap nuts
For cleaning your clothes, use soap nuts instead of conventional washing powder. Soap nuts are fully organic and contain ingredients that can clean your clothes.
By using soap nuts, you can avoid the use of conventional washing powder that often contains chemicals that can be harmful to our environment.
Using organic substances for washing is especially important if you are camping in the wild and wash your clothes in rivers or lakes. Using conventional washing powder would be fatal under these circumstances since it would imply significant water pollution which could hurt many water animals and plants.
Thus, soap nuts are a pretty good alternative to conventional washing powder, especially if you go camping in almost untouched nature.
Rely on reusable products
Whenever you go camping, make sure to rely on reusable products instead of single-use items.
Disposable single-use items are quite convenient, yet the use of them implies the production of excessive amounts of unnecessary waste, which leads to several other environmental issues.
Thus, in order to improve your ecological footprint, make sure to use as many reusable products as possible.
Fix rather than discard things
Most people also do not bother about fixing things at all. They rather buy new things and dispose of their broken items into the garbage. However, this implies the production of plenty of unnecessary waste. Instead of simply disposing broken things into the garbage, try to fix them.
Sure, some items cannot be fixed anymore. But some are quite easy to fix in order to reuse them. Thus, make sure to give it a try, you will be surprised how easy fixing your things really is if you have a little bit of practice.
If you are camping in larger groups, you can also set up a cleanup challenge. You can form small teams and walk around near your campsite and collect waste to clean up the nearby environment.
The team which collected the most waste wins and gets a price. Especially for children, this could be quite much fun and also a quite valuable learning experience in order to raise their awareness of our environmental problems.
Leave your spot as you’d never been there
One main concept of eco-friendly camping is “leave no trace”. This means that whenever you go camping, make sure that you leave nothing behind when you leave the campground.
Collect all of your waste and your belongings like you have never been there so that the next camper can enjoy a clean campsite where he or she can enjoy a nice camping trip in a natural environment.
Avoid single-use batteries
The use of single-use batteries is still quite common among campers. However, it implies plenty of unnecessary metal waste.
Thus, in order to reduce these amounts of waste and also to fight resource depletion, use rechargeable batteries instead.
By simply reloading your rechargeable batteries, you can avoid serious amounts of waste and therefore improve your ecological footprint.
Avoid chemical insect repellent
In some areas, the use of insect repellent can make sense in order to protect yourself and your family from mosquitos. However, many insect repellents contain substances that can be bad not only for the environment but also for our health. Thus, instead of chemical insect repellents, try to use candles or other natural insect repellents.
Avoid excessive use of sunscreen
Especially on sunny summer days, the use of sunscreen can be quite important to protect against the sun and to avoid sunburn or skin cancer. However, many people use excessive amounts of sunscreen, which can hurt our environment.
This is especially true when it comes to swimming in lakes or rivers while camping. Ingredients in sunscreen can harm fishes and other water organisms.
Thus, in order to protect our aquatic life, you should try to use eco-friendly sunscreen instead. Moreover, if you don’t go into the water, it would also be senseful to use a hat and umbrellas to protect against the sun instead of using sunscreen.
Natural body products
Similar to sunscreen, many of our body products and also makeup contain ingredients that may be harmful to our ecosystems.
However, there are also some manufacturers which strive to produce natural body products in order to reduce the negative effects on our environment.
Thus, the next time you go camping, make sure to use natural body products and makeup in order to make your camping experience greener.
Use solar gadgets
Solar gadgets of all sorts can be a great way to generate electricity while camping, especially in summer with many sunny days. For instance, you can use solar chargers in order to charge your smartphone or other electronic devices. By doing so, you can rely on fully green power and avoid the use of conventional power to a certain extent.
Also try to use reusable cups instead of disposable cups while camping. As humanity as a whole, we use around 500 billion disposable cups each year. This vast number of disposable cups leads to excessive levels of unnecessary waste.
Thus, not only while camping, but also when you are back home or at work, try to use reusable cups and mugs instead of relying on disposable ones.
Reusable kitchen roll
Instead of using conventional kitchen roll, switch to reusable kitchen roll instead. By doing so, you can save plenty of paper waste since you can simply wash your reusable kitchen roll instead of disposing it into the trash bin after just a single use.
Use eco-friendly detergents
When it comes to cleaning while camping, you should rely on natural detergents rather than on conventional ones since conventional detergents often contain chemicals that can be harmful to our environment.
You can order eco-friendly detergents conveniently over the internet. You can also use it not only for camping, but also in your daily life to improve your environmental footprint.
Use cutting boards from organic materials
Cutting boards are a simple and convenient way to cut your food. However, instead of using plastic versions like many people still do, use cutting boards made out of organic materials like instead.
For instance, bamboo is the perfect material for cutting boards since it is organic, sustainable and also quite durable. Bamboo is also not that expensive. Thus, using a bamboo cutting board instead of plastic boards should be a no-brainer.
Avoid the use of disposable cutlery and plates
Many people also still use disposable plastic plates and cutlery. However, this implies the production of enormous amounts of plastic waste. Instead of using those disposable items, try to rely on cutlery and plates made out of wood or other organic materials. By doing so, you can improve your ecological footprint and also save money in the long run.
Stay on official campsites
Some people also want to go camping in the wild and leave the official tracks. However, doing so can have a significant negative impact on our environment, since many animals breed in their natural habitats and they may become disturbed due to the infiltration of their habitat by humans.
Thus, instead of camping right in the wild, use official campsites instead in order to protect our species from endangerment or even extinction.
Do not light up a fire in the wild
Some people also want to make a campfire in the wild. However, this could lead to wildfires, which in turn could kill many animals and plants.
Thus, do not light up a fire while you are in the wilderness. Only use fires on official campsites and make sure that you are allowed to do so to avoid trouble.
Don’t dispose of your waste into nature
Needless to say, you should never dispose of your waste into nature. However, when I am out in forests, I frequently see empty water bottles or other waste items.
This is quite sad since forests and other nature reserves should be a place for rest and also a place to connect which nature.
Waste in those places significantly destroys the natural experience. Thus, always make sure that you don’t leave any waste behind when you are out in nature.
Respect the local flora and fauna
You should also always be aware when you go into nature that you enter the natural habitat of a variety of animals and plants. Thus, make sure to respect these habitats. Also do not enter areas which are designated as breeding grounds for animals.
Raise the awareness of other campers
You can multiply your positive effect on our environment if you convince other campers to also behave in an eco-friendly manner.
Although this may take a little bit of courage to speak up, it should be our obligation to convince people about the importance to protect our planet in all activities of our daily life.
There are various different ways how you can make your camping experience more eco-friendly. While many of them are quite easy to implement, some require a little bit more effort from a financial perspective.
However, it should be worth investing some dollars and time into making your camping greener in order to protect our environment and to ensure a livable future for the next generations.
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.
As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.
After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.
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