Camping is an excellent idea for solo travelers, families, or groups of friends looking for a bit of adventure out in nature. However, campers must work hard to make their camping experience sustainable to preserve the much-loved nature for others to enjoy in the future.
1. Get Green Energy
Not all avid campers want to live completely “off-grid” for their vacation, whether for a weekend or a week. However, finding your device dead and needing a charge suddenly can be challenging. With no other power source, running the car or RV so you can charge your device will contribute to your carbon footprint.
Instead, could you consider a portable power station to take with you? Find the best mobile power station for camping so you’re never without energy.
2. Reusable Dishes Are Your Friend
Much like at home, you must do the dishes, especially if you aren’t eating out at local restaurants for every meal. So invest in reusable containers so that each time you go camping, you’ve got plates that aren’t likely to break. Plus, it’s a great incentive, so you don’t constantly buy from gas stations.
Enjoy making your trip with good homemade cooking, and help the planet!
3. Eat Mindfully
Speaking of food, avoid buying lots of plastic-wrapped food – or even take out food that will add more trash to your campsite. If your site is jam-packed, it doesn’t take long for trash to accumulate and for litter to spread.
This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourselves! Just be mindful of what you’re eating and how much plastic comes with it.
4. Say “No” To Plastic
And speaking of plastic, challenge yourself to go without plastic for the whole trip. See if you can cook with fresh food or only eat pre-prepared meals.
While you might think, ‘But plastics can be recycled’ (and you’re right!), recycling will only help so much. Going cold turkey, even for a few days, will help battle the plastic problem.
And if you can’t say “no” to plastic, period, then say no to plastic water bottles, at least. Investing in stainless steel water bottles is an excellent idea for anyone keen to be greener in their daily lives beyond a single trip.
5. Borrow Gear
One of the most straightforward tips: to avoid adding to landfill in the long run, borrow any gear you need from family or friends rather than buying everything new.
6. Practice Fire Safety
Fire safety is crucial for you as an individual but also for the environment. An untamed fire can damage wildlife in certain areas, cause wildfires, and add to air pollution. Follow government guidelines and your campsite’s guidelines to avoid damage to yourself, your party, or the environment.
Remember, if fires aren’t allowed, don’t risk it.
7. Leave No Trace
One of the most important principles of sustainable camping is leaving no trace behind. This means that when you pack up and leave your campsite, it should look as if you were never there. Here are some tips for practicing Leave No Trace camping:
- Follow the Leave No Trace principles: The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics has seven principles that are designed to minimize the impact of outdoor activities on the environment. These principles include things like packing out all trash, minimizing campfire impact, and respecting wildlife.
- Respect wildlife and their habitats: One of the joys of camping is experiencing nature up close, but it’s important to remember that you are a visitor in the animals’ home. Don’t approach or feed wild animals, and be respectful of their habitats.
- Be mindful of the impact of your actions: It’s easy to forget that even small actions can have a big impact on the environment. Be mindful of where you set up your campsite, and avoid disturbing natural features like plants and rocks.
- Don’t build new campsites: Stick to established campsites, and don’t build new ones. The more campsites there are, the more impact camping has on the environment.
- Pack out all trash: This includes food waste, toilet paper, and any other items you bring with you. Make sure to properly dispose of trash and waste, and don’t leave anything behind.
By following these tips, you can help minimize the impact of your camping trip on the environment and leave nature as pristine as you found it.
8. Practice Sustainable Activities
Camping is a great opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy outdoor activities. However, it’s important to be mindful of the impact of these activities on the environment. Here are some tips for practicing sustainable activities while camping:
- Choose sustainable activities: When planning your camping trip, choose activities that have a low impact on the environment, such as hiking, birdwatching, or fishing, with sustainable techniques. Avoid activities that harm the environment, such as cutting down trees or disturbing wildlife.
- Respect wildlife and their habitats: When you’re out enjoying nature, be respectful of the wildlife you encounter. Keep a safe distance, don’t feed them, and don’t disturb their habitats.
- Participate in eco-friendly activities: Look for opportunities to participate in eco-friendly activities, such as trail cleanups or wildlife surveys. These activities help to maintain the natural beauty of the environment while also contributing to scientific research.
- Use sustainable transportation: When getting around the campsite or going to nearby areas, try to use low-emission transportation such as bikes or walking. If you need to use a car, carpool with other campers, or use a fuel-efficient vehicle.
- Leave nature as you found it: Before you leave a campsite, make sure to clean up after yourself and leave it looking as natural as possible. This means taking all your trash with you and avoiding leaving any traces of your presence.
By practicing sustainable activities, you can enjoy the beauty of nature while minimizing your impact on the environment. Remember to always be mindful of your actions and the impact they have on the world around you.
You don’t need to follow every tip to have a greener camping experience, but by utilizing as many as you can, you’ll ensure a vacation to make you and the planet proud.