Camping allows us to marvel at the world around us and be at one with nature.
But while we get a lot from that exchange, the impact we leave behind isn’t necessarily positive. Just in the US, there are over 331 million visitors to the national parks annually – and that’s inherently a huge environmental burden.
But just by a simple adjustment to your camping habits, you can do a lot to preserve the beauty around us. Actually, as more campers become more mindful of environmental sustainability, eco-camping is becoming a powerful trend. Read on to find out how to go green on your next adventure!
The most simple key to being more eco-friendly is bringing less to your camping trip in the first place. Don’t be afraid to keep things light – do you really need that tablet or espresso maker with you? Switching to a minimalistic mindset saves the environment – but also your time.
When it comes to camping gear, make sure to check the many rental options. You can also opt for equipment made of sustainable materials. Have you heard of sleeping bags or tents made from 100% recycled materials? And there’s more: Some interesting innovations include solar-powered tents!
Pack your food
All campers need to think about what they eat on their trip – and there are many eco-friendly ways to go about it. First, it’s great to prioritize local, organic foods and goods. You’ll never go wrong with cooking at home and bringing your food in reusable packages; not only is this environmentally friendly, but your wallet will thank you too.
The golden rule is to avoid any unnecessary packaging. Take a refillable water bottle instead of using several plastic ones and do nature a big favor. The materials matter too: Why not try out wooden cutlery and plates instead of plastic ones? While bamboo plates take some 180 days to decompose, the plastic ones may stick around for up to hundreds of years.
Watch the contents
When it comes to taking a shower of making sure you don't get sunburnt, is it also possible to remain eco-friendly. Whether we like it or not, products like repellent, sunscreen, soap, and toothpaste often contain substances harmful to the environment – but alternatives exist.
So before you go on your trip, make sure to think about how sustainable and biodegradable the products that you’re bringing are. After all, even the little things can have an enormous impact.
Leave no trace
Being eco-friendly doesn’t really need to take much effort. It’s simple: Make sure to always pack up what you bring in to leave no trace. This mostly comes down to waste. Did you know that there are over 100 million pounds of waste generated in national parks around the US? Your contribution can help decrease the number, so make sure to collect and recycle everything you want to throw away.
Perhaps the most important thing is realizing how your actions affect the environment around you. After all, it’s all about being respectful to the ecosystem you enter. Make sure to keep your distance from any wildlife, control your noise levels, and if you’re bringing pets, make sure they don’t disrupt or harass wild animals around.
Every time you start a fire, make sure it’s in the designated areas only. Don’t pollute rivers and when you go to sleep, don’t even up the ground beneath you – use some folded clothes instead. And definitely avoid carving your name in the trees – if you want a memory, a selfie will do!
Whether it’s litter, erosion, or damage to entire ecosystems, our actions can have a detrimental impact on nature. But just by being mindful, we can enjoy our adventures in a more sustainable way.