Tips For Going Green While Camping
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Going green while camping is another way to conserve and respect the environment. When eco-friendly options are included in camping plans, you preserve the environment and ensure we have wonderful, clean and thriving campsites for years to come. Camping is a way of peaceful connecting with nature, therefore it is important to avoid the destruction of vegetation, soil, and animals.
Tips for Green Camping
To help you go green while camping here are 10 simple tips:-
1. Make your Campfire Safe
If you choose to build a fire, use local wood from dead branches and fallen trees to make a campfire. Do not cut down living trees and never bring in outside firewood to the camp since it can carry insects, seeds, or microorganisms that could harm native species. Don’t burn plastic, metals or wood that has been treated with chemicals. Also, build the fire away from the tent or any surrounding vegetation and once you’re finished cooking, make sure you extinguish the fire with used water before going to sleep.
Most established campgrounds have a fire pit where you can build a fire from. If you live in an area where fire danger is high, it is important you take steps to minimize your chances of starting a fire. Keep water that has been used cleaning utensils or dirt nearby that can be used in case of an emergency. A solar-powered cooker is much advised while camping since its environment-friendly.
2. Use Eco-friendly soaps and detergents
Most chemicals are toxic to the air, water, animals and also one’s health. The chemicals in most biodegradable soaps contain ingredients that have negative effects on natural systems. They reduce water oxygen levels, making them harmful to fish and other aquatic life. The most common ingredient in detergents is Phosphates. It upsets the nutrient balance in waterways and can lead to a dangerous growth of algae by increasing nitrogen in the water.
Use biodegradable soaps like Goddess Garden Sunscreen or make your own natural sunscreen, citrus-based all-purpose cleaners, dish detergents, and natural mosquito repellents for that won’t damage the environment.
3. Avoid Batteries
Most camping sites are not installed with electricity since they are in the rural areas making them quite dark during the night. It is advisable to avoid toxic disposable batteries while camping. You should instead invest in a lighting option that uses solar power. There are solar powered lamps that are collapsible and inflatable. This makes it easier when traveling to the camp since its parked flat and inflated when it’s needed. You can hang the lamp on a tree to absorb the sun’s energy during the day time for the lamp to shine brightly during the night. You may also need a solar charger for an emergency.
Most lanterns can also be used as mosquito repellers and can be used to light up the surroundings for over 10 hours and to protect from nighttime predators. In cases where you have to use batteries, make sure you have enough AA and D batteries to power your flashlights, headlamps, and lanterns or have rechargeable batteries.
4. Keep waste out of the water bodies and minimize water usage
You should never dump soap or any other waste directly into any body of water. Instead, empty it on dry ground or vegetation even if it’s eco-friendly and biodegradable. Collect rainwater so you can shower and do your dishes at least 30 feet away from any lakes, rivers, or streams. Wash your dishes only once a day, reduce the number of showers and re-use water e.g. extinguish your fire with water used to wash dishes.
5. Get BPA-free water bottles
Water is essential while camping; you need to be sure you have enough water in bisphenol A free water bottle that is made from BPA-free plastic or stainless steel. You should avoid bottled water and carry water from home in recycled jugs which can be refilled from the local tap. Freezing water into ice and carrying it in large water coolers then drinking it later saves time, money and resources.
6. Use reusable supplies
Cleanups when camping may seem easier by using disposable items especially utensils, but it’s more environmentally friendly using reusable dishes, cutlery, and cups, pack a small basin, sponge and biodegradable soap where you can clean after use and dispose the water on dry grounds. For those who are not regular campers, when going camping don’t spend a lot of money on disposable plates, cups, cutlery or towels. Instead, look around in secondhand stores for used tents, backpacks, sleeping bags and camp stoves or even borrow from friends who might be regular campers.
7. Leave packages at home
For green camping, it is advisable to carry non-breakable dishes and plates that can be easily washed and dried after each meal. Disposable plastic utensils and paper plates should be left at home. Food should be bought in bulk and packed in reusable containers or in stainless steel and bioplastics like PLA to avoid the packing waste and needless garbage.
8. Buy green, use green
Before going camping, look for camping gear made from recycled materials. Some tents are made from 100% recycled materials including the fly and the floor. Use a type of coating that’s waterproof in case of rain and ensure it has an integrated ventilation system. It’s easy to also find sleeping bags made from recycled fibers. When its cold season or the ground is too soggy and uncomfortably hard, you may also try a hanging tent.
Also, buy your produce from local farmers around your camping grounds. It tastes better and you can consider it an outing in search of local flavor and trying out new things
9. Pack out and leave the campsite the way you found it
Always bring along trash bags to collect your garbage and make sure waste finds its way to the appropriate garbage can or recycling bin, never leave trash behind at a campsite. Some camping sites provide trash cans but it is mindful to be waste aware whether you’re carrying the garbage away from the grounds or putting it in the camps trash can.
If camping near a vehicle, take a bucket with a tight lid for compost and put it in the car at night to avoid attracting creatures. Bury your compost the same way you bury human waste away from any campsite or body of water and do not mix it with landfill trash. Organic matter in landfills trash produces methane, a harmful greenhouse gas that is extremely flammable and can explode at concentrations between 5% (lower explosive limit) and 15% (upper explosive limit).
At least have an extra cloth bag to store all your items from the trip back home and not leave anything behind. This will allow the next group of people to enjoy the area the same way you were able to do.
10. Protect the land
The most important thing you can do when camping is to protect the land around you and leaving it as you found it. It also means staying on the marked trail, not breaking off branches, never picking flowers, plants or fruits, and never harming or disturbing the environment and animals in it. Do not feed the animals as this disrupts their natural order.
You can prevent soil erosion and damage to plant life by staying on marked trails, walking lightly and wearing soft-soled shoes. Also, place cloths under a sloping mat to keep it level to avoid leveling the ground underneath the camp.
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