BY: SAMANTHA TAPP
Summer is upon us, which means so is camping. If you’re an expert camper or it’s your first time, camping is one of the best parts of summertime. Pitching a tent, sleeping in a sleeping bag, swimming, fishing, hiking, roasting marshmallows and hot dogs over the fire- whatever your favourite camping activity is, there’s definitely no shortage of fun to be had while camping. However, there’s a few things you can do to make your camping trip even better: making it eco-friendly.
Camping is all about submerging yourself in nature, which is great, but you want to make sure you take only memories and leave only footprints. This can be done in several different ways to ensure your camping trip is as green as it can be.
Here are five things you can do to have an eco-friendly camping trip:
1. Check your gear
Instead of picking up the first tent and sleeping bag you find, you should consider buying eco-friendly versions. Tents made out of plastic will sit for a lifetime in a landfill once disposed of, so to make the entire trip environmentally-friendly, consider a tent without toxic dyes that is made out of cotton, hemp or recycled materials.
Instead of a regular sleeping bag that is stuffed with animal feathers, you could purchase a sleeping bag that is made with synthetic insulation. For any of your camping gear needs, ones that are made out of used or recycles materials will ensure your trip is environmentally-friendly.
2. Use solar power
It goes without saying that at night it’s going to be dark. For any camping trip it’s essential to bring some sort of light, so why not make it eco-friendly? Instead of bringing battery-powered headlamps, flashlights and lanterns, consider investing in some solar-powered lights.
Leave your lantern and lights out during the day while you’re doing other activities and let them soak up the sun and all of your lights will be ready to use at nighttime. Bring along a solar charger and it will work to charge any other electronics you deem necessary to bring along.
Cooking is one of the biggest things you’ll need to plan before you leave for your camping trip and there are a few things you can do to make all of your meals environmentally-friendly. The easiest thing to do is to bring only reusable cooking utensils and dishes. While disposable plates may be easier to bring, the camp site and environment will thank you for cutting back on trash.
Cooking over a campfire may be your favourite camping activity, but it’s not the most eco-friendly option. Instead, try out a portable electric stove to cook all of your meals. There are plenty online that are inexpensive, small and safe for the environment.
4. Check your toiletries
Usually when packing for a trip you throw in the mini versions of your shampoo, conditioner, soap and shaving gel, however, these won’t do for camping. To keep the camp ground free from harmful chemicals that reside in regular toiletries, purchase some clean items. This means buying eco friendly, biodegradable toiletries without chemicals.
5. Take the trash out
You’ve probably seen the quote “take only pictures, leave only footprints,” and it’s for good reason. Even if you try to being all reusable and recyclable items with you on your camping trip, there will probably still be some garbage. Make sure that you leave your camp site as it was. This doesn’t just mean taking trash, it means no smouldering fire pits, no crushed up grass or bushes and no harmed wildlife.