If you feel that your time spent in nature is enough of a sign that you care for the environment – guess again. Hiking, camping, venturing into the wild and unknown, and other versions of connecting with nature are all beautiful endeavors, but your behavioral patterns are the ones that either ring true with your sustainability ideas or they fail to live up to what should be very high expectations of eco-friendly travel. So, in order to redefine what camping truly can be and how you can use your time in nature to make a difference, let’s start with your packing and preparation list.
What you purchase and bring with you can make or break your carbon footprint and your impact on Mother Nature one camping trip at a time.
Here are the five essentials to keep in mind when you’re about to embark on another camping adventure that will give your outdoor time a green edge.
Plastic-free water bottles
Single-use plastic items have become the key pollutants for our land and oceans alike. If numbers are anything to go by, the fact that Americans alone buy approximately 50 billion plastic water bottles annually is a worrying sign of our habitual behaviors that can impact the world beyond our understanding. With that in mind, camping can be your starting point of saying no to such habits, and plastic in particular.
Opting for reusable, insulated water bottles is perhaps one of the simplest ways you can preserve the environment, save money, and cut down on waste on a grander scale. They will also help you keep your sips warm or cold depending on what you’re bringing with you, and the stainless steel used in their production will last you a lifetime, and then some!
If you need to renew your gear every year, then this is your chance to stop hemorrhaging money and ruining the environment one senseless purchase at a time. Your camping equipment should be created with nature in mind and out of materials that can withstand various weather conditions in which they are meant to be used in the first place.
By getting a durable hammock for all of your camping trips, you can actually make sure that you’ll get plenty of rest on the go wherever you camp, and that your gear will last you for years on end. It should take up minimal space and be versatile enough to serve you for any backpacking, hiking, or camping adventure you envision – for years into the future.
Convenience is perhaps our time’s greatest weakness, as we tend to reach for the most opportune option available, especially in terms of food. If you rely on pre-made and pre-packed goodies for all of your camping trips, you might be actually doing more harm than good since the amount of waste you produce can be staggering.
It might take a little more prep time and some packing imagination, but DIY snacks are a far eco-friendlier way to sustain your diet on camping trips than to rely on store-bought items. So, replace your protein bars with snacks such as nutritious nuts and seeds neatly packed in eco-friendly bags, fresh fruits and veggies, and your own home-made meals. Green packing alternatives are widely available - you just need to choose the best option for your own travel preferences.
Although it’s perfectly natural you want to keep the pesky bugs away, have you ever considered how much damage your bug repellents can cause to the environment? Instead of using yet another harmful, toxin-filled product that will ultimately wreak havoc on the nature around you, make your own, chemical-free versions with the help of essential oils to repel bugs.
In a similar manner, you can use natural soaps and toothpaste instead of those infused with chemicals and once again stored in plastic containers and bags. By relying on simple, natural ingredients that won’t pollute the soil or the water around you, your camping trip will become infinitely greener without any hassle.
Going to explore the great outdoors often means hiking across unfriendly terrain, in less than perfect weather, dealing with river crossings, slippery slopes, and wind. In such weather, it matters what kind of footwear you choose, since your safety depends on it. Still, there are options available today that allow you to wear vegan hiking boots with the same level of durability and functionality as conventional boots.
Much like your sleeping gear and your other wearables, the shoes you choose can indeed help you reduce your carbon footprint (pardon the pun) and the damage you cause to the environment.
With more eco-conscious brands out there, and even more green solutions at your disposal, camping can become a wholesome way to relax, reduce stress in your life, but also contribute to the preservation of our natural wealth. Use these tips to make your outdoor adventures greener, and keep spreading the joy to others so that we can all change for the better.
Written by Fiona Wood
About the Author
Fiona Wood is a lifestyle blogger based in Melbourne, Australia. She is in love with good coffee, croissants and fashion magazines. In spare time she plays tennis and is traveling around the world.
You may also like