Spending time in nature, surrounded by the whispering river and birdsong is one of the most wholesome, restorative experiences we humans can have. Any amount of time you can spend in greenery, away from urban pollution and chaos is perhaps the best cure for all of our troubles, health and otherwise. However, we often take that very same nature for granted and we rarely pay attention to how our actions affect the environment we adore so deeply.
If you want to make sure that your time in nature is not harmful to the environment, you can certainly change your habits for the better and infuse your camping trips with sustainable actions. Here’s what you can do to make a difference.
We’ve already become painfully aware of how plastic has become a primary material in our lives. We use it in every possible product we purchase, and we rarely look for alternatives. And yet, you can actually replace all those little things you own with plastic-free options without affecting your routine at all. For example, bamboo-made toothbrushes are a great example of ditching the plastic kind we so often use.
Then, you can opt for sustainable food bags, mason jars, or tin cans to pack your food in them instead of your traditional Tupperware. Stainless steel is another typical material to look out for when you want to reduce your plastic use, and starting with your camping is a great way to do that.
Opt for durable gear
How often do you buy new tents, hiking shoes, and other gear that tends to break down, tear, or simply lose its functionality very quickly? Most purchase new gear very often, without paying attention to the waste they’re producing. Instead, you can choose high-quality equipment that will last you for years on end and serve you well during your trips.
For starters, get a durable camping sleeping bag that you’ll be able to bring with you on every trip no matter the weather. That way, you can stay comfortable, safe, and warm no matter when and where you travel, and you’ll reduce waste significantly by selecting long-lasting items instead of poor-quality ones.
Make your own meals
Sure, protein bars, pre-made meals, and other pre-packed, store-bought goodies are convenient and simple to find on a moment’s notice. Alas, that also means that you’ll be visiting the woods with a bag full of waste waiting to pile up. Most of these snacks are packed and wrapped in plastic, making them less eco-friendly.
You can make your own meals and snacks at home, keeping your diet healthy and balanced while you avoid purchasing plastic-infused products. Opt for homemade meals such as fresh vegetables, fruits, nutrient-dense nuts and seeds, all of which are amazingly satiating, long-lasting, and you can pack them in those tin cans and reusable bags.
Clean up when you camp
The time you spend in nature is not just ideal for resting and enjoying fresh air – it’s also a perfect opportunity to take meaningful action and make a difference with the time you spend outdoors. That said, it all depends on the location, but you can always find ways to contribute to the local life when you’re camping.
For example, you can organize a cleaning expedition on your campsite and the surrounding area together with your friends and family, unless you’re camping solo. Bring eco-friendly garbage bags to collect and divide the litter you find, and then make sure you dispose of them correctly.
Travel more sustainably
The entire world is brimming with locations that are perfect for outdoor adventures, but you certainly have local transport options that can help you reduce your carbon footprint and that might be reachable on foot or by cycling there instead of using a car. If you do, however, need to use a car, then make sure you carpool with other campers instead of taking separate rides there. Ideally, you should choose hybrid vehicles that will prevent too much pollution.
There will always be ways to improve our impact on the environment, and camping is an ideal opportunity to do just that: show your love and respect for nature while you’re enjoying its many benefits to your wellbeing. Use these tips and make sure that your time camping is as green as possible!
Salman Zafar is an ecopreneur, consultant, advisor, speaker and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection, conservation and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe. Salman is the Founder of EcoMENA, a popular voluntary organization based in Qatar. He is also the Founder and CEO of BioEnergy Consult, a reputed consulting firm active in biomass, waste-to-energy and waste management segments.
Salman is a professional environmental writer with more than 350 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass environmental awareness in different parts of the world.
Salman Zafar can be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org