Travel and living

Environmentally Friendly Summer Camping Tips

If you love spending time exploring the natural world, you'll like knowing that there are ways you can camp in a way that helps in fighting global warming issues. Summer camping is a popular activity, and you'll find it more rewarding when you transform the ways you camp to accommodate your natural surroundings.

Eco-Friendly Summer Camping Tips

Some campers take many friends on camping trips, and you may be surprised at how much waste you produce as a group. There are ways in which your camping group can create less waste and offset more carbon footprint when you leave the woods.

Making Good Food Choices

Food is certainly an important part of any camping trip. From s'mores to hot dogs, there are foods that many people like to take camping. You can still find some foods that are nature-friendly, though.

On your next camping trip, consider all-beef, nitrate-free hot dogs, 100% whole-wheat buns and natural or organic mustard. This makes for an easy meal that everyone will like.

You probably take soda with you when you camp. However, the goal is to take natural drinks in containers that can be recycled, not thrown away. Real foods that are natural and packaged in an environmentally friendly way will allow you to enjoy some of your favorite beverages and foods without leaving a lot of trash behind when you head home.

Choosing High-Quality Camping Gear and Solar Powered Equipment

Preparing for camping trips is a great time to learn to purchase items of higher quality that will last you a long time. Hiking boots, sleeping bags and tents are all items that can be purchased using green options.

Buying cheap gear is the habit of many summer campers. However, throwing out old gear after only one camping season or less is wasteful and not at all economical, either. Buying products of a higher quality will allow you to get much more use out of them, and this cuts down on the waste that will be headed to landfills. You'll spend less money in the long run when you buy better items that will last for many camping seasons.

It's easier than ever to find solar-powered camping equipment today. A few of the items you may find include solar bug zappers, solar backpacks, solar powered lanterns and solar powered generators. Solar powered lighting is usually only a workable option if you have a sunny place where the lights can be charged during the day.

Purchasing Reusable Dining Equipment for Camping

This is one area where it's easy to make a big difference in your amount of waste made through summer camping. Leaving garbage behind when you head back to your home after a camping trip is not the proper way to treat the environment, especially after spending a weekend or a week enjoying nature.

Plastic silverware and Styrofoam plates are the worst items to buy for your camping trips. They are easy for you to dispose of, but they create so much trash. Replace these items with reusable gear that you can wash and take home, to be used on another trip. When you make this change, you'll notice that clean-up time is even quicker than it used to be.

Enamelware plates are an excellent investment, if you have the money in your budget. If you can't afford new sets, check yard sales and thrift stores. Melamine bowls and plates can be used year after year, too, and they cost less. They are easy to clean. Use regular silverware rather than disposable spoons, knives and forks. You can easily wash them off at the end of the trip and take them home with you. It's actually easier to eat on sturdy plates with proper utensils.

Buying Gear Made with Recycled Materials

You can find sleeping bags and various other camping products made with recycled plastics, and this is an excellent way to fight global warming issues. Some of the brands of camping gear made with recycled materials include Mammut, Patagonia and North Face.

You can also buy used camping gear that someone else is finished using, if you don't have the funds to purchase recycled camping gear.

Using Natural Soaps for Camp Cleaning

Castile soap and other natural soaps are perfect for cleaning up after meals eaten while camping. These soaps are organic, have a pleasing smell and make your camping footprint smaller.

Organic soap can be used for showering, washing hair and washing your reusable utensils. Using natural soaps keeps harsh chemicals out of your camping experience. It's better for you and better for the environment, as well.

These are just a few ways you can make your camping trips even greener. Enjoying the outdoors is more rewarding when you protect the environment as you enjoy it.

Chantal Theoret is an eco-conscious entrepreneur working on bringing green and carbon solutions beyond the niche green audience and resolving global warming issues. She works at JustGreen, an innovative green lifestyle carbon company that so far has offset over 2 billion pounds of emissions through its various retail energy and carbon offset products.

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