Zero waste and camping were never best friends, but here are some great tips that will help you to plan better your next getaway and manage eco-friendly camping like a pro!
There are many challenges to living a low or zero waste life at your home, but it all gets even harder when you try to maintain the same attitude when you’re away from home camping. Is eco-friendly camping even possible? Yes, even if it’s difficult as you’re far from the trusted bulk stores and the world has become quite tailored to our conveniences. Obviously, it’s much easier to get disposable products than it is to keep your waste at a minimum. But the good news is that if you came this far is because you are interested in trying your best!
Moreover, when you’re camping in remote areas, you don’t have many options as you do in bigger cities so it all comes down do being well prepared and resourceful. You will have to try harder and practise more self-control but it can be done. So, here are several tips that can help you make a clean camping trip and leave no waste behind.
Choose the right camping gear
Choosing the right, high-quality camping gear will contribute greatly to your goal of zero-waste camping. The first item to consider is your tent. You need to pick a durable, hard-wearing tent that will last you a long time. Also, make sure it’s easily assembled and disassembled so you’re never tempted to leave it behind if it’s hard to fold.
Repairing and thrifting over trashing
If your gear gets damaged, try to repair it instead of immediately buying a new one. It will save you money but it will also save our environment from unnecessary waste. If you have camping gear you no longer need, don’t throw it away, rather give it someone who needs it. Moreover, if you need a piece of equipment, try borrowing from your friends or family, especially if you don’t go camping very often. If you do need to buy something, look in the second-hand shops first.
Plan your meals
One of the hardest aspects of a zero-waste lifestyle is eating, especially if you’re a bit lazy and love buying pre-packed snacks. Luckily, better alternatives are appearing and bulk foods are becoming more available.
Getting ready for a zero-waste trip will take some extra effort and preparation, but it’ll be worth it in the end. Before you go camping, buy your food in bulk but bring your own jars and containers to the shop so you can avoid buying more plastic you won’t need.
Next, create a daily menu for every meal and make a shopping list of ingredients you’ll need for them. Buy all you need in bulk food shops and chop, cook and pack everything beforehand. Slice your bread, chop the fruit and veggies, grate the cheese, pack all the spices and prep everything so you can simply grab it and prepare your meals without too much cooking or using utensils. Also, keep your menu fairly simple – simple salads, sandwiches, rice and bean dishes, oatmeals and smoothies. It’s practical to stick to food you don’t need to cook or heat up or you can only use a small gas cooker.
As a final tip, pack all your biodegradable food waste in a container to use it back home as garden compost.
Find a replacement for single-use products
As much as single-use products are convenient, they are also one of the major contributors to environmental pollution and waste accumulation. Once you discover much better and functional alternatives, you’ll never go back.
It’s a long list of disposable items you can stop using in your eco-friendly camping, from plastic cups, plates, cutlery, bags, straws, containers and bottles. Instead, try reusable beeswax food wrap, bamboo straws and utensils and reusable bottles. Instead of buying multi-packs of bottled water, consider buying your own reusable camping water bottle to keep you hydrated during your trip. These bottles are designed for a life on the go and keep your drinks either cool or hot (depending on the type and your need), they’re BPA free and completely leak-proof. You’ll stay safe from dirty water and diseases and you’ll be free to devote yourself to whatever fun activities you have planned.
Reusable products are the best option, but if you sometimes have to use single-use items, choose compostable materials and make sure you throw them in the composting pile when you get home.
Keep the campsite clean
Once you have everything prepared in advance, there should be very little cleaning when you pack to leave home. It’s a good idea to bring a multi-purpose soap so you can use it to wash various things such as hands, laundry, dishes and even fruits and vegetables.
Instead of paper towels, bring cloth dish towels and napkins but do bring along a separate drawstring bag to put the dirty ones so you can wash them at home and reuse them. In this way, you’ll avoid piling up single-use wet wipes.
Going camping is a great opportunity to spend quality time with your loved ones away from the hustle and bustle of noisy cities and get back to basics in a natural setting. If you only invest a bit more effort to keep your waste at a minimum, your enjoyment and relaxation will be complete knowing you’ve left no negative footprint behind. So, make a good plan, pack your stuff and get going!
Do you have any extra tips to go on eco-friendly camping? Share them with us all on the comments below!