The invigorating fresh outdoor air, inviting warmth from a crackling bonfire, stargazing with friends and family, and the opportunity to surround yourself with nature… who doesn’t love a good camping getaway?
Although camping is a great way to interact and connect with the earth, there are a few things each and every one of us could do to help make our outdoor adventure a bit more eco-friendly.
Whether you’re going camping in a national park, on a beach, in the mountains, a campsite, or even in your own backyard, here are our top 7 ways to be more sustainable when camping this year!
1. Pack Along Reusables
Who else snarls at the thought of trash being left behind at a campsite? To help reduce the amount of garbage you create when camping, make sure to pack along some reusables!
Here are some of our favorite reusable items for a sustainable camping trip:
- Reusable Water Bottle
- Plates from Home (that can be washed, dried, and used again)
- tentree Mizu Stainless Steel Cutlery set
- Lidded Containers to Store Food in
Not only will packing reusables help reduce your garbage output, it’ll also save you from burning any disposables, like plastic plates and cutlery, as it causes toxic fumes to billow into the air and who wants to breathe that in, eh?
2. Stay on the Trails
Thinking about walking some trails and hiking up a mountain? Always stay on the designated footpaths, as your trampling can destroy delicate vegetation and hinder any future growth!
This also applies when setting up your campsite; choose a durable site that has already had previous campers and won’t hurt the surrounding area.
3. Never Feed Wildlife
A big sustainable camping tip many forget about, feeding wildlife is kind of like setting up the animals for failure. Why? Because once they get used to being fed by humans, their hunting instincts disappear — leaving them vulnerable to the chance of starvation once you go back home.
Additionally, this tip also factors into the “leave no trace” motto you typically hear from outdoor enthusiasts. When packing up your campsite or at a lunch spot, never leave any food behind that a critter could get into!
4. Sort Your Trash
Think recycling should be just for at home? Think again! Even when camping, you can bring along a few different bins or bags to help sort your cans, bottles, plastic, and paper so that you can take everything home and recycle it there.
For an ever better sustainable camping trip, if you have a compost bin at home, bring a container to put your food scraps in!
5. Buy Local Firewood
While most parks and campsites will already have a restriction on bringing in outside firewood, if you’re someone that’s really off the beaten path or in the backcountry with no such rules, do your part and buy local firewood to help stop the spread of invasive species and diseases.
Not to mention, buying local firewood also supports the community and helps to reduce deforestation, as it will likely come from a sustainably-sourced tree farmer!
6. Stay Natural
Hey, we get it — you want to stay clean and protected when camping but we have to break it to you… those chemical-filled shampoos, conditioners, soaps, sunscreens, lotions, and bug repellant aren’t doing the rivers, lakes, and ponds any favors.
In this day in age, it’s easy to find natural products that are water-safe and won’t harm the environment. Look out for the words “reef-safe” when picking up sunscreen; for shampoo and condition, keep an eye out for “biodegradable” and “organic.”
When shopping for bug spray, be careful to avoid getting permethrin — which is toxic to aquatic life.
7. Buy NON-GMO, Plant-Based Foods
When preparing for your camping trip, try to stick with non-GMO and plant-based snacks and meals, as they typically have the smallest environmental footprint. Unfortunately, traditional agriculture uses synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides that can be harmful to the earth.
Although it’s best to make your own DIY snacks and bring food that’s not in packaging, stocking up on some Hippie Snacks is good, too!
Yeah, yeah, we’re tooting our own horn here but you can be reassured that all of our snacks are minimally processed, non-GMO, sustainably-sourced, and made with 100% real food that’ll keep you nourished and happy while in the great outdoors, as seen on CTV Calgary!
With these helpful tips in mind, you can make your camping trip a sustainable one! And don’t forget to check out all of our delicious snacks before you head out.
Sophie Anderson is a vegan and sustainable travel blogger over at The Wanderful Me. Most days, you can find her in a weird corner of the world (always with her fav eco-friendly essentials in tow), munching on mouthwatering vegan food, or just simply cooking away in the kitchen (aka her go-to way to pass the time when back home).