One of the primary reasons for taking a camping vacation is to enjoy the great outdoors. As more people seek to get back to nature, the greater the ecological impact of campers. When camping, try to minimize your impact by following these easy to implement eco-friendly recommendations. As a sign at the local lake of my youth read, “Leave Only Your Footprints”.
Slow Down – It is almost inevitable that you will need to use your car for at least part of your camping trip. Take the highways and see the country. Speed limits are lower here, so you will get better gas mileage and save some money.
Pack Snacks and Water – Before getting into the car, make your favorite trail mix, pack some fruit and fill several jugs with tap water. If you are driving a long distance on your camping vacation, you will probably need some snacks during your road trip. Packing your own bulk healthy snacks will reduce the amount of packaging you purchase at convenience stores along the way. These tips will also save you money, and will help you to eat healthy on vacation. Similarly, bringing your own water will reduce your plastic bottle purchases. You should also try to budget your water so as to waste as little as possible. You may find water saving methods that you can implement once you return home.
Stay on the Trails – When out hiking, stay on designated trails to reduce damage to native vegetation. The trail has already altered the ecosystem, and too much disturbance to native vegetation patches can hurt its chance of survival.
Buy Reusable Dishes – Rather than buying plastic, paper or Styrofoam dishes, purchase some camping dishes and utensils. You will have to wash your dishes, but will not have the excess garbage. You can use a natural dish washing detergent that does not harm the environment.
Pick-up Your Trash – Whenever you open a wrapper, make sure it finds its way into a garbage or recycling bag. Also, try not to leave your left-over food behind, and do not feed the animals.
Recycle – Use as many recyclable packages as possible. When you get home, add them to your recycling bin.