Photo by Xue Guangjian
Zero-Waste Camping: Do’s and Don’ts for a sustainable summer camping trip
16 AUGUST '22
Words by Florencia Rojas Dezerega
Photo by Dominika Roseclay
We often link the idea of camping with being lost in nature and feeling disconnected from the everyday world, which seems like a perfect summer plan. However, camping is not necessarily sustainable just because it’s an outdoor activity. We indeed need to be mindful when choosing places and what to bring with us.
“1. Choose responsibly where to camp”
“2. Use reusable and multi-purpose items”
“3. Don’t use toxic detergents ”
“4. Take your litter with you”
Photo by Krivec Ales
Before you go camping, it is better to priorly research where to camp and choose eco-friendly campsites. Therefore, you need to inform about facilities, the organizations that run these activities and the resources involved. More information you have, the higher is the chance to choose responsibly.
Use reusable and multi-purpose items
When going camping it is important to save as much space and weight as possible. Bringing single-use items can be tempting, but you will certainly contribute to polluting the environment. Therefore, a great way to optimize your impact this summer is to use products that cover many uses, such as reusable thermal water bottles or portable solar devices to use clean energy when charging your phone.
Photo by Uriel Mont
Photo by Thirdman
Don’t use toxic detergents
Since it is highly advisable to not use disposable cutlery, it is very important to wash your durable one with natural detergents that do not harm the environment. This does not mean that you can throw these liquids into natural sources of water, always use the specific sites! The same goes for your personal care products. If you shower or brush your teeth with not natural products in the campsite’s toilets, you may also be polluting the area you are in, therefore you always need to inform yourself about rules of conduct! Anyway, natural products are often safe and they will also be saving space and unnecessary plastic used in the packaging of traditional products.
Take your litter with you
This is probably the most repeated and obvious advice, but it is crucial to have in mind that you really need to leave the place where you stayed the same, or better, than you have found it. This summer when packing, try to carry as few single-use products as possible. Also, you can carry bags or containers with you where you can put organic and inorganic food waste to throw it in specific containers.
Food waste and scraps attract animals and this endangers their life and the people around the area. Most often, you will find safe disposal containers on the trails. If not, take it with you until you finish your summer trip and find a suitable place.
Most of the tips to get your camping more sustainable are also useful to save space and money during your summer vacation! The next time you plan a camping trip, be aware of what you can do to not harm the environment and enjoy a great outdoor adventure in nature.