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6 Tips for More Eco-Friendly Camping

6 Tips for More Eco-Friendly Camping

Showing Mother Nature the Love

Summertime’s in full swing and vacation season is finally here! Time to go camping, right? We think so too! Before you head out to enjoy the great outdoors with your family, here are six eco-friendly tips to help ensure Mother Nature invites you back again next time.

Create a Checklist

The environmental impact of your trip starts before you ever leave home. A master checklist of everything you will need can help you plan:


  • Your shopping (food)
  • Items you may need to borrow (tent, coolers, etc.)
  • Items you may want to bring from home/repurpose (clothing, dishes, silverware, bedding, towels, etc.)

By listing your supplies, food and other necessities, you’ll be less likely to forget something—which means fewer unplanned trips to the store once you get there!

Save Gas

You don’t necessarily have to drive very far away from home to get away from it all.

Save Gas

  • The most beautiful places can be right in our very own neighborhoods— maybe even in someone else’s garden!
  • Pack light in order to get the best mileage en route.
  • Once you’re there, use your bike or walk as much as possible to limit any trips made in your vehicle.
Be Kind to Mother Nature

Wherever you decide to venture off to, always respect your surroundings and avoid trampling any vegetation and plants.

Be Kind to Mother Nature

  • Soft-soled shoes are good for treating the land gently.
  • When hiking, be sure to carry any trash or leftover food back with you for proper disposal.
  • Avoid the temptation of bringing home any “keepsakes”—they usually look much better in their natural setting than on a bookshelf or mantle anyway.
Ditch the Disposables

Just as you would on an eco-friendly picnic, bring

Ditch the Disposables

  • Reusable dinnerware, cups and utensils from home to keep as much trash as possible out of the landfill.
  • Silicone lids and reusable sandwich wraps not only keep food fresh, they mean less plastic in the landfill.
  • Avoid single-use plastic water bottles by bringing gallon jugs of water, along with a reusable water bottle for each family member.
Conserve Water

Water is often a precious commodity (especially on a camping trip), so it’s important to conserve it however you can.

Conserve Water

  • On shorter trips, skip showering or just take a quick sponge bath.
  • If you do shower, save water by foregoing soap—microfiber and water is probably all you really need. No rinsing saves water!
  • On longer trips, try collecting rain water for washing dishes or even yourself.
  • Make sure your shampoo, toothpaste and dish soap, etc. are environmentally friendly, and don’t use those types of products within 300 feet of waterways.
  • Empty any wastewater onto dry ground or vegetation, never into a stream or river.
Choose Safe Sunscreens and Bug Sprays

While you want to avoid biting insects and the effects of damaging sunrays, there’s no reason to put harmful chemicals on your body or in the air.

Choose Safe Sunscreens and Bug Sprays

comment_2Do you have more ideas and how to’s for eco-friendly camping? We’d love to hear them! Just leave a comment below.

Camp In My Garden: Quiet, Friendly and Affordable Campsites
The Wilderness Society: Leave No Trace
The Camping Source: Green Camping | Tips on Making a Eco-Friendly Camping Trip
Wiki How: How to Get Water While Camping
YouTube: Rain water catcher for tents [Video]
Treehugger: Tis the Season…for Eco-Friendly Camping
Organic Authority: 3-Ingredient DIY Bug Repellent Spray Recipe
EWG: Best Beach & Sport Sunscreens
Movement Blog: How to Make Your Next Picnic More Eco-Friendly

Have you ever been camping with your family before?

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Tanya Aoyagi
Tanya Aoyagi(@spokanegreenclean)
5 years ago

love these tips! I’m sharing with some friends to see what else they might add to the list!

Beth Reamer
Beth Reamer(@breamer)
5 years ago

I wish my family would go camping more often! I love the make a checklist tip! I’m a big list maker 🙂

sarah Brown
sarah Brown(@bobbinseed)
5 years ago

YESS! The list is a blessing! took me a while to catch on but now I’m a list writing fool! FYI I use envelopes from my mailbox to jot my lists to help reduce a little waste.

Jenny Vess
Jenny Vess
5 years ago

My eco friendly camping tip is that for firestarter I collect dryer lint through out the week of trip. Then I place small amount in a paper egg carton in each egg slot..then melt a little bit of candle wax left over from candles to small to use in the house..pour wax carefully over dryer lint in egg cart. Then once cooled and hardened I cut out each egg place..that then is the individual fire starter.. Not only does it use recycled products but it helps if your fire wood is wet and also saves you time and space cutting down excess timber which BTW can be used by other animals for their own use..

Jennifer Rottman
Jennifer Rottman(@jenniferrottman)
4 years ago

Great ideas that I never would have thought of. I am also interested in the natural bug repellant.

Gingi Freeman
Gingi Freeman(@domesticgeekgirl)
4 years ago

We go camping multiple times a year with our kiddos… its a great time to go green and put zero waste to practice!

Wendy Lanyon
Wendy Lanyon(@wendylem)
4 years ago

As a family we love camping we have a cobb bbq the bricks we use on the cobb are made from coconut these are fab it also means we can bbq indoors, they smoke a little when you first light them but after a few seconds there is nothing.