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!
You don’t necessarily have to drive very far away from home to get away from it all.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
Water is often a precious commodity (especially on a camping trip), so it’s important to conserve it however you can.
- 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.
- Check out the Environmental Working Group’s list of least-harmful sunscreens.
- Consider making your own bug repellant, like this three-ingredient bug spray from Organic Authority.
Do 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?