So it’s officially vacation season! Many will choose camping to reconnect with nature. Can camping be eco friendly? We think so! We won’t sugar coat it, it will imply some preparation. But this preparation will make your trip fun while keeping up with your good habits.
- You’ve never camped and you wish to get all geared up? Buying used equipment is the way to go! You will surely find all you need, in good shape on Kijiji, Facebook Marketplace or even on Facebook groups for selling used goods in your area. Why not ask the people around you if anyone is willing to lend you what you need or even if someone is looking to part ways with their gear?
- If you are planning on going camping on a regular basis and you need to purchase items that are new, invest in good quality products that will last longer. Also, nothing is more frustrating than being stuck in the woods with something that we purchased at a good price but that breaks after being used once!
- Not the type to tent it out? Looking for a used pop-up trailer and want to make it more comfortable and inviting? I personnaly used stuff i already had at home. Changing the curtains, cushion covers, and a fresh coat of paint will go a long way. You will have a new second home you won't want to leave. Plus you will save loads of money buying used!
- Bring large water containers to fill up with water that is often available on campgrounds. This will avoid having to buy bottled water.
- While travelling, take advantage of local producer stands for buying fresh fruits and vegetables. Make sure you bring along reusable bags (like these ones!)
- Purchase all your dry food ahead of time and buy in bulk.
- Prepare meals and snacks before your trip and store them in reusable containers. For example, why not prepare your favourite pancake recipe and store it in a masson jar? Personally i like preparing salads in advance that i store in large plastic containers, this way all my peels and waste go in my compost bin at home. Also, I bring a large plastic container of frozen spaghetti sauce, a quick and easy meal that doubles as an ice pack in my cooler.
- Bring only what you plan to use. This will avoid waste that goes straight into a garbage bin.
- Freeze bottles or containers that you filled with water from home for your cooler. This will avoid the purchase of ice that is often sold in single use plastic bags. You will also be able to drink the water when it thaws.
- Let’s not kid ourselves, you will want to take it easy while on vacation and you might be tempted to use disposable dishes and cutlery. But did you know that one styrofoam plate takes at least 500 years to completely decompose? Make the effort to bring reusable dishes and cutlery and remember that washing dishes outdoors is much more fun that at home!
- We like to prepare ahead of time our own cleaning products with natural and biodegradable ingredients. We use a mix of vinegar and water for an all purpose cleaner, diluted Castille’s soap for dishwashing soap and it is easy to find antibacterial hand wash recipes online.
- Even when using biodegradable soap, please remember to do so at last 70 meters away from any water source such as a lake, river or stream and please use with moderation!
And MOSTLY, really connect with nature by putting away your phone or any other electronic device. Biking, hiking, canoeing, kayaking or even just sitting peacefully enjoying the sounds of nature will do you great good and will give you a chance to really disconnect with everyday life!
What are your tips for zero waste camping?