The mercury is rising and the school year is almost done as the sun is staying out longer. It’s finally the best time to hit the outdoors and the American open roads are calling your name.
Road trips and camping have been a summertime staple since the invention of the automobile. And thanks to the affordable tents for your car and low gas prices, this year may be the best time to drive off into the sunset and enjoy some quality time with Mother Nature.
As you decide where to go, it’s important to keep your road trip and camping expeditions eco-friendly as possible. In the past, camping has been associated with cutting down trees for space and firewood. A USGS Study found that nearly 45% of campsite trees had been destroyed and about 18 trees per campsite cut down for firewood.
So if you want to enjoy camping for many years and hopefully leave the site intact for the next generation, it’s imperative to protect the environment. Wondering how?
Make Your Own Snacks And Meals
Think carefully about waste management when planning for your camping meals and snacks. Buying prepackaged meals and snacks can increase the amount of waste. As such, it is better to take a bottle and refill it rather than enjoying its contents one time and throwing it away.
A good strategy is making your own protein and energy bars. Just buy the ingredients in bulk to reduce the packaging waste and use beeswax wraps because they’re reusable and washable.
Buy Organic Food
Conventional agriculture uses pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides that can damage the environment. So when you buy fresh farm produce from the farmer’s markets, insist on organic foods.
Even when you’re shopping for dehydrated food at a local grocery store, always go organic. Organic farmers strive to protect and preserve natural habitats because they understand that diverse biological landscape plays a key role in feeding people and all other living things on the planet.
So instead of using inorganic fertilizers and pesticides that destroy the soil by exhausting valuable nutrients, organic farmers employ methods that build up the soil, like using composting, crop rotation and cover cropping.
Sort Out Trash, Recycle, And Compost
Regardless of where you camp, the best way to make a good impact on the environment is by sorting your waste. Therefore, bring two reusable trash bags for recycling and trash. You can even bring your own compost bag. And if your trailhead or campground has no compost or recycling, take your trash home and make sure it’s properly disposed of. That way, you get to enjoy protect nature and enjoy the health benefits of camping.
Use Biodegradable Toothpaste And Soap
Some type of soap and toothpaste can adversely affect the environment as they take longer to biodegrade. It is wise therefore to bring biodegradable products when camping and always make sure that you’re at least 200 feet away from water bodies or sources when using soap or toothpaste.
Keep Water Clean
Using water-soluble products such as suntan oils, makeup and lotions can pollute water sources, ponds, rivers and lakes, especially when used excessively. You should also be extra cautious not to use insect repellants in water because it may be poisonous to aquatic life. And before swimming, be thoughtful on what you used on your body
Use Rechargeable Batteries
Rechargeable batteries reduce unnecessary waste significantly. It can even be more beneficial if you used products that can be recharged by solar energy. People who use such batteries for lanterns and headlamps while camping tends to reduce the number of batteries needed. So pack your backup battery in another headlamp.
Use, Repair, And Rent
Typically, low impact products are those that already exist. So before purchasing any new piece of gear, consider repairing the one you have, buying a used one or renting. If you keep an existing product in use, you reduce the chances of introducing new products that harm the environment.
Leave No Trace
The best way to leave a camping area is to make sure that no one can tell you were there. So don’t leave any litter, boulders, smoldering fire pit or broken bushes. When leaving the campsite, make sure that you stick to the marked trails and don’t pick wildflowers or even disturb the wildlife.
Making your camping expedition eco-friendly helps protect the environment and wildlife. A small change like wearing hard-soled shoes can disturb the land and cause a negative effect on the vegetation and wildlife. So follow these tips and enjoy your outdoor ventures this season!