Living green can mean many things. If you are someone is aware and in tune with the world, leaving a smaller carbon footprint is more than likely a concern. Camping is a great opportunity to accomplish both of these goals. Camping requires care, though, because if not done responsibly, a camping expedition can leave the visited area damaged and in need of repair.
Leave your campsite how you found it
When you leave, the area you visit should look exactly the same as it did when you got there. That which you bring with you should leave with you. At the very least, all non-reusable refuse should be deposited in the campsite’s designated trash disposal areas. Make sure to plan ahead and bring plenty of trash bags just in case your campsite does not provide dumpsters and/or recycling bins.
Watch your step
Camping often requires you to wear those big and heavy hiking boots. But, when it comes down to the reality of the environment you are in, that kind of footwear does a great deal of damage to the plants and animals that call the area you are visiting home sweet home. Yes, if you are out on a hard hiking trail, you should indeed wear your best boots. Just make sure that when you are relaxing around the campsite you are remembering to switch into your normal soft-soled shoes. Your planet will thank you.
Opt for reusable plates
Do not think that you need to buy disposable plates, forks, knives, etc. There is absolutely no reason for this, although it seems to have become the standard practice among campers everywhere. A green camper takes the time to pack up their at-home, reusable plates and cups which can simply be washed and return home with you. Using the disposable plates and plastic utensils only creates more trash and, when it comes to washing them off versus walking them all the way to the camp’s dumpster, more work for you and your camping companions.
Pick eco-friendly camping gear
Luckily for those of us still building our camping gear collections, there are many green and eco-friendly options that are becoming more widely available for purchase. It is important that you take the time to do the research necessary to ensure that the option and items you choose will not only do the job you need them to do, but also will not hurt the area around them.
Camping is an opportunity to leave you urban or suburban setting for a day or two in order to get closer to the real world around you. It is important that we all take the steps necessary to make sure that the natural world we encounter is left intact for the next visitors.
Ben Kopel is a writer for Camping Gear Outlet.