There may be no better time to put eco-friendly practices into place than when you go camping, because every effort you make can help preserve our nation’s beautiful campgrounds for many generations to come. Here are six simple ways to “green up” your next camping trip:
1. Ditch the disposables. As tempting it might be to rely on the convenience of paper plates and plastic utensils, it’s better to bring reusable items so nothing will go into the landfill. There are plenty of lightweight and easily packable options available.
2. Go easy on the gadgets. Camping trips are a great time to go low-tech and minimize the use of batteries and other traditional power sources. Plan to take along devices such as solar-powered lanterns or phone chargers and radios powered by hand cranks or an air mattress pump operated with a foot pedal.
3. Bring biodegradable products. Leave your everyday personal care products like shampoo, body wash, sunscreen, laundry detergent and toothpaste at home and bring biodegradable products instead — they will be kinder to the environment.
4. Get fired up about campfire safety. Be sure to observe all rules and regulations regarding campfire safety, including the proper use of fire rings and making sure that all fires are fully extinguished before retiring for the night. Also, “go local” when buying firewood to eliminate any possibility of transporting invasive species from one area of the country to another.
5. Put used camping gear to good use. If you’re new to camping, look for used camping gear that’s still in good condition instead of buying new items. And if you’re a seasoned camper planning to get new equipment, donate, lend or sell your current gear to give it a new life with another camper who will surely appreciate it
6. "Leave no trace." It's been said time and time again, but it bears repeating. Carry out everything that you bring in to your campsite and resist the temptation to take home rocks, leaves, pine cones and other natural resources as souvenirs. As another very popular saying states, “Take only pictures, leave only footprints.”