Going "GREEN" While Camping

Discussion in 'Articles' started by JoeCamper, Feb 27, 2010.

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  1. JoeCamper

    JoeCamper Eastern, Pennsylvania

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    Jun 24, 2006
    Eastern Pennsylvania
    For some people, camping is a way to get back to nature while for others it means bringing out the big toys and having some fun. For the people who bring out the big motor home equipped with satellite television, cook tops, refrigerators and other neat gadgets, camping can leave a negative impact on the environment. For the people who wish to camp and do so while leaving the smallest ecological footprint possible, there are some clever tricks to keeping your camping "green" and safe.
    Going on a green camping trip can actually be one of the more fun vacations you take this year. Look into ways you can help make less of an impact on the environment the next time you venture out into your home state's mountain country or forested parks.

    Goodwill Hunting
    Before investing in new camping equipment, look for your camping and cooking supplies from a second-hand store or internet site. (craigslist) Donate your old camping products for reuse to these same stores.

    LED Flashlights and Lanterns
    LED lights and lanterns are the most energy efficient light source currently available for flashlights and lanterns. They produce a brighter sustained light while still using less battery power than a traditional flashlight. In fact quality LED flashlight can provide over 600 hours of light from one set of regular AA or AAA batteries. The combination of battery savings and bulb efficiency results in up to 90% less energy consumption than any other flashlight. Check that you are powering them with rechargeable batteries or even consider a wind-up LED flashlight as an even more environmentally-conscious light source.

    Don't use Styrofoam cups while camping, no matter how convenient they may seem. The same goes for paper plates and disposable plastic forks. Instead, camp with reusable dishes and utensils and wash them after each use. This will drastically decrease the amount of trash you burn (bad for the enviro-gases pollute the air) or throw away (plastics don't biodegrade quickly, overfilling our landfills).

    Minimize Food Packaging
    Depending on the length of your trip, you’ll probably have to cook several meals at your campsite. When you’re shopping before the trip, think ahead to what you’ll have to throw away. Buying in bulk instead of individually wrapped products will reduce your waste, as well as your likelihood of bears, raccoons and other animals digging through your trash.

    Cook Stoves
    Unless you're allergic to smoke or have strong asthma symptoms, the campfire is still the most ecologically friendly way to cook food. Fueled grills require propane or electricity to operate. Campfire requires wood that can be easily picked-up off the forest floor and a light source.

    Keep paper bags or bins around for recycling. One of the many uses of recycled plastic bottles is to provide the fiber filling for sleeping bags. They can also be used in fleece pullovers and blankets, which may come in handy while you’re camping. If you’re in the market for a new sleeping bag, ask about this option before you purchase.

    Stay on the Trail
    What camping trip would be complete without a day hike? Instead of being a trailblazer, follow signs and the beaten path while you’re walking. Traveling off the path leads to soil erosion and the trampling of native plant life. Also avoid the temptation to throw rocks and remove brush while you’re on the trail.

    Be Water Conscious
    Camping near a water source adds new potential opportunities for fun, including swimming and canoeing. There’s also additional responsibility to keep waste out of the water. If your campsite has a bathroom, use it when nature calls. If not, make sure these activities occur at least 200 feet from the water.

    Don’t Be a Pampered Camper
    Instead of filling your pack with cosmetics, embrace a more natural look when you’re camping. Wash your face and use extra deodorant as a substitute for a daily shower. If you decide to clean up in a natural body of water, avoid using soap because it may harm the aquatic life.

    Go Low -Tech
    You can enjoy a true outdoor camping excursion more if you do it electricity free. Leave the games, portable TVs, and computers at home. Pack a cell phone or PDA in case of emergencies but turn it off or just plain leave it alone.

    Final Sweep
    Do a quick sweep once you’re packed up for any waste, whether it’s yours or not. Every little bit helps when it comes to reducing how much energy we consumer every year.

    To tell your thoughts and experiences or for additional information and threads related to GOING GREEN! Click Here
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