Nearly 20 percent of your carbon footprint comes from your shelter. When you camp, you have the unique opportunity to reduce it and your impact on the environment. The secret lies in minimizing your energy use by making better environmental choices.
When you camp, you definitely make a dent in your electricity use, especially if you tent camp or use a non-electric site. You will use less energy by using LED lanterns or flashlights to get around. Making your own meals rather than going out to eat adds to your savings.
The key is to live closer to the land and the natural patterns of the environment. Chances are you’ll probably fall more into a pattern of sleeping by the sun rather than staying up late. Without electronics to distract you, you’ll may even sleep better.
While paper plate and plastic flatware may be convenient, they are not the best choices for a green camping trip. Soiled plates cannot be recycled. Burning them adds to particulate matter pollution. Instead, opt for a permanent solution with hard plastic plates and metal flatware. Using a biodegradable dish soap to wash up afterward adds up to a green choice for meals.
You should also make it a point to recycle even when you are camping. Many sites have recycling bins on site for separating your trash. If that is not an option, pack recyclables with you to take care of at home. There is no reason while your good green habits have to slack just because you are on vacation.
Helping the Environment
You can take green living to the next step by helping out the site where you are camping. Many regions in the United States are plagued with invasive species such as garlic mustard. It is easy to remove manually, so you can help out with habitat preservation efforts while you enjoy your outdoor home. Some sites encourage these activities and may provide bags or other materials to make disposal easier.
If bugs are a problem, opt for less harmful ways to cope with pests by using citronella candles rather than fogging sprays around your campsite. This is especially important for sites located on or near water since drift can contaminate the surface water. Living green while camping is the ideal way to enjoy the outdoors.