Here at Intervine we take our camping seriously, you already knew that right? Well one of the few things we take more seriously is our view on reducing waste, single use plastics and how we can camp with less of a carbon footprint. We have been getting a lot of questions on how we reduce our waste when camping and for eco camping tips. So we thought we would share them with you and together we can help the world breathe a little easier.
Let's break this up into 2 sections. How to reduce waste and some eco tips…
A few tips on how to reduce your waste when camping...
The problem the world has with plastic is a huge elephant in the room that not enough people are trying to address. According to a stat from the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) 91% of all single use plastic does not get recycled, instead it's headed for land fill or even worse, in the environment. That's just is not good enough! So let’s see how we can help you become part of the solution and use less plastic when camping.
Research your campground and prepare.
If you know where you are going camping, what the weather is likely to be doing, what you will have to eat/drink during your time there it will help you pack the essentials only and enable you to cut down on bringing unneeded items that would end up in the trash or not being used.
Preparing to bring your trash home is a huge help. This can be a specifically designed receptacle or simply a durable reusable net bag you keep all trash in and carefully dispose of or recycle when you get home.
Having a kit like this one which contains all you will need to eat, drink and enjoy your food but without the disposable aspect is key. Most of the team here at Intervine have a few, one for the car, office etc etc. We love this zero waste essential kit by Keep Gaia Wild!
Pre Plan your meals.
Pre Planning your meals is a double edged sword giving 2 great benefits. The first and most on topic is that you will undoubtedly leave your waste packaging at home. The wasted packaging from food makes up most of the trash in the world. Excess plastic and card can be dealt with easier at home than in the woods at dinnertime. The second is that when you do get to dinnertime, most of the work is done and you can enjoy more time unwinding than slaving over an open fire.
Check out some of our favourite camping recipes here.
It is safe to assume that most of us who go camping have a good idea of how long we will be away from home, especially if you followed the first step to becoming more of an eco camper. This means you should be able to easily plan how much water you will need. Not bringing plastic water bottles camping has never been easier, plus the market is flooded with insulated water canteens (like this) keeping you hydrated with cool crisp water. Most campgrounds also offer drinkable water also, meaning you probably wont have to lug all that water. Bear this fact in mind next time you go to grab a plastic bottle of water, “80 percent of plastic water bottles end up in landfills. It takes up to 1,000 years for every single bottle to decompose. 80 percent of the plastic water bottles we buy end up in landfills. U.S. landfills are overflowing with more than 2 million tons of discarded water bottles.” - Source.
Reduce battery usage.
It's 2020 (I am sure you are aware, what a year so far) and the need for single use batteries can be left to the 90’s. Technology has you covered in so many ways. From power banks to rechargeable batteries to products which have inbuilt rechargeable batteries like lanterns etc, there is no need for your ‘throw away’ duracell or like minded brand today or tomorrow. We rarely leave home without the products in the links, we recommend you try it!
Choose simple foods.
Probably the easiest way to reduce your waste, which will mostly come from food, aside from preparation is to take with you simple foods. Fruit, vegetables, nuts, jerky or other dehydrated foods. Once you have your ‘kit’ you will have reusable options to carry and protect these foods. Arrive, unwrap, eat and continue on with your 0 waste life. You my friend, are helping to save the planet.
How to eco camp and why it is important.
With the popularity of camping increasing dramatically over the last few years, ‘Approximately 40 million people go camping in the US each year’, putting it into numbers. That's a lot of people, a lot of carbon footprint and a lot of opportunity to be cleaner and more eco friendly and ‘leave no trace’. Here we will share with you some of our favourite tips to be more eco friendly.
Buy pre used gear.
Living in the first world we have everything at our fingertips and there is always a ‘newer’ model coming out whether it be a TV, cell phone or camping gear. While we are not suggesting technology does not advance, quite the opposite, but there is still a tactic to getting the best technology at the best price with the LEAST impact on the environment and that ladies and gents is to buy used. Craigslist is full of incredible deals on pre used camping gear. The phrase ‘used once’ is music to our ears, it spells out value for money and lesser impact on the environment. Of course we are not suggesting that it is sacrilege to buy new, just have a look for some pre used products 1st. I've found my favorite tent on Craigslist and it was still sealed in the box when I got it!
Non toxic Sunscreen body products and Bug Spray.
This is an easy one and one that benefits not only the environment but your body. There are so many brands now focussing on non toxic sunscreen and bug spray, we recommend Sunbum for sunscreen and All terrain for bug spray. You can also make your own bug spray at home using essential oils and a few other ingredients. Here is a guide to get you started!
Get Biodegradable Soap and Toothpaste
Another few items that can negatively impact the environment is soap and toothpaste. They can take a long time to degrade out in the wilderness. By bringing biodegradable products into the wild, and always make sure you’re 200 feet away from any water source when you’re using soap or toothpaste you are doing your part and nature will thank you!
See below for a list of 5 things we never camp without;
Camping Hammock - The lightest and easiest way to sleep outdoors. Once you ‘Hammocamp’ you will never turn back. ENO are made in the US and unrivalled in quality.
Headlamp - We have always found a headlamp invaluable camping. Free hands, plenty of light, easy to pack and travel with.
Knife - The Swiss army knife. We NEVER camp or travel without one of these. Multi use, lightweight and built by the Swiss.
Cooler - When things that should be cold get warm it is not a fun time for anyone.
Sleeping bag - There are many different climes and ratings for temperature. We recommend a 3 season to keep you warm most of the year.
Try and compare these prices to those on craigslist for added eco savings!