Camping is the perfect choice to "get away from it all," but even when going back to nature, many campers fall back on the bad habits of a reckless and disposable lifestyle. To keep the great outdoors green, it’s important for campers to both reduce their carbon footprint and keep camping and hiking areas clean for everyone. Tossing trash on the ground, soiling public restrooms and disregarding safety precautions are only too common for inexperienced campers, but by following a few rules, camping can stay fun for everybody!
1.) Absolutely No littering!
Most people understand the importance of throwing paper and plastic away, but many campers underestimate the consequences of simply tossing food and other organic waste on the ground. Banana peels and coffee grounds may be biodegradable, but food waste also has an unpleasant aroma, breeds bacteria and attracts wildlife to campsites and campgrounds. Properly disposing of organic waste protects the sanctity of designated camping areas and trails and helps ensure that future campers can enjoy nature unencumbered.
2.) Bring reusable dishware
Garbage collection is one of the biggest problems of the modern campsite, and nothing fills up public garbage cans faster than a constant stream of plastic silverware, Styrofoam plates and paper cups. On your next camping trip, consider bringing a small stock of non-breakable drinking glasses and plates along with reusable cookware and silverware. Not only is this a cheaper alternative to purchasing disposables, but bringing reusable eating utensils and plates keeps trash levels low and reduces your carbon footprint at the same time!
3.) Stay on the Trails!
When hiking on the trails or walking through campgrounds it's tempting to brave the unknown and go off the beaten path, but this recklessness can spell disaster in more ways than one. Staying on marked trails cuts down on erosion and destruction of the natural environment, but most importantly keeps campers safe by preventing them from getting lost. Thousands of inexperienced hikers and campers leave marked trails and are lost every year, resulting in millions of dollars and resources spent tracking them down and bringing them back to safety. Mother Nature is beautiful but not very forgiving, so be safe: stay on the trail!
Escaping to the wilderness clears the mind and cleanses the soul, but relaxing ourselves doesn't mean relaxing our manners.