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A Case for Greener Camping

by Kendra Clapp OlguínApr 21, 2021
A Case for Greener Camping

This upcoming Earth Day has me thinking of how camping impacts the environment. One of the main intentions behind camping is to enjoy the great outdoors. It only seems natural that there is an effort for greener camping and preserving the home that we’re all living in. While this list of suggestions is by no means an absolute how-to on every way to camp greener, it is a great start to changing camping behaviors to have less impact on the environment. Here are 6 ways to camp a little greener.

1. Visit Campgrounds With Environmentally-Friendly Practices

The sun goes down on solar panels at Verde Ranch RV Resort in Camp Verde, Arizona.

It’s been a slow process, but I am happy to share that more campgrounds are beginning to implement greener practices such as being off-grid, expanded recycling options, solar panels, and more. Here are a few campgrounds we’ve visited on the Find Your Campspot tour that has impressed us with their greener camping options:

Ride Out Ranch in Florence, AZ
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resort: Tower Park in Lodi, CA
Barefoot RV Resort in Myrtle Beac, SC
Verde Ranch RV Resort in Camp Verde, AZ
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resort: Lakes Region in Milton, NH
Rodanthe Watersports & Campground in Rodanthe, NC
OK RV Park in Moab, Utah
Sonoran Desert RV Park in Gila Bend, AZ

2. Leave No Trace

A man separates his recyclables into different recycling bins at a Sonoran RV Resort in Gila Bend, Arizona.

The good news is that more people are camping and experiencing the great outdoors more than ever before. The bad thing is that, if not done mindfully, it harms the environment. By abiding by the 7 Principles from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, we can all help to lessen the impact camping has on the environment:

• Plan Ahead and Prepare
• Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
• Dispose of Waste Properly
• Leave What You Find
• Minimize Campfire Impacts
• Respect Wildlife
• Be Considerate of Other Visitors

3. Visit Local or Nearby Campgrounds

A pop up camper set up at the Yogi Bear Camp Resort: Glen Ellis in Glen Ellis, New Hampshire.

There are many benefits to camping locally, for instance, supporting a local business. Yet, when it comes to greener camping, staying nearby means less driving, which means using less gas and reducing your carbon dioxide emissions. Win, win, win.

4. Use Reusable Items

A reusable water bottle is held up in front of red rock at Arches National Park in Utah.

When grocery shopping for your upcoming camping trip, skip the plastic water bottles. If concerned about water quality, there are plenty of RV filtration options that will keep your water clean when camping. Be sure to remember your reusable water bottles and other reusable items such as tote bags instead of plastic bags, food containers instead of sandwich baggies, and plates/utensils instead of single-use plastic plates and utensils.

5. Rent Instead of Buying

Different canoes and kayaks available to rent at the On The Saco Family Campground in Brownfield, Maine.

I’m constantly on the fence about purchasing our own kayaks or bicycles, but the great news is that more campgrounds offer rentals than ever before. The even greater news is that Campspot’s “add-ons” while checking out allows you to add rentals to your reservation when booking.

6. Eat Less Meat

Someone is tending to grilled tomatillos and onions over a campfire.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) conducted a report demonstrating that livestock is responsible for 18% of our world’s global warming emissions. They aren’t even encouraging people to fully adopt vegetarianism. By simply cutting out some of the meat in your diet, you severely lessen your personal greenhouse gas emissions.

I know we’re all constantly shown the infinite amount of ways to make the world a better place, and it can get exhausting. I hope this list doesn’t add to that feeling but instead motivates you to start camping greener in small, manageable efforts.