Summer’s not over yet! While planning late-summer adventures and beyond, don’t forget to think about how we can lessen our impact and recreate sustainably and responsibly while getting outside! Some simple swaps can have a positive impact on the outdoors and don’t get in the way of enjoying your travel and experiences. With the help of our friends at Keep Nature Wild, we’ve put together a list of a few places to start.
Keep Nature Wild is a community of passionate outdoor lovers dedicated to cleaning up our planet. They create outdoor products with purpose inspired by the wild places that bring us joy, and pledge to pick up one pound of trash for every product sold!
Pack It In, Pack It Out
Whether you’re road tripping it, car camping, going backpacking in the backcountry, or anything in-between, whatever you pack in, don’t forget to pack it out, be mindful of any waste you create, and do your research on how to dispose of it properly. The most foolproof way to do this is by bringing a couple of trash bags: one for trash and one for recycling. An added bonus is to use biodegradable bags, like the ones offered by Keep Nature Wild, or compostable bags! If your campsite, campground or trailhead doesn’t have compost or recycling, take it home with you and toss it in your personal trash and recycling bins. It seems simple, but it makes a huge impact!
DIY Snacks and Meals
Prepping snacks and meals ahead of time when you’re heading out for some time spent in nature is one of the easiest ways you can reduce waste when you’re out in the wild! Bonus points if you can use reusable pouches, your everyday utensils (or reusable ones), and sustainable food wraps (like bees wrap wax food covers). These are just a few swaps to start out with to take care of the environment by lessening single use waste if they’re accessible to you.
Conserve and Reuse Water
When camping, water is always on the mind: having enough for drinking, cooking, and cleaning up at camp — especially with larger groups. Reusing water at camp is a big way to keep your camp sustainable and lessen the amount of water you’ll have to haul into camp! What can that look like? When rinsing your dishes, use a portable sink or a makeshift one (aka a bowl!) to catch water so it can be reused for other washes. Brilliant! That water could also be turned into another meal. Think about it — You can repurpose dishwater that hasn’t had soap contact to make soup by boiling the water and placing it in a bowl. Add soup. Voila. Dinner again! Beyond simple water usage, there is also the consideration of where reused water ends up getting dumped out (it typically isn’t in the right places and may go against leave no trace principles). Dumping grey-water (meaning any used water not from your toilet) is actually illegal to dump out on public lands. Instead, find a sink or toilet to dispose of your reused water in and feel good knowing you’re helping to take care of nature while doing it!
Refillable Fuel Options for Camp
If you’re camping with a gas-powered stove, consider ditching the single-use cans that fuel them in favor of refillable propane options. These are more eco-friendly options as the green propane bottles are very challenging to recycle.
Use, Rent, Repair
Camping is often seen as an expensive pastime because of all the gear you’re perceived to need. But what if we told you… you didn’t need to buy it all new?! It’s true! And it’s more sustainable. Consider purchasing used gear instead of new when possible — it’s more affordable AND makes the least amount of impact. Gear Trade is a great place to start. Beyond that, renting gear and repairing what you can lessens your footprint and helps avoid bringing new gear into the picture when it may not be needed!
We can all do a little more to make a little less of an impact while enjoying the outdoors. We think these are great places to start! What other responsible options can you think of? Share with us! Keep Nature Wild | Campspot