The Great Green Outdoors

7 Ways to Camp Green!
Camping feels like it should automatically be a check in the eco-friendly column, doesn’t it? You’re outdoors, after all, and isn’t that what it’s all about?

Actually, careless camping can be decidedly un-green with trash in the woods, poorly watched campfires, and people walking where they shouldn’t.

So let’s all learn seven ways to green up your camping!

Trash Matters
Nature and garbage don’t go together. Whenever you go camping, you need to bag and properly dispose of any trash you produce. This isn’t just wrappers and bits of paper, though, it’s also any food scraps. Dumping leftovers in the woods will attract animals and get them acclimated to humans – which you never want to happen.

Keep It Reusable
Naturally, the best way to combat trash is to simply not make it in the first place. Try to avoid using disposable items whenever possible. Instead of bringing Styrofoam plates, plastic utensils, and paper towels to the campsite, bring reusable plastic plates, break out the travel utensils, and bring actual towels.

Watch Your Water
Having safe drinking water when camping is very important, so many of us bring cases of bottled water whenever we go camping. What’s better, though, is to grab several 3 gallon water containers from your local grocery store and use those to fill up reusable bottles. This should save you money and greatly reduce waste.

Take Care with Toiletries
Staying clean and stink-free when camping helps keep everyone happy, but you don’t want to grab any old soap or shampoo when going out into the wild. Our normal toiletries contain some pretty tough chemicals, after all, that can harm plants and animals. Whenever you go camping, bring biodegradable toiletries that won’t leave nature needing a bath.

Follow the Paths
Whenever you’re out hiking, make sure you stick to the established paths in order to protect the environment. If we all wandered where we wished, campers would do quite a bit of damage to the surrounding landscape by killing plants that help protect the soil.

Borrow First, Buy Used Second, Purchase New Third
If you only go camping once every few years, you shouldn’t go out and buy a new tent, sleeping bag, and camping stove on a whim – it’s a bit of waste. Instead, try to borrow gear from your friends or relatives. If they don’t have what you need, try gear consignment shops first before buying anything new.

Fire Safety
Starting a forest fire is just about the least green thing you can do when camping (except for dumping your old plutonium out in the woods). Fire always needs to be carefully managed and you should follow this excellent guide from Trails.com on campfire safety.

Thanks to Katie from Care2, the Mother Nature Network, and Karen Plant of Trails.com for the great information.

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