9 Tips to be an eco-friendly camper# Camping
You’ve likely heard the term eco-friendly being thrown around these days. With the climate change crisis looming over us, it’s a term that more people are becoming familiar with. It’s also something that more people are incorporating into their everyday lives. As a camper, you’re usually close to nature and therefore want to preserve your surroundings as much as possible. With these 9 tips to be an eco-friendly camper, we’ll show you what else you can do to support the environment during your holiday.
So what does eco-friendly mean?
Eco-friendly, in general terms, is an environmentally-friendly way of living. Some eco-friendly practices include driving electric cars, recycling, growing a garden, conserving water, reducing plastic and living a more minimalist lifestyle. Being eco-friendly means you’re conscious about how your everyday decisions affect the planet
Eco-friendly living doesn’t just happen at home. Some offices and many businesses are turning to more eco-friendly practices. Even the camping world is jumping on the bandwagon. Not that camping doesn’t already lean in that direction but there are ways to become a more eco-friendly camper.
What is eco-friendly camping?
Eco-friendly camping takes camping to a whole new level of appreciating nature. You might think that camping in itself is already about as eco-friendly as it gets. After all, you’re staying in nature with limited electricity and power sources, you’re consuming less and you’re living off the land. If you’re a responsible camper, you’re likely respectful of the environment around you. However, despite your efforts to be environmentally friendly, there’s always more you can do to make your next camping trip more eco-friendly.
Eco-friendly camping tips
Just being in nature can have negative impacts on fragile ecosystems, but there are ways to minimize the impact so you reap the benefits of being in the great outdoors. First, be aware of your own habits, learn what you can do better and acknowledge that you can do better. To get you started on your journey, we’ve put 9 tips to be an eco-friendly camper.
1. Choosing your location
Avoid crowded camping spots. Crowds cause stress to local animal populations. More people means more noise, more trampling on fragile plant life. Consider going at slower times, such as weekdays, if your schedule allows. Choose a no-frills campground. More amenities mean more impact on the environment.
Don’t camp anywhere that’s off-limits because chances are, it’s off-limits for a reason. Some places ban access to areas where birds are nesting or fragile plants are at risk of being damaged.
2. Your gear
If you don’t camp often, you don’t need to buy gear. Some major outdoor companies rent gear. Not only will you save money, but you also won’t have a pile of gear taking up room in your garage. You could also consider borrowing gear from friends. If you’re a frequent camper, you likely have your own gear. Also, most of our Campervan owners offer all the camping equipment that you need, so you don’t have to buy at all!
If you tend to overpack, practice taking less and, after a while, you’ll realize that you don’t need most of the things you pack. One way to pack less is to take things that can be reused. Do not buy disposable dishes. Most of our campervans come with reusable dishes provided by our owners. Don’t pack belongings in disposable containers. Use a suitcase or other reusable container.
Solar lights are a perfect addition to any campsite. They are compact, they don’t use electricity and they’re safer than candles. When it comes to personal hygiene products, pack ones that are made with natural ingredients and are certified environmentally friendly.
Remember, if you’ll be brushing your teeth and washing in a place where there’s likely no facilities, you don’t want toxic ingredients seeping into the ground or getting into any water sources.
If you’ll be swimming in a lake, use natural sunscreens and avoid perfumes, makeup and hairstyling aids.
Never approach wildlife, never entice a wild animal to come closer and never feed them. Approaching a wild animal puts them in danger as much as it puts you in danger. An animal that feels threatened could attack or become so agitated that it runs out onto a highway or abandons a den or nest with defenseless offspring.
Feeding wild animals seems like a helpful thing to do, but an animal that becomes dependent on handouts may be faced with starvation when those handouts are no longer there. If you want to learn more about how to be responsible when encountering wild animals, check out our European Wildlife Travel Index.
Recycle water when possible. Save wastewater for things like cleaning your campsite. For example, the water used for doing dishes can be used later for putting a campfire out. Of course, only use biodegradable dish soap! If rain is expected, leave some buckets outside and catch the rainwater to be used for cleaning, cooking and washing.
6. The Campfire
Everyone loves a campfire but not having one is safest. Never have a campfire where there’s a ban. The last thing you want is to be responsible for causing a forest fire! If fires are allowed and you need one for cooking or warmth, there are ways to make it more eco-friendly.
When building your fire, use only local wood to reduce the risk of introducing invasive species of insects. Keep your fire small and never burn hazardous materials. Make sure the fire is completely out before you leave and properly dispose of the ashes.
Buy organic and when you’re done with your meal, compost any waste, pack up any leftovers and make sure those leftovers are sealed tightly so you don’t entice any wild animals. If you’re not in the mood to cook, seek out small, local businesses.
8. Pack in, Pack out
Everything you came with leaves the site with you. Never leave food scraps around and everything, no matter how small, needs to be gathered up.
9. Tread lightly
Always stay on trails, minimize noise and always be mindful of your surroundings. The more care you put into the natural spaces you enjoy now, the longer they’ll be around for you and future generations to enjoy.
Most outdoor enthusiasts want to be more conscious of the impact they have on the outdoor spaces they enjoy but many don’t know where to start. One of the best things you can do as an eco-friendly camper is to teach others how to be more mindful of the environment and that yes, every little change matters!
Why should you strive to be a more eco-friendly camper?
On average, around 15 million camping excursions take place in the United Kingdom each year. That’s a lot of strain on the environment, but the strain can be lessened dramatically just by developing new habits.
Besides the most obvious reason, which is the positive benefits on the environment, there are many other reasons to embrace an eco-friendly lifestyle, particularly when it comes to camping.
It’s good for your physical and mental health
Believe it or not, being more environmentally friendly can improve your overall physical and mental health. For example, reducing the use of harmful products, such as toxic cleaning agents and plastics, means those toxins don’t get inhaled and ingested by you.
Various studies have shown that we all have micro-plastic in our bodies and that’s not a good thing. Minimizing your use of these products is also helpful to the animals who may inadvertently ingest these products if they get into their natural food or water source.
We talked about how being eco-friendly can be good for your physical health, but did you know it’s also good for your mental health? When you start doing things that make you feel better and realize that the changes you’re making are bettering the world around you, you’ll start to notice a difference in your way of thinking and how you perceive the world.
A sense of freedom comes with letting go of the things you don’t need. Those excess things that take up room in your physical environment can cause mental and emotional clutter too. You become less reliant on material things and the commercial world has less control over your spending and living habits.
A sense of independence comes with being self-reliant without those interferences. It’s the ultimate escape from that fast-paced world that is increasingly taking a toll on us and the planet. You’ll have more time to reflect on the things that really matter.
It saves you money
Being an eco-friendly camper can also save you money. Besides not paying high prices for hotel rooms, using and consuming less saves money. Disposable plates and cups may seem cheap but the cost adds up if you’re continuously buying them.
And last but not least…
And finally, one of the best benefits of eco-friendly camping is the opportunity to be one with the natural world. When you consciously do things to lessen your negative impact on that world, you begin to respect it more. Observing a wild animal in its natural habitat will no longer be a spectator’s event. It’ll just be you sharing the land with them in peace and harmony.
Following these tips to become an eco-friendly camper for your next holiday will not just give you a good conscience but also support the environment and help nature and its inhabitants to thrive. If you’re looking to rent a Motorhome for this year’s camping holidays, check out our fleet:
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