Waste management is a mounting problem worldwide, in more ways than one. It’s even more of an issue in rural and remote communities where landfill sites and recycling plants are much harder to come by. This means that our focus should therefore be to reduce camping waste rather than recycling.
Since waste reduction has never been more important, here are our 5 great tips to reduce camping waste.
1. Don’t be single
Many of our single-use items are not recyclable and are made of all sorts of substances that can take a very long time to break down, some in excess of 1000 years.
Pop a reusable bag into your backpack/handbag/car/by the front door and you’ll always have one on hand to use in the shops.
2. Start from scratch
You are not always going to have access to fresh fruit and vegetables while on the road and travelling in remote areas, but when you do, give preference to fresh and dried ingredients over packaged and tinned.
Help local businesses by shopping with them. It’ll save on your travel miles, support the local community and ensure you don’t go overboard with your shopping.
3. Don’t overcook it
Cook enough to make a fulfilling meal to cater for your family or group, but not so much that you end up with leftovers that nobody wants to eat.
To make it easier, you could make a meal plan. It will save time in the supermarket and will ensure you’ll spend less and reduce camping waste. It might also mix up your weekly meals and get you trying something new, as well as reduce stress when having to sort dinner on a busy evening.
Only cooking what you will eat not only reduces food waste but packaging waste as well. Using up your existing pantry ingredients will not only help limit your food waste but also the amount of food you need to pack and transport.
Walk to the shops, that way you can only buy what you can carry, therefore it will reduce camping waste.
4. Save some energy
For many, an ideal camping trip would involve using no technology at all. Sadly, this isn’t always feasible or practical.
But don’t worry, we can still be environmentally friendly even when using our gadgets and devices.
Rather than packing your regular chargers, try to source solar powered alternatives that can reduce your use of electricity. You’d be surprised at how far solar technology has come and you’ll be able to find an alternative energy supply for almost all of your power-hungry gadgets.
If you’re off caravanning, consider investing in solar powered lights to place around your caravan’s exterior. This will save you the need to leave your wired external lights on for long periods of time.
5. Clean as you go
We can all agree that rubbish has no place in nature. If you do produce rubbish, you must collect it and dispose of it separately.
Almost all campsites have waste separation and bins for this purpose. It is always helpful to bring two bags with you so that you can at least separate plastic and residual waste directly on-site, and dispose of your rubbish correctly.
If you don’t have the luxury of a sink and have to wash your items in water, you must use a water-friendly, biodegradable soap that is not packed full of toxins and other crap that can harm the delicate ecosystem.
Whilst zero waste camping is probably an unrealistic expectation when we are camping or caravanning but you can certainly go a long way to reduce camping waste with these tips. If you have any other suggestions, don’t forget to let us know in the comments below.