Camping is often seen as a more eco-friendly way to travel compared to a hotel or cruise. But being surrounded by nature isn’t always inherently better for the earth. Camping still creates waste, but there are ways to work toward a zero-waste camping experience.
Here are a few tips to help you be more mindful of the environment when camping!
Here are my 12 Tips for a Zero-Waste Camping Trip!
1. Rent or Borrow Equipment Instead of Buying
Instead of purchasing your own camping gear, head to a local camping store to see if they have gear to rent. You could also ask your friends if they have any equipment to loan you.
2. Buy Used Gear
If rental equipment isn’t available, check your local thrift stores to see if they have any used camping treasures in stock. You’ll save money, plus you’ll be giving these items a second chance and avoid the landfill.
3. Choose Gear from Eco-Friendly Brands
A few of my favorite camping items are:
- My favorite outdoor hat
- Eco-friendly backpack
- Camping Cooking Set
- Camping stove
- French Press Coffee Mug
- Camping Cookwear Set
4. Make Your Own Ice
Skip the pre-bagged ice in plastic bags. A few days before your trip, start filling your own ice trays at home and store the cubes in reusable bags.
5. Plan Your Meals
Planning your meals ahead of time can help you avoid food waste and only bring what you really need. Opt for simple meals with few ingredients, and leave as much packaging as possible at home.
6. Bring Reusable Utensils
7. Compost at the Campsite
If the campground allows it, compost any leftover food scraps. This is one of the easiest hacks for a zero-waste camping trip, and it’s easier to do when you opt for plant-based meals.
8. Bring a Reusable Water Bottle
Skip the single-use bottled water. Bring a refillable water bottle that will keep you hydrated.
9. Choose Drinks in Recyclable Aluminum Cans
Drinks in aluminum cans can be recycled. Bring along a mesh bag to store your used cans so you can carry them home with you.
10. Opt for Eco-Friendly Bug Spray and Sunscreen
11. Bring Zero Waste Toiletries
Plastic-free shampoo bars, soap sheets, and other natural toiletries can help you have a zero-waste camping trip and avoid leaving waste and chemicals behind. You might even opt to make your own toiletry items, such as skin cream and bar soap.
12. Carry-In, Carry-Out: Leave No Trace
Remember that everything you carry into your campsite must also be carried out. It’s also helpful to bring your own trash bags to collect any waste that can’t be recycled or composted (hopefully you won’t even fill one trash bag!)
Zero-waste camping takes a little extra planning, but the positive difference it makes on the planet is well worth it!