As hotels, caravans and B&Bs get booked up ahead of the great summer of staycations, holidaymakers are being forced to take to their tents.
Despite feeling at one with nature whilst away, some camping habits aren’t the best for the environment.
The team at money.co.uk have explored how to make a camping trip as eco-friendly as possible.
Observing local wildlife, camp stove cooking, lighting fires, disposing of rubbish and going to the toilet can all cause damage without realising.
Ben Gallizzi, an energy expert at money.co.uk said: “After the year we’ve all had, everyone deserves a holiday. However, lots of accommodation choices are filling up fast, leaving last-minute bookers with fewer options.
“Some British holidaymakers might already be committed to a sustainable, responsible, eco-friendly lifestyle, but it is especially important when camping. Natural beauty spots and countryside spaces are also some of the most fragile in the world and we’ve all got a responsibility to protect them.”
Ten top tips for an eco-friendly camping trip:
1. Use, reuse and recycle
Habits, like recycling, are usually followed at home but are quick to disappear when we go on holiday. However, it’s important to keep up good environmental habits during a camping trip too. Sort rubbish into recyclable and non-recyclable bags and instead of buying single-use cutlery, plates, and washcloths for the trip, bring ones from home that are less treasured.
2. Don’t be rubbish
When out in the wild, it is important to be mindful of where you are. Even the smallest bit of waste can do a lot of damage to the environment and local wildlife. Take biodegradable bin bags when you’re out and about, to carry around unwanted rubbish. When camping, leave rubbish somewhere safe and out of reach of wildlife. Dispose of your rubbish in designated bins and close the lid to stop animals from getting in and eating anything potentially harmful.
3. Check for chemicals
The products used during a camping trip can have even more of an impact on nature than leaving rubbish behind! Many household products, such as moisturiser, toothpaste, sunscreen, and insect repellent, contain chemicals that may pollute the environment they are used in. Plan ahead and pick sustainable, all-natural products.
4. Go solar
Gadgets are needed in every aspect of life and whilst the idea of forgoing technology during a camping trip might be nice, sometimes gadgets are needed. However, it is easy to make environmentally friendly choices when charging and using these products. Solar technology has advanced a long way and is a great alternative energy supply for almost all electrical appliances. It will require a bit of forward planning and a small investment in solar-powered alternatives.
5. Refill water
Instead of taking a multi-pack of single-use water bottles, reduce plastic waste by finding a safe source of water and packing reusable water butts, boxes, or bottles. Doing this for the duration of the trip will create a big reduction in the amount of waste created whilst camping and reduce the amount of plastic waste ending up in landfills.
First-time campers with no gear should think twice before picking up their equipment. Tents made of plastic will eventually end up in landfill, so first-time buyers should opt for one made from natural materials like cotton, hemp, or even recycled water bottles. Camping gear can be expensive, so also consider the benefits of buying second-hand tents, mats and air mattresses.
7. Stay sustainable
Getting good grub when hiking, walking and exploring is important when camping. Before doing the big shop ahead of camping, look at greener and more sustainable options. Invest in outside food storage solutions and minimise waste created by food packaging, by cooking from fresh. Shopping local will also reduce campers carbon footprints, as the food will have to travel fewer miles.
8. Getting there
Camping hotspots are quick to fill up, particularly in high season, so it is worth considering the environmental impact of having lots of people in natural spaces at once. Whilst stunning campsites along the coast might be appealing, put some thought into the emissions produced from the petrol used to get there.
9. While there
When camping in the wild, and not at a dedicated campsite, it is important to pick a spot that isn’t home to animals - somewhere you can see someone has camped before would be ideal. Avoid moving or damaging vegetation to pitch your tent and consider the local wildlife in the area.
10. Be prepared
Before heading out of the door, double-check and make sure everything needed for the camping trip is packed. Add some tracking tiles to your keys and backpack in case you lose them. Being overly prepared can reduce waste, as campers won’t need to rush out to make unnecessary purchases that could have been brought from home. Only having to make one trip to the campsite will also reduce air pollution.