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The importance of sustainable materials in camping gear


Always choose products with more sustainable fabrics and fewer chemicals. There are many brands you can choose from and they often prioritize ethical working conditions, as well.

As a camping enthusiast, you obviously enjoy being in nature and exploring the environment. But did you know that you can also help protect our planet while enjoying the outdoors with your friends and family?

Many campers have already heard about the Leave No Trace movement that teaches us to be conscious of our environmental footprint during our camping adventures, but it is really just a part of the solution. If you opt for camping gear made of sustainable materials you will ensure it isn’t harming the environment. This doesn’t refer to the time you use it outside only. Gear made of unsustainable materials can cause much harm to our planet during production, too. 

Always choose products with more sustainable fabrics and fewer chemicals. There are many brands you can choose from and they often prioritize ethical working conditions, as well.

What makes an item sustainable?
Many people assume that sustainability is focused on item’s materials only. Sure, this aspect is important, as well as the afterlife of a product, but only by analyzing the whole product life cycle, you will be 100% sure it is eco-friendly. Experienced camping enthusiasts at state that this includes “looking at a product from the time the materials are extracted from the Earth, going through production, transportation, consumer sale, and then disposal”. Everything we do can impact the environment and we should always be aware of that.

Choose recycled materials
You already know that recycling is essential for the planet Earth. However, you may not know that many camping items (gear, clothing, backpacks, etc.) can be made of recycled plastic. Plastic bottles are often recycled to produce polyester which is a material used in various products. Next time you buy a backpack, check if it’s made of recycled polyester or, otherwise, you will be a part of the problem by bringing more plastic products into the world. Recycled nylon can also be found in many items, mainly clothing and camping gear. 

There are a few reasons why using recycled materials is so important. First of all, it lessens the need for raw materials and, therefore, less water and energy will be required for extraction. Second, it helps us reduce the amount of plastic and similar materials that will eventually end up in nature. 

Image by 3D Animation Production Company from Pixabay

Opt for organically grown cotton
Let’s explore the difference between organically grown cotton and conventional cotton. For starters, organic cotton has a significantly lighter environmental footprint and the reason for that is that herbicides and synthetic pesticides aren’t allowed on organic farms. In fact, these farms have the obligation to follow certain practices that guarantee the health of water and soil and promote energy and water conservation. On the other hand, conventional cotton has a bad effect on the land and water and carbon emissions are far higher than they are on organic farms. 

Make sure you check labels when you shop for cotton products. If there isn’t enough information, look at the packaging or do your research online. Organic cotton isn’t much more expensive than conventional cotton and, when you think about all those harsh chemicals touching your skin, it’s definitely worth the investment.

Image by imaginationphotog from Pixabay

Look for a Fair Trade certified mark
A few years ago, Fair Trade principles were well-known in the food and coffee industry. Nowadays they have expanded a lot and cover a variety of other products, including clothing and camping gear.

Basically, Fair Trade is a concept that helps workers and farmers by promoting safety at work and sustainable livelihoods. Not to mention that it empowers the community greatly and fights for environmental protection. It is all about better prices, too. 

By slightly changing your shopping choices you can get a better deal for farmers and offer them the dignified life they deserve. Next time you go shopping for your camping gear, look for the Fair Trade Certified mark. You can usually find it on the materials list or on the product itself. The mark can also inform you that the factory the item was made in compiles with Fair Trade principles, which means that certification includes both the materials and the process.

Image by Fabricio Macedo FGMsp from Pixabay

Next time you go camping, make sure you are well-informed and educated about sustainable camping gear in order to minimize the environmental footprint and help save our planet. Your decisions impact human health, but also the safety of animals and laborers who make the products. Sustainability in the outdoors industry is very important, so you should give your best to support it.

Main image by CN171-13 from Pixabay

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