15 Aug The Green Goddess Guide to Eco-Friendly Camping
It is often said that from dust we came, and to dust we shall return. We are all creatures from Mother Nature. It only seems fitting, then, that we work to honour and preserve her the best way we can. As women, we have a more intimate connection to the planet – she boasts the miracle of life, and we have the ability to do similar by giving birth to children. So by celebrating Earth, we celebrate an entity not much different to ours.
There are many ways of doing this. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing how every Green Goddess can do her bit to protect our big blue marble in fashion, cosmetics and makeup, camping and adventures, as well as cooking.
PICK THE RIGHT CAMPSITE
Research will serve you well in this regard. National parks are often the safest choice because they receive regular maintenance, but there are a handful of privately owned game parks that pride themselves on being eco-conscious. Those should be the ones you visit.
Part of picking the right campsite is considering that the longer you spend in the car travelling to your destination, the more CO2 emissions you’re responsible for.
LEAVE ONLY FOOTPRINTS, TAKE ONLY MEMORIES
Humans tend to be extremely obnoxious. We’re loud, insensitive and extremely destructive. When we go camping, we need to remember that we are visitors in an animal’s natural habitat. The site still needs to be habitable when we leave. You’d think it goes without saying, but just as a friendly reminder DO NOT LITTER. Be responsible about your trash. If you’re going to be silly enough to smoke cigarettes, don’t just flick the butts – put them out and put them in your pocket to throw away in a bin later.
In the same breath, leave the wildlife alone to continue as naturally as they would if you weren’t there. The owl you passed on your hike is not a pet. His entire life and eco-system is disrupted by unnatural involvement, and most likely has some owl juniors waiting for him to come home with dinner.
BUY REUSABLE OR BIODEGRADABLE
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Though that might still be up for debate, if you trash your polystyrene plates and plastic cutlery in the forest and no one is around to scold you, it still damages the local ecosystem. If there is any chance that you might be careless while camping, invest in biodegradable gear. Packing silverware is more economically sound if you remember to take them home with you.
MAKE THE MOST OF SOLAR ENERGY
Camping trips are great ways to get off grid, but if your Instagram followers simply can’t live without your updates, then having a fully charged cell phone is a must. Solar chargers are great ways to make sure your GPS stays working and you stay as connected as you want to be in case of emergencies. These days, you also get solar powered headlamps and lanterns so you don’t need to buy batteries.
KNOW HOW TO GO
When nature calls, you best answer. But there are definitely dudu do’s and dudu don’ts. Formal campsites have ablution blocks where you can do your, erm, business. If you’ve really gone off the beaten track, however, you need to make sure your waste doesn’t present a danger to the wildlife in the area. Find a secluded spot a fair distance from your campsite. Bring a spade with you as a hole is where you’ll ‘back the trailer’ into. When you’re done, burn any toilet paper that you may have used. Don’t forget to cover the hole so no unsuspecting animals get into it.
So you see, being more eco-friendly is extremely easy. Embrace your inner green goddess and honour Mother Nature through your camping choices.