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Zero Waste Camping Guide For Beginners

With lockdown soon coming to an end, and summer fast approaching, a lot of people are choosing to go camping this year in the UK due to the uncertainty of international travel.

However, camping can quite quickly lead to a lot of waste i.e. plastic cups, plastic bags and plastic utensils due to their convenience which makes zero-waste camping not an easy task.

We can't continue to make careless decisions because they are convenient as it's having a detrimental effect to our plant.

So, I have put together this blog to give you some useful tips for zero-waste camping!

Below are some tips for zero-waste camping for beginners! 

Going on a zero waste camping trip might mean that you will:

  • Have to exert more effort than usual
  • Have more self control than usual 
  • Be more disciplined than usual
  • Get more steps than usual
  • Feel a lot better afterwards

All these small inconveniences will add up to bigger changes, and you will feel great afterwards knowing that you have contributed to making a difference!

Here are some guidelines for zero-waste camping you can try in order to successfully implement it.

1. Choose the right camping gear and tools 

Choosing the right gear and brands can contribute greatly to your waste-free goal, starting with the tent. 

Make sure the tent is durable and can last longer for you to reuse it (this may mean a more expensive tent, but more cost effective in the long run). Another thing is making sure that the tent is easy to dissemble after use so that you can easily fold away as most people will leave tents behind because they are hold to fold again. 

If you have issues with your gear, have it repaired instead of buying a new one. Not only can you save money, but you can also save the planet from unnecessary waste. If you have used gear that you don't want to use already, don't throw it away. Instead, give it to someone who may need it!

2. Think about how you're going to eat

Going zero-waste when it comes to eating is always a challenge, especially if you enjoy pre-packed snacks. But alternatives are now beginning to gain popularity, especially are bulk foods are becoming much more available. 

It just requires a little more preparation. For example, before your camping trip, buy your food in bulk and bring your own container or jar to the shop. This avoids using plastic. 

As well as this, you can use your reusable bamboo cutlery set which you can eat with instead of plastic disposable cutlery. 

3. Spend time selecting the right hygiene products for camping 

Solid soap and shampoo bars are the best choice when going zero-waste on camping trips, as they reduce the need for plastic bottles or packaging. Bring alum stones or solid bar deodorants instead of the usual sprays or roll-ons. Tampons and pads can also be replaced with menstrual cups or reusable pads. This may be pretty overwhelming at first, but just start small and replace as much as you feel comfortable with. 

4. Find alternatives to single-use items

Single-use items may offer convenience like no other; however, they are the major contributor of waste on a daily basis. Once you realise they aren't necessary and there are much better alternatives, you may never go back to single-use items. 

This includes any disposable items from utensils, cups, plastic bags, plastic straws, single-use disposable containers, plastic water bottle, and so on. 

Replace your plastic wrap with reusable beeswax wraps, plastic straws with bamboo straws, plastic utensils with bamboo cutlery, and plastic cups with a reusable bamboo cup or reusable bottle.

These are only a few ideas, however there are a whole lot of options out there once you start looking which you can implement into your camping trips.

Camping with a conscience 

You don't have to implement everything listed in here all at once, you can set your own pace, as long as you are making progress that is good enough. Sometimes people feel pressured and and hence may give up midway because they think they aren't doing good enough or there's no point. But that mentality is definitely what we want to avoid. Forgive yourself if you fail on some areas and start again. It's as simple as that!

With all the guides and tips for zero waste camping above, hopefully you can now feel empowered enough to take small steps toward achieving your zero-waste camping goal.

Thank you for reading, 

Emily xx