Simple Tips to Make Your Camping Trip More Eco-Friendly
Camping and caravanning are becoming increasingly popular in South Africa, with the industry showing a 96% growth in 2017 compared to the 20.3% experienced by guest houses and guest farms. While camping with family and friends is without a doubt a fun-filled experience, it is of vital importance to preserve the spectacular natural environment by making your camping practices as eco-friendly as possible. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to give your camping activities a ‘green’ makeover by making a few easy changes to your regular endeavours.
Clean up after yourself
Whether you are camping at one of the country’s popular music festivals or at a private, upmarket establishment in the berg or by the sea, it is of vital importance to get rid of the trash that you generate. Carry a couple of re-usable bags with you and take the time to separate trash from any recyclable materials. If you are fortunate enough to be staying at a camping ground that has composting facilities, you can make full use of them. Alternatively, take your compostable waste home and dispose of it there. If you come across rubbish lying around near your campsite, pick it up and dispose of it – even if it isn’t yours. A single cool drink can or plastic bag can wreak havoc in the environment, causing grave danger to mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects.
Make the most of sustainable equipment
South Africa is known for its sunshine, which is ideal when it comes to making use of solar power in order to minimise your carbon footprint. When you go camping, try to leave your noisy generator at home and make use of as many solar-powered accessories as possible. Even if you don’t have solar panels you can make an effort to reduce your energy usage and pollution, especially when camping in a caravan or other type of recreational vehicle. If you are making use of an air conditioner to keep your caravan cool, ensure that it is serviced regularly so that it cools efficiently and not waste electricity. Other eco-friendly equipment to consider using includes solar-powered lanterns, manual espresso makers, bamboo eating utensils, and biodegradable wipes & toilet paper.
Opt for non-toxic soap, bug spray, and sunscreen
The soap, bug spray, and sunscreen you use can have a very negative impact on the environment. Make sure any toiletries and cleaning products you bring on your camping trip are chemical-free and completely biodegradable. Even if you are using eco-friendly products refrain from letting them get into any water source. You can save a lot of money and aid the environment by making your own mosquito repellent and cleaning products from common, safe ingredients such as essential oils, baking soda, and lemon juice. You can also pop into your nearest Checkers, Pick n Pay, or Spar supermarket to pick up one of many eco-friendly products that are now readily available on the South African market.
South Africa is without a doubt one of the most beautiful countries in the world. By following eco-friendly camping practices you will not only better your own life, but help preserve the exquisite natural environment as well.