This summer, trips outside of Quebec will be practically impossible due to COVID-19. Many people are therefore opting for camping, in a ready-to-camp formula, or not. That is why my team and I have thought of proposing ideas on simple escapades with (almost) zero waste. Because yes, it is possible to camp without producing an astronomical quantity of waste!
Zero waste camping: planning, planning, planning...
To truly live a zero waste experience, you must, above anything else, plan your meals well. For example, take the time to make your snacks beforehand to avoid individually wrapped portions (veggies, granola bars, cookies, rice cakes...). You can also buy treats or side dishes in bulk (ex.: trail mix, dried fruit, nuts, candy, popcorn, pretzels, crackers, ice tea or lemonade crystals, tea leaves, rice, noodles, flaked potatoes, couscous, quinoa, dehydrated vegetables...) and prepare mixtures at home (pancakes, soups, marinades, vinaigrettes...) in Mason jars. Oh yes! Think of transferring your condiments and spices in reusable containers. That will take less space in your pantry and your cooler!
Need to bring juice for the kids? Opt for larger formats that you can pour into sports bottles or reusable glasses. You like vegan or ordinary milk? Opt for powder versions. You can find them in bulk grocery stores. For your morning coffee or tea, bring a piston coffee maker like Bodum. No filters necessary! The infusers are made of stainless steel and are equally hyper practical: they are small and durable!
Just a few days before your departure, fill cleaned used water or juice bottles (ex. Fruité, Rougemont...) and put them in the freezer. This will allow you to keep your cooler cold for many days without having to buy ice blocs that are made in China. Plus, you will progressively get very cold water to cool off on hot days!
Zero waste camping : reuse, repair, recycle...
One of the keys to zero waste, is to use what you already have at home. For example, bring your reusable water bottles, your glasses, your plates and utensils to avoid the disposable plastic, styrofoam or paper versions. Are you afraid your lids may break? Wrap them in clean dish towels. Otherwise, you can opt for unbreakable versions.
Your tent is damaged? Have it repaired instead of buying a new one. You can also rent or borrow equipment. Otherwise, check out the classifieds, you could find what you need at a fraction of the price!
If you enjoy making campfires, use matches rather than a lighter, and make your own fire starters at home. How ? By filling a few toilet paper rolls with old fluff from the dryer. Guaranteed success!
Zero waste camping : bet on ecological products !
Camping is perfect for using eco-friendly products. Many of them allow you to maximize the use of space in your luggage, like the reusable, compostable absorbant towels, the dishwashing bloc, solid toothpaste or soaps, and bar shampoos or conditioners. (Look them up in our online store. You will find a nice variety!)
Here are a few ideas for products that are eco-responisible to bring on a camping trip to replace the over packaged, toxique or disposible items :
Dishwashing brush (Öko Créations)
Bamboo toothbrushes and cases (OLA Bamboo)
Citronella candle (3 Funny Monkeys)
Natural insect-repellant (Laboratoires Druide)
Mineral sunscreen (Laboratoires Druide)
Reusable ear-cleaning wands (Öko Créations)
Solid deodorant (Calendule & cie)
Food wraps (DelycaStef)
Washable absorbant towels (DelycaStef)
Bamboo dental floss (OLA Bamboo)
Bath puffs (Turquoise & cie)
Flashlight without battery
Compostable compressed sponges (Kliin)
Washable tablecloths or placemats (DelycaStef)
Natural all-purpose cleaners (Pure & Pure Nature)
Reusable straws (OLA Bamboo)
Bag sealing clips
Grocery bags (SAKSAC)
Washable sandwich, bread and snack bags (Les créations Mado, DelycaStef, SAKSAC)
Carrying bags or pouches (Calendule & cie, Öko Créations)
Houshold soap (Calendule & cie)
Make-up removing tampons (Öko Créations, OLA Bamboo)
In conclusion, remember that you are going camping to have FUN. Don't stress at the thought of producing a minimum of waste. Its inevitable...like at home. The important thing is to make an effort to help our planet. Each small gesture counts! 😉
Happy trails !