Camping has been a favorite pastime for American families for decades, and is far from waning in popularity. In fact, an amazing 43 million Americans went on at least one camping excursion in the last year.
One of the best things about camping with your family is that it can help you teach your kids about respecting nature by spending a few days in close proximity to the natural world. In an era of smartphones, TVs and computers, it’s a much-needed lesson for many children. And believe it or not, there are many things you can do to respect the environment while camping in addition to observing it!
Have the best family camping trip possible while encouraging your kids to respect the environment with these three great eco-friendly tips:
Bring biodegradable soaps
When packing for a family camping trip, you might be tempted to bring along all the soaps, shampoos and other products you use in your home. However, using these products in lakes, rivers and streams means their chemicals directly enter these natural water sources without being purified in a water plant first. Biodegradable soaps and shampoos, which naturally degrade into the ecosystem without any impact, are much preferable.
Put trash in its place
During your family camping trip, be sure to enforce a “carry-in, carry-out” policy — anything that has been brought to the campsite shouldn’t be left there when you leave, especially garbage. If possible, try to bring as many re-usable cooking and eating utensils as you can to cut down on trash, as well.
If you go hiking, stay on the trail
It might seem fun and adventurous to divert from the trail at your campground’s hiking paths. However, doing so can have more of an impact on the local ecosystem than you think. Hiking off the beaten path can trample native plant life and add to soil erosion. To reduce your family’s impact on the environment, be sure to tell your kids to follow the signs and stay on the trail while hiking.
What are your favorite environmentally-tips for going tent camping or cabin camping with the family? Share with us and your fellow readers in the comments below!