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Eco-friendly Hiking – – If you love hiking, you must be mindful of the carbon footprint you leave behind. Think about the impact your hiking will have on the environment. If you wish to sustain the beautiful planet that we live on, it is the small decisions that you make every day that make a change. One person makes a huge impact on the environment.
Your actions are not insignificant. If you are unaware of how you affect the environment, try saving your plastic waste for a month to visualize how much waste a single person produces.
One of the etiquettes of hiking is to leave no trace. In order to practice proper waste disposal and make your hiking environmentally friendly, you must be careful regarding what you pack for the trip. Some basic elements to consider when packing for an eco-friendly hiking trip are:
Here is a quick guide on how to pack for a sustainable trip:
Try to refrain from buying products that are designed for single use. This includes razors, wipes, plastic water bottles, disposable dishware and Tupperware, plastic cutlery, drinking straws, etc. Instead, invest in reusable products such as portable bamboo cutlery, reusable water bottles, steel straws, razors, and washable cotton wipes.
Shampoos, sunscreen, and other hygiene products are made of toxic chemicals which harm the environment, especially marine life. Invest in organic products so that when you shower or care for your body on the go, you are not harming the ecosphere. There are numerous options available now since awareness is growing and people are opting for eco-friendly choices when buying products.
Be conscious of the packaging of the products that you buy. Go for solid toiletries such as bars of soaps and shampoos which are packed in paper instead of plastic bottles. Even toothpaste and perfume are available in bar form. Solid toiletries have multiple benefits. They not only save space in luggage but are lighter to carry. Reusable silicone bottles are also a sustainable option if you are uncomfortable using bars. Opt for mesh drawstring bags or cloth bags for storage purposes.
Various companies have different missions and initiatives. Investigate mission of the company that you buy from to learn if they use biodegradable products or recycled materials. Search for any certifications that they may have which verify their level of sustainability. You can tell a lot by the way the company packs their products as well. Do they use excessive packing with tons of plastic? If so, the company is probably not that keen on keeping their gear eco-friendly.
Periods are quite environmentally unfriendly. If your hiking trip is going to be long and you might need to change your pad or tampon, it is wise to buy menstrual cups especially if you will have access to restrooms. Reusable cotton pads are also an eco-friendly choice for hygiene products. Even when you’re not hiking, why not reduce the waste you produce by shifting to cups and reusable cloth pads?
You are sure to produce some waste as you hike, keep waste bags to dispose of any waste that you may produce unless it’s biodegradable and compostable like fruit peels. Don’t leave behind any waste as you hike. Check your surroundings before you leave a stop after taking a break or camping for a while. Make sure that there is no trace of you ever being there. You can even pick trash left by other people that you find on your hike to go that extra mile and do Mother Nature a solid.
Besides packing wisely, here are some other tips for sustainable hiking:
You don’t have to practice every single thing listed here on your very first camping trip. It is difficult to lead an environmentally friendly life in this capitalistic world where most products are not made with consideration to our environment. Just do your best and try to do better every single time.
Enjoy guilt-free hiking!