Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Eco- Friendly Camping

Eco-Friendly Camping Trip

by Josh Peterson

By Planet Green ContributorSilver Spring,MD, USA | Jul 05 2008
The Great Outdoors: It's still there, lurking at the edge of our cities, and every now and then, we load up coolers and cars and venture out to spend the night, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. We sing songs and tell tales of phantom hitchhikers. It is usually a good time.

We want to preserve those good times for years to come. We want to protect our wilderness so we can get back in contact with it, at least, on a decade-ly basis. When we head out into the wild for a weekend of fishing, fires and fun, we need to preserve and respect our parks as if they were our own house.

The biggest ecological problem with camping is littering and vandalism. Many of our parks have become degraded by vandalism. Stop those that you see vandalizing. Just report them if they are bigger than you. Don't get beat up.

Our society generates tons of trash. If you bring food wrappers into the park, you should leave with them. Don't burn them in the fire and pollute the air. Pack them up, take them home and dispose of them properly.

Try and leave the city behind when you venture into the wilderness. Don't bring portable electronics because you are afraid that you are going to get bored. If you get bored on a camping trip, perhaps you should vacation in a more suitable environment for your temperament.

Camp only in designated camping areas. Unless you are a wilderness expert, you have no right to camp willy-nilly. You can damage fragile ecosystems that you know nothing about. Stay in the designated camping area.

Campfires are fun and comforting. Make sure to burn only fallen wood. Don't cut down branches from a living tree. Don’t clear a new piece of ground to make a fire. Some campgrounds provide you with a place to build a fire. Only clear new ground if you have to. Always keep an eye out for previously cleared places. Reuse those if possible.

Many campsites have bathrooms. If there is no bathroom, all human waste should be disposed of by digging a hole. Some people like to take showers. There might be a shower facility at the campsite. When no shower is available, a pond might do. Do not take soap into the pond. It can damage the pond’s ecosystem.

Camping is fun. It should be a pleasurable visit to the natural world. By being responsible, you can keep it that way for everyone else.
 Gene Dempsey, City Forester
Environmental Services
Office - (954) 828-7704 Fax - (954) 828-7897

Think before you print!