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Sometimes, you just want to escape into the wild and break away from routine. Camping trips help to rejuvenate the soul and give you a fresh perspective on life. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Although, it would be a shame if your trip adversely affected the environment.

Here are some tips on how you can enjoy an eco-friendly camping experience:

  • Reduce your carbon emission by carpooling to the camp site instead of arriving in separate vehicles.
  • Bring reusable utensils, plates, and pack refillable water bottles. This is cost efficient and will minimise waste.
  • Leave nothing but footprints and make sure to dispose of your garbage properly. Carry enough garbage bags and recycling bags. If there are no designated dumping bins, pack up the trash and don’t leave any behind.
  • A cosy campfire to gather around and roast marshmallows over can be great, just make sure that your location doesn’t have a fire ban; if there isn’t one, then be sure to keep your fire under control.
  • Never get too close to wild animals, don’t feed them either. Store your food and garbage securely so that animals can’t rummage through.
  • Preserve the tranquillity of the environment, let nature’s sound carry on triumphantly.
  • For washing and cleaning, use products that are less harmful for the environment. Try biodegradable soaps and check out these multipurpose alternatives. Just remember that no matter what the label, no soap/detergent etc. should be used directly in rivers or lakes. Use such products at least 200 feet away from any water source.
  • Consider alternatives to toxic bug sprays. Read more about natural mosquito repellents.
  • You can even try using a DIY natural sunscreen.

To learn more about planning responsible outdoor trips, read our previous posts: Enjoying a responsible national park visit and Tepee or not tepee. That is the question.

If you’re looking for a more glamorous camping experience, then perhaps glamping might be what you’re looking for. Either way, a break from a bustling life is just what the doctor ordered!

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When visiting National Parks, the best way to be a responsible traveller is to follow the rules and regulations. After all, they are there for a good reason – your protection. Respect posted rules and remind others to do so if necessary and appropriate by politely reminding fellow visitors to notice and follow the park’s rules to contribute to continued preservation. Report any signs of vandalism or misbehaviour to park rangers. Parks’ visitor centres are a good resource for information on regulations as well as for available trails. Here are some more ways to enjoy a responsible national park visit.

  1. Stick to indicated trails to ensure that the ecosystem is not harmed and the environment as well as you stays safe. Though some parks may allow off trail or cross country experiences, it is not a general rule so do your research on regulations and rules for the recreational area you are visiting. If you are bringing pets, make sure the trail allows it, and be sure to keep them leashed and that you clean up after them. You may also consult local authorities or park rangers on site. If you feel more adventurous or if there are too many visitors on the trails, you may want to choose a backcountry adventure.
  2. Avoid removing seeds or shells, damaging corals or picking flowers to not have a negative impact on nature. Enjoy watching the wildlife instead of feeding it to not intervener with their natural way of sourcing food.
  3. If you are planning on camping in a national park, make sure to check the local camping regulations and prepare your campground meals in advance. Bringing your ingredients in reusable containers (including your reusable water bottle) will help to reduce waste. In case you still produce waste, ensure that it goes in the correct bins or take it back with you if no suitable disposal is available. Read more of our tips for responsible camping and RVing.
  4. Use the park’s shuttle services for transportation if available instead of driving yourself. You will be able to enjoy more of the scenery and worry less about traffic or parking. They are also a great way to get around if you are planning a one-way hike.

Read more about the right behaviour in national parks here, stay safe and enjoy your visit!

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Tepee or not tepee. That is the question.

Categories: Green Tips
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With the camping season in full swing across the northern hemisphere it is important to remember that we have a shared responsibility to protect and preserve our environment. This means that we have a moral and social duty to minimise our footprint as we enjoy the ‘great outdoors’.

 

Check out these tips. They apply equally to once-a-year campers and RV enthusiasts.

 

  1. Pack in, pack out: Otherwise known as ‘leave no trace‘, make sure that you leave nothing behind that may damage flora and fauna and cause harm to wildlife. Dispose of all your trash in a responsible manner and use recycling bins. Do not feed the wildlife with your leftovers. Boy Scouts of America has a great article about the proper disposal of waste.
  2. Get ‘off the grid’: If you’re cruising the countryside in a recreational vehicle, think about harnessing the sun’s rays to provide free energy at your camp site. Solar panels are an environmentally-friendly alternative to gas-guzzling, polluting generators. Check out these solar lighting options as well. Enjoy your surroundings and keep your electronic devices on standby mode to reduce power consumption.
  3. Separate your waste: With many campsites offering recycling facilities you can play your part by flattening cans, boxes and bottles before disposal. You may need to drive to the recycling centre so separate your waste at the campsite.
  4. Do as you would at home: There’s no reason to behave different when camping. Always use reusable dishware, cutlery, bottles and containers. Manage water consumption and always use biodegradable, non-toxic cleaning products.
  5. Use eco-gear: There are literally thousands of options for eco-camping or glamping gear. Conscious campers will find inspiration
  6. Build a safe campfire: If camp fires are permitted, make sure that your fire is kept under control at all times. We know that food is always tastier when enjoyed around a camp fire but be mindful of your environment. One stray spark can cause total devastation and considerable loss of life to humans and wildlife. Keep a fire extinguisher handy at all times and always use designated camp fire pits. Read more tips and guidelines from the Fire Service.

 

Happy camping!

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Green Guide to White Water Tours

Categories: Management, Manual, Planet, Private Sector, Tour Operator, Visitors, Water
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Easy to use best-practice environmental management guide for white water raft and kayak tour operators and tourists.

by Ralf Buckley

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Green Guide to White Water Tours

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This project was undertaken to determine the specific criteria for low-impact sustainable tourism in remote areas, and then apply this criteria to two locations in Western Australia. A multidisciplinary team with expertise in sustainable planning and design, environmental technologies, sustainability assessment and indigenous  consultation collaborated to design and develop the criteria for the project outcomes.

by David Beyer, Martin Anda, Bernhard Elber, Grant Revell and Fred Spring

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Best Practice Model for Low-Impact Nature-Based Sustainable Tourism Facilities in Remote Areas

 

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The need for data on the recreational use of the alpine area of Kosciuszko National Park is important for the sustainable visitor use of the highest area in Australia. Previous visitor monitoring surveys and estimations of  visitor numbers have shown significant increases in visitation between the late 1970s and the early 1990s. Over the 1999/2000 summer, a 40 day monitoring program was undertaken for the Kosciuszko alpine area by the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service in conjunction with the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre.

by Stuart Johnston and Andrew Growcock

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Visiting the Kosciuszko Alpine Area: Visitor Numbers, Characteristics and Activities

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Behavioural Responses of Dingoes to Tourists on Fraser Island

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This study investigates some of the ways in which dingoes are affected by tourists on Fraser Island, with a view to providing recommendations that may help reduce the threat of attacks on tourists by dingoes.

by Kate Lawrance and Karen Higginbottom

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Behavioural Responses of Dingoes to Tourists on Fraser Island

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The research objective of the present project was to determine the relative impacts of disposal of human wastes on vegetation and soils in Tasmanian vegetation types that occur in areas used for wild country camping, with particular emphasis on the impact of digging, the impact of nutrient accessions, the persistence of  paper products, such as tissues, and the disturbance of burials by native animals.

by Jamie Kirkpatrick and Kerry Bridle

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Human Waste Contamination at Huts and Campsites in the Back Country of Tasmania

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The introduction of a minimal impact bushwalking (MIB) education campaign has alerted walkers to preferred behavioural practices in natural environments. However, despite the introduction of this campaign in Tasmania in 1987, there are still issues relating to visitor impact in back-country environments. The impact of visitors on the natural environment is often measured in terms of vegetation loss or track erosion. Impacts dealing with water quality issues have also been researched to a lesser degree. However, despite the visual impact of  inadequately buried human faeces at campsites, there has been very little work done on the extent of this problem, and on associated health risks.

by Kerry Bridle, Jamie Kirkpatrick and Julie von Platen

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