Even camping has an impact on the environment, but you can reduce that impact by following a few simple tips.
When you choose to camp, you are opting for one of the greenest ways to travel; however, you may not realize that when you break camp you may be leaving behind more than footprints. What kind of detergent did you use for dishwashing? How did you dispose of your waste? What kind of insect repellent did you put on?
At Andean Adventures Peru, we are fully committed to environmental sustainability and the reduction of our carbon footprint. In fact, we make sure that our Inca Trail to Machu Picchu treks and all the other hiking and trekking routes we operate in Peru have as little impact as possible on the environment. We achieve this by using eco-friendly products, reusing and recycling. We have been operating treks and tours in the Cusco region and the rest of Peru since 1985, and our experience has taught us simple ways to make camping greener:
1. No plastic, please: Using disposable bags and water bottles has a huge impact on the environment. Even if they are not thrown away in wilderness areas, they contribute to the global waste disposal crisis. Be sure to pack food and drinks in a sustainable way, with reusable food containers, bags, and bottles.
2. Don't just throw it away: Waste is inevitable when camping. But make sure you dispose of it properly. And whenever possible, separate your waste for recycling.
3. Eco-dishwashing: Too often, campers pollute water with chemical dishwashing soap. Next time you go camping, make sure you buy and use organic, eco-friendly, biodegradable soap. Green showers: Are there showers at your campsite? Are you planning to bathe in rivers? Then use an eco-friendly shower gel.
4. Protect your skin and the environment: Sunscreen and repellent are necessary to protect skin against sunburn and insect bites. Most of us buy chemical products, unaware that they have a big impact on the environment, especially when we bathe in rivers, lakes or the sea. Use organic sunscreen and repellent.
5. Nature does not provide souvenirs: While hiking and camping, you will want to admire beautiful flowers and other plants. Do not remove them from their habitat! They’re beautiful where they are!
6. Follow the rules: Every campsite or protected natural area has rules established to ensure sustainability. If you are being asked not to do something, please follow the rules.
7. Buy local: When preparing for a camping trip, try to buy local products. You’ll be boosting the local economy and supporting "0-Km" initiatives.
8. Careful planning means no leftovers: Packing is key to sustainable camping. So, when you’re packing food for your trip, make sure you carefully calculate what you’ll need. Leftovers mean waste.