Learnings From Camping to A Sustainable Life Tomorrow
What you will learn
- How learning from camping can support a better environment
- Why our detachment from nature prevents us from addressing climate change
- How to practice eco-friendly habits you learn from camping everyday
Camping is one of the best ways to enjoy being in nature. Families also love camping because parents know children can learn self-sufficiency and survival skills. The natural environment magically makes chores like cooking a fan activity.
No matter who you are, a school teacher, a multi-million business owner, or a share holder of oil/gas companies, we all enjoy being in nature and go camping on a weekend. We all want our children to have the same opportunities to enjoy their life around beautiful nature.
When we go into nature, the rule is to leave no trace. This means we take responsibility on what we do and do our best to to preserve or even improve the environment. If we can keep practicing that in our daily life, there is no doubt that we can make a big improvement. Cleaner air, saving clean water to the future generations, less waste, all start with our awareness of the value that nature provides.
Why is being connected to nature important for our environment
Disconnection from nature in our daily life is the underlying cause of this delay in action to tackle climate change. Children and most young adults in modern society never experience years of hard work to grow food. They never need to see how animals are grown and they eventually become meat for us to eat. We also don’t see workers in waste sorting facilities deal with our rubbish. Where do we get clean water from? How is enough oxygen in the air sustained?
It’s convenient, but very dangerous not to know these things.
Why is it dangerous ?
- It's dangerous simply because we fail to appreciate the importance of those critical resources that make our lives possible. While we are running out of clean water and a half of world population doesn’t have access to clean water, we continue producing and consuming bottled soft drinks. The corporations producing soft drinks take clean water which should be for local people to sustain their lives. Does it make sense to produce unhealthy drinks with so much sugar that make people sick and negatively impact on local people’s life?
- We embrace the elusion that we have technologies to control nature. We do have technologies to for example product oxygen. But are you happy to carry an oxygen tank all the time? The planktons in the ocean make 50 to 80% of oxygen but mostly used by marine animals. As the earth’s temperature gets warmer, more oxygen evaporate and disappear. Oxygen is a very unstable chemical and needs to be made constantly. If we keep cutting trees because we want to produce more products or build houses, who will produce oxygen naturally? We may have a control on human activities, but we never have a control on anything else.
- We forget everything is connected to everything else in real environment. Many scientific studies and technologies can focus on only one thing and there is always an unintended consequence. As we know, plastic made our life so much easier but is causing a big trouble. The river next to the camping site may not be there in the future if we change the ecosystem by building a dam or warming up the climate.
Some simple facts to know about our environment
How is our waste sorted
The first step in our waste management is to sort it into different streams. The items you put in a landfill bin will straight go to landfills. Items placed in a recycle bin will be sorted by different materials mostly by hands and machines. Items that are too small, unidentifiable materials, mixed materials, and more than 10% contaminated with food/chemicals are all sent to landfills. At this point, only 30 to 50% of items left. Then, they are cleaned and shredded for recycling. At the end, only 10 to 20% of recyclable materials are actually re-used. So now you know at least 80% of our rubbish ends in the landfill site!
Where do we get clean water from
We drink water from springs, wells, rivers, lakes and other natural sources. Nature has an amazing system to purify water but it takes about 3000 years. This is why it's so important for us to reduce our human activity as we are polluting it with chemicals, waste products, and trash. At camping site, do not dispose any waste water into the natural water source. If there is no facility, dig a hole at least 60 meters away from natural water sources to dispose waste water. In industry, oil spill from extraction or an accident can contaminate wide area of surface water and it takes years for the ecosystem to recover. Think twice before using plastic.
The positive effect of camping on the environment
Preserves our natural resources
One of the biggest benefits of camping is that it helps preserve natural resources. Campers must use fewer resources than city dwellers because they don't have access to as many services, such as electricity, water and sewer systems. Camping gives us to learn how to reduce pollution by using less and by eliminating the need for many products.
It reduces your carbon footprint
When you camp, you reduce your carbon footprint by not using electricity or fossil fuels for heating or transportation. You are in a different environment. There is no switch to turn on a light, no water tap within few steps, no air-con, etc. You will need to find a way to do things differently and you will find you can do this. Have you noticed that there are many simple changes you can make to consume less water, electricity, and products?
It helps protect wildlife habitat
Many people choose to camp in undeveloped areas because they want to avoid disturbing wildlife habitats. The less intrusion there is on wildlife habitat, the better off animals will be as they try to survive in their natural environments. This also helps prevent further deforestation of forests and other natural areas by preventing over-use by humans.
How to practice eco-friendly habits you learn from camping everyday
When you go camping, you'll learn a lot of new things about the environment. Keep practicing what you learned. Here are some examples:
I bet you tried to minimize waste while packing items for camping. This is because you expect there isn’t a place you can dump rubbish in open natural environment. Keep trying to reduce unnecessary consumptions by using reusables, planning well, and being kind to nature.
Spend time outside
You had a great camping on weekend, and go back to usual life on Monday. You live in a house air-conditioned, hop on a car, work in a office building... You don’t even know if it is hot today. What nature does today is irrelevant to you. Try consciously feel a connection with nature at least once a day. Feel the heat from sunlight, wind blowing, trees breathing, insects flying around... They all do something important to the environment and we are all connected.
Being connected to nature can help us be more eco-friendly
Camping is a great way to learn more about minimizing your environmental impact as you get hands-on experience with eco-friendly living. By applying these practices to everyday life, we can reduce the amount of waste we produce, and preserve the natural resources of our world for future generations. Be sure to keep these ideas and tips in mind so you can pass along your knowledge to others and help build an even greener world!