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Camping can be a green challenge

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

As campers, my husband and I try to be as green as possible. While other campers are using styrofoam and paper plates, plasticware and papertowels, we wash our plates & silverware and try to use rags and microfiber clothes as much as possible. However, on occasion I do cave and use disposable dinnerware and ziploc baggies as I don't want all my vacation spent cleaning and washing.  It's a constant struggle with my conscience.  Does anyone else camp and have conflict with this?

post #2 of 6

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by southerngal View Post

As campers, my husband and I try to be as green as possible. While other campers are using styrofoam and paper plates, plasticware and papertowels, we wash our plates & silverware and try to use rags and microfiber clothes as much as possible. However, on occasion I do cave and use disposable dinnerware and ziploc baggies as I don't want all my vacation spent cleaning and washing.  It's a constant struggle with my conscience.  Does anyone else camp and have conflict with this?


I haven't been camping in a few years, unfortunately, but I understand your struggles.  If you don't want to clean your dishes, obviously you are going to have to use something disposable, which isn't good.  One option would be to get compostable plates.  There are some on the market (sorry, no links-maybe someone else will help?).  I'm not sure if they make compostable flatware and/or bags.
 

post #3 of 6

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by southerngal View Post

However, on occasion I do cave and use disposable dinnerware and ziploc baggies as I don't want all my vacation spent cleaning and washing.  It's a constant struggle with my conscience.  Does anyone else camp and have conflict with this?

 

I haven't gone backpacking or even car camping for a while now...but my family has a property up in Humboldt County, CA where we've got a little cabin.

 

We do have running water and a wood stove.  So usually, we just end up heating two big tubs of water, one for washing and one for rinsing dishes.  That means for the most part, we use reusable dishes.

 

But!  If you go up before the water gets turned on or if there are repairs and you have to wait till the next day to get water, you have to figure out another alternative for doing the dishes.  My boyfriend and I went up about a month before we usually turn on the water.  We brought a few jugs of water and honestly, I didn't even think to bring up paper plates.  But...it was definitely tricky trying to do the dishes while slowly trickling water out of the water jugs. 

 

I think part of my own personal determination for using disposable/compostable versus reusable is time frame.  If I'm only going for an overnight, I might opt for something compostable (lighter weight and that way you don't spend so much of your short vacation time cleaning up).  But if I was going for a week long backpacking trip, I think I'd probably take reusables and a bit of dish soap.  Ultimately, that might be lighter weight and less bulky than taking enough disposable dinnerware for the whole time.  And of course, it's more environmentally responsible.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by captaint View Post

 

One option would be to get compostable plates.  There are some on the market (sorry, no links-maybe someone else will help?).  I'm not sure if they make compostable flatware and/or bags.
 

 

There are a few options for compostable stuff.

 

  • WorldCentric makes both recycled paper and bagasse (sugar cane waste) plates, cups, bowls, etc.
  • Greenware makes biodegradable cups out of corn.
  • Verterra makes some beautiful plates and bowls from water and fallen leaves
  • Biobag also makes compostable bags

 

There are some other companies making bags and cups from similar materials but those are just a few options.

post #4 of 6
I want to buy one of those lightweight camping single burner stoves, they are very tiny and usually collapsible.  What is the most eco-friendly fuel source to buy?  I have seen LP, gel based, MSR, etc.  
post #5 of 6
Well, I bought a multi-fuel system, so whatever you guys think, I should be able to use it!  I actually don't know much about it, we have always cooked over fire, and I know that isn't the best thing, esp if you have to cut the wood.  I bought the Primus Gravity Multi-Fuel Stove:
Quote:
The lightweight, compact Primus Gravity multi-fuel stove offers the versatility to burn white gas, kerosene and LP gas cartridges
I guess white gas would be the most eco option, what do you think?
post #6 of 6
I would try to pick the easiest to transport and store.

The LPG cartridges probably fit that. Impossible to spill and more difficult to have an accident with. Storage is not a problem either. 
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