Reduce Reuse Recycle – Out in the Wild

A lot of waste is generated camping and picnicking.  Through this series, there have been a lot of “at home” hints, but often when we go outdoors to eat or send our children with lunches and snacks, we generate a lot of waste.

The answers to this lie in advance preparation and good containers. Snack foods such as nuts, cut up vegetables, cookies, and fruit are all good alternatives to the individual packaging provided in store bought granola bars and fruit snacks. These processed items are often higher in sugar and chemicals as well.

Whether camping or going out on a picnic, save some time when you are having fun by preparing your food ahead of time. Another bonus to doing this is that you are more likely to recycle and compost materials prepared at home than you would at a picnic or camping site.

Slice your cheese at home, cut up your vegetables and fruits and prepare your side dishes so all you have to do is add them to whatever you are making.

Beverages that come in refundable containers can often be recycled at sites or you can take them home. A good alternative is to drop them off at the recycle depot in the “Little Mitten’s donation box”.

If you are having a campfire, cardboard and food papers can make excellent fire starters. Another hint is to use dryer lint, it is a great fire starter as well.

Again, buying bulk items and repackaging them in your camping food containers or your picnic basket is a good way to reduce waste. Try reusing plastic peanut butter jars for oatmeal, rice or coffee. Often the plastic containers are better for camper storage than glass, in case you are going over rough roads.

And another reminder – glass doesn’t belong on the beach. If you are having beverages, please use a cup or cans, apparently one of our local beaches has glass in the lake resulting in cuts to people’s feet.

There is nothing more frustrating than going to a lovely place in our wilderness and finding garbage. If you take a little time ahead of your trip, you won’t have as much to throw away or take home.


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