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Green Methods of Camp Cooking

By Jackie Edwards:

While camping is generally considered one of the greenest ways to travel, research suggests that there are negative environmental effectssuch as polluted rivers and depleted vegetation. This occurs when campers fail to consider the damage they are causing, especially when cooking. Cooking on an open fire in the wild can be a magical experience, putting you in touch with nature. However, you need to be aware of how to cook your meals in a way that causes minimal impact on the environment. Whether you’re in your own garden or out in the remote wilderness, follow these tips for guilt free camp cooking.

 Bring Your Own Dry Seasoned Wood

When you are building a fire, you should aim for something that creates as little smoke as possible. Unseasoned wood often can release too many toxins into the air, damaging the wildlife and animals who inhale it. Seasoned wood will burn nicely, without producing too much smoke.This should be brought from home. While building a fire often involves collecting wood from the surrounding trees, this can damage the balance of the local ecosystem. Even dead wood is used by the animals, and it is  likely to be damp, which means it will release toxins when burnt.

Cook Fresh, Organic Whole Foods

The food you put onto your campfire can have an impact on the environment also. Without mentioning the negative environmental effects of the meat and dairy industry, anything which has artificial chemicals locked in will release them when cooked. You should therefore stick to the most natural and organic produce you can get your hands on.

Aim to eat local produce that hasn’t required a huge amount of fuel to get from the farmer’s field to your plate. You also should check the pesticide content of food. Leave chemical-filled food in the forest, and it will almost certainly be picked up by animals and could make them ill. Only clean, fresh food waste will be safe for wildlife to eat and will biodegrade quickly.

 Use Biodegradable Dish Soap

An unfortunate byproduct of cooking is washing up. This will require dish soap, which often is full of polluting chemicals. Luckily, you can wash your travel sized camping equipment with soap designed to be biodegradable. This can be deposited into rivers and lakes with no impact on the wildlife.

Biodegradable soap will be toxin freealso, so it won’t damage your skin. You can make your own at home from water, lye and essential oils. This can be produced in bulk and will save you plenty of cash over store-bought chemical cleaners. 

Camping in the woods is an incredible experience for any lover of nature; however, it isn’t inherently environmentally friendly. You have to take into account the fuel, food and soap you are using. and the chemicals they could contain. Aim to use toxin-free products and leave the forest as you found it. This will ensure an experience that causes minimal impact on wildlife, offering a guilt-free, eco-friendly camping experience you won’t forget.

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