Lake Living and Camping This Summer With Zero Waste

Zero Waste Lake Living and Camping

Lake living in the summer is one of the best ways to experience the lake!
Summer is the time of year to camp out along the shore. Even if you have a lake house, forsake the indoor amenities and sleep out under the stars!
You can't get a lot better than falling asleep to the water lapping against the shore.
Camping out is also a great learning experience for the kiddos.

It gives them a new perspective on life and gets them up close and personal with Mother Nature.
This is a perfect time to teach the kids about zero waste and to learn more about it yourself. It is an essential topic in today's world.
The problem of waste and the impact it has on the earth is very real. You can contribute to the solution by practicing zero-waste habits when you are lake living and camping.


5 Essential Tips for Zero Waste Camping At The Lake

Here at Lake Living Guide, we love lake living and all the benefits received from being at the lake. The peace, the nature and the release of stresses and pressures.
There are tips you can practice to work towards the goal of zero waste when camping at the lake. Here are 5 essential tips to consider.

Essential Tip #1 Cut Out the One-Time Use Products

It may seem easier to purchase paper plates and then just dispose of them in the campfire. That might be right, but it does nothing to contribute to less consumption.
It takes resources to manufacture and distribute those paper plates that you will use just once. If you visit a second-hand shop, you will be able to find plates that you can use again and again.
Look for either metal or enamel dishware. You don't want glass or ceramic dishes to be used at a campsite as breakage can quickly occur when you have fun around the flames.
If you find a set of plastic dishware, that is great too. They are objects that have already been produced, and you will be able to use them again and again.


Essential Tip #2 Use Second-Hand Camping Gear

When camping by the lake, you will need some gear. Rather than purchasing new gear, look at local second-hand stores.
The Salvation Army and Goodwill will often get camping equipment that you can buy for less than the cost of new gear.
Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, along with eBay, would also be good places to look for used camping gear.
Here are some well-known retailers who sell some of their products used:

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https://www.thenorthfacerenewed.com/

https://wornwear.patagonia.com/

https://www.usedgear.arcteryx.com/

https://www.rei.com/used

Consider borrowing from friends for your lake camping excursion. You may be surprised who has gear that is not in use and would consider loaning out or selling to you.
When you look for used camping gear, you are circumventing vital resources being used to produce yet more products.

Essential Tip #3 go For an Environmentally-Friendly Diet 

When choosing the food you will have on your lake camping trip, try to eat a plant-based diet.
That will remove the need for ice and plastic bags. If this is not a reasonable possibility, buy in bulk for your lake camping trip and prep meals at home ahead of time.
Bring all of your camping food in reusable packages. The best way to carry your food into a campsite is in a durable and reusable cooler

You can choose meals that consist of simple ingredients. The best kind of preparation is to have all the ingredients in one reusable container. This oatmeal recipe is an example:

Camping Oatmeal

1 cup of oatmeal per serving
4 cups oatmeal
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup slivered almonds or other nuts
½ cup golden raisins or other dried fruit
½ tsp cinnamon
Mix ingredients in a reusable container.
Measure out each serving in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water.
Let sit about 7 to 8 minutes
Can be topped with a banana if desired

Essential Tip #4 Use nature-friendly hygiene products

Small changes add up. Bring along bandanas rather than disposable wipes. Bandanas can be handy for any number of needs.
Soak your bandana in water and tie it around your neck to cool off while camping along the lake.
Use it to wipe away dirt and keep your hair under control.
Bring along a collapsible airtight container to store your food waste until you get home to compost it.
Take along nature-friendly hygiene products when camping by the lake. Shampoo and conditioner bars work just as well as those that come in bottles.
Use an old lunchbox to create a first aid kit.
Hit up the dollar store to fill up your lunchbox with bandages, tweezers, antiseptic ointment, and other first-aid needs.

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Essential Tip #5 Commit to a Leave-No-Trace Camping

Whatever you have brought to the lake camping trip with you, take it back out when you leave.
If you come across debris, pick it up and carry that out too.
Lake living is an inspiration to "Leave No Trace." The lakeshore should be a pristine setting for all to enjoy.
Every time you are by the lake, it is an opportunity to leave the environment better than you found it. It is the perfect time to lead by example to others around you.


Zero Waste Camping

As we humans have come to understand and see the impact disposing of products has negatively impacted the environment. The need for zero waste is evident to us.
While being able to achieve completely zero waste may be an impossibility, each of us can do our part to join the conservation effort of responsible consumption.
Zero waste camping at the lake is not just a trend; it is a lifestyle. Practice zero waste with the intent of reducing your carbon footprint.

Zero Waste Swimming

What is lake living without swimming? Unfortunately, most swimsuits come from a combination of polyester and nylon, which means plastics.
These fabrics can wear out quickly, depending on how often you swim. Look for swimsuits that are constructed from regenerated nylon from pre and post-consumer products.
You certainly don't want to give up swimming on a lake camping trip, but there are suits that are made responsibly from sustainable materials.
Look for those products that use recycled materials. 

Types Of Waste

Many kinds of waste impact the environment negatively, and the crisis is getting worse, not better.
The amount of waste generated has numerous effects on humans and the environment alike.
It contributes to the climate crisis; it harms wildlife, damages the environment, and is detrimental to our health.
Here are some of the contributors to the waste problem

Plastic Waste

Microplastic Waste

You may have heard about the issue of micro waste; it is a monumental problem in the form of minuscule waste. 

Micro Waste is made up of microplastics in tiny pieces that pollute the environment. 

Microplastics are not a specific kind of plastic, but rather any type of plastic fragment that is less than 5 mm in length according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 

To compound the problem, plastics degrade slowly. It can take hundreds, if not thousands of years. 

Because of this length of time, microplastics can be ingested, incorporated, and accumulated in many organisms' bodies and tissues. 

Microplastics are found in the oceans, ice cores, freshwater ecosystems, marine environments, the soil, and the air we breathe.


Non-biodegradable Waste

Products that are not biodegradable contribute to the waste problem because these products cannot break down. 

Outlined in this article, the Difference Between Biodegradable and Non-Biodegradable Substances is a crucial thing to know. 

If you understand the differences, you will be able to make purchases more carefully. 

Doing so will help reduce pollution and ease the strain on our environment

The Little Things Add Up

Lake living develops a greater appreciation of the environment and the beauty of nature. 

It is essential to understand How Our Trash Impacts the Environment so that each of us can do our part to mitigate the impact.

In Conclusion

Lake living is a way of life. Camping out at the lake creates memories that last a lifetime.
You also want the lake and its surroundings to last many, many lifetimes.
By practicing zero waste whenever and wherever you can, you will help to preserve and protect the lake that you love. 

    Meg