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Going Green: Five Ways to Green Your Camping Trip

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Green_SWATake full advantage of the outdoors these final weeks of summer and plan a camping trip with family or friends.  There is no better way to get in touch with nature and save some green.  Camping fees are generally inexpensive, as are the activities that go along with camping, such as hiking, bird watching, fishing, and, of course, picnicking! Make sure to treat parks, campsites, and other outdoor attractions with respect.  If you spend time outdoors, keep in mind these five green tips:
  1. Tidy up: Whether you are camping for a few days or picnicking for an afternoon, make sure everything you bring outside leaves with you.  Take as few disposable items as possible, and ensure that you gather any trash or recycling you generate and take it with you when you leave.
  2. Drink smart: Use a reusable water bottle on your camping, hiking, and other outdoor adventures to reduce waste. Also bring reusable dishware and silverware!
  3. Go solar: Invest in lighting and charging options that run off solar power, such as solar lanterns, phone chargers, etc.
  4. Be thrifty: Unless you’re an avid camper, there is no need to buy the latest and greatest in camping gear.  Stick with used backpacks, tents, and kayaks to recycle someone else’s unused gear.  Check out websites like GearTrade.com for great deals on used equipment!
  5. Stick to the trail: Be sure follow signs, cairns, and trail markers, and stay on the beaten path to minimize your impact on the environment. Trailblazing and wandering off the trail can cause native plant life to be trampled and lead to soil erosion.
There are many campsites across the country, but few places are as beautiful to visit as our National Parks. Visit www.nps.gov to find the perfect park for you, or see this list of National Parks near Southwest Airlines destinations!