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Is camping "green"? I know everyone says so , but I don't really get WHY.

(23 Posts)
fillyjonk Sun 08-Jul-07 14:56:11


first, unlike say a hotel or cottage, you HAVE to take a car, unless you are a bit hardcore. And its usually loaded up with kit, and sometimes a trailer.

The kit is pretty environmentally unsustainable

When I go, I tend to use a fair bit of disposable stuff. The only time we use disposable nappies and wet wipes is when camping. Ditto bottled water.

But I keep seeing how camping is supposed to be very "green". And am puzzled.

I LOVE camping, but would count it as a guilty non-green pleasure.


charliecat Sun 08-Jul-07 14:57:20

I realise how much RUBBISH we create when we go camping Its not a good realisation, but I do take all the stuff back home to recycle.

policywonk Sun 08-Jul-07 15:00:28

Possibly because most people think of it as an alternative to jetting off to the Med (or further), not as an alternative to a cottage in the UK?

fillyjonk Sun 08-Jul-07 15:03:22


no I see THAT argument

but are people really chosing between ibiza and blackberry wood?

Mercy Sun 08-Jul-07 15:04:27

Is it considered 'green'? - I didn't know that.

The reason we go camping are

it's cheap (although the initial layout isn't)

it's great for kids (especially city kids like mine)

Much of the camping paraphernalia is reusable, for years on end. You don't have to fork out for day trips - theme parks etc.

Erm, I don't really know what I'm talking about, do I?!

LyraB Sun 08-Jul-07 15:08:14

Have you been to Blackberry Wood? We wanted to go this summer but it's booked up so DP's booked a week in October (we're only going if it's dry).
I suppose it's greener because you're not using loads of electricity, bed lined and towels, which get washed after every guest.

fillyjonk Sun 08-Jul-07 15:10:12

no but i want to go

is it really booked til october?

LyraB Sun 08-Jul-07 15:12:11

It's booked all this summer (weekends) and a lot of next summer too, according to DP.

fillyjonk Sun 08-Jul-07 15:12:48

is it booked in the week though, do you know?

NEXT summer also? WHY is it so good?

LyraB Sun 08-Jul-07 16:25:56

Don't know about weekdays, we were looking at weekends. It's recently been voted the best campsite in the country, so its very popular atm. We haven't been yet but it looks fab online.

NotQuiteCockney Sun 08-Jul-07 16:30:07

Yes, I had heard it was somewhat green. A friend who is getting into camping keeps buying more kit, oh, and they need a bigger car (for everyday use) to carry it all around.

He doesn't talk about camping as a green thing at least, so I don't have to go right at him.

fillyjonk Mon 09-Jul-07 19:02:30

i fancy more debate here

will no one defend camping?

dustystar Mon 09-Jul-07 19:06:28

I suppose we must be more environmentally friendly when we camp as we don't have electric hook up and don't use the torches/lights much either. We do have a BBQ though and i am trying to convince dh that we should get a gas one. I'm not sure but I think we would have a bigger carbon footprint if we stayed in a cottage.

fillyjonk Mon 09-Jul-07 19:07:22

but how?

given that the cottage has already been built and you don;t have to carry loads of stuff there

(its ok btw, I AM a camper)

dustystar Mon 09-Jul-07 19:09:11

I guess it also depends how you do it. I know you are a 'no frills' camper fillyjonk but a lot of others take a lot more stuff - ourselves included. However, we don't use then cooker much - just my morning cup of tea on most days. We do bbq quite a lot as i said but if we used gas I'm sure we would still be more 'green' than if we didn't camp.

choosyfloosy Mon 09-Jul-07 19:09:19

hadn't really thought about this - thanks filly

was struck by our use of gas stove, battery camping light etc last time

though tbh i think use of lights, telly, heating, laundry (for bedding and towels) in a hotel would certainly be worse

not sure about a cottage - we are camping at the mo because we are boracic as well as attempting to be green

local friend is camping this weekend - cycling to the campsite - i guess that's the next step

dustystar Mon 09-Jul-07 19:11:15

I know filly but i don't think that the extra petrol used in carrying the heavier load would be as carbon using (is that a real phrase? ) as the electric we would indoubtably use if we stayed in a cottage. Its not like its used all the time - just for the journey there and back.

fillyjonk Mon 09-Jul-07 19:14:32

so its green because you cut back and use less fuel?

I do seriously think that the extra petrol might be significant

I know towing a caravan takes a third extra fuel. Thats quite a lot. So I'd imagine a trailer is going to make a noticable difference also.

I'd also have thought that the electricity would be a lot less significant than the petrol, actually. but could be wrong.

PandaG Mon 09-Jul-07 19:15:50

I can see your point Filly, but when we go to a cottage we would drive, and would have a pretty loaded car. OK our car is packed ot the gunnels when we camp, but it is a Prius petrol electric, so is lower on emissions anyway. when we camp we always take bikes and do lots of walking/pottering type days, we do sometimes use and EHU, but even then use much less electricity than we would in a cottage.

If you compare camping to a cottage the greenness is perhaps less obvious, but on comparison to flying, no contest!

dustystar Mon 09-Jul-07 19:18:34

We don't have a trailer filly so I don't know about petrol usage with that. We would like to get a car with a bigger engine to help with the load but are going to wait until we can afford a dual fuel version. Then I suppose we will be able to say we 'green'

portonovo Tue 10-Jul-07 10:31:55

Depends how you camp - I know people who take more stuff for a weekend than I would take for a fortnight's self-catering! And they all seem to have fridges, TVs etc now and use the electric hook-up.

When we camp we go for basic. A field with a loo, a standpipe and sometimes a shower block. We don't use any electricity at all. We don't use bottled water - why would we need to? We take our own plates, cutlery etc, nothing disposable. We take a few torches, but they include wind-up ones. We cook on a meths burner (trangia-type), which seems (psychologically?) better than huge gas stoves. We eat very simple meals with little packaging etc.

When we stay in a cottage, we use the lights, gas/electric cooker, the TV a little bit. All the bedding will be washed when we leave - after camping we usually just air the sleeping bags.

allmytimeonmumsnet Fri 13-Jul-07 15:15:33

I agree - I suspect there are green campers just as there would be green cottage holidayers etc and also of course the oppostie. I personally don't see why camping means you have to use loads of disposable stuff. We never did. Washable nappies and sanpro (looked great hanging round the tent, fortunalty it was sunny so they dried). We use normal plates etc. We make a point of buying local although we would in a cottage as well. We don't use a trailer. We got a lot of our gear second hand and pass on anything we don't need anymore. We are getting a cob oven this year as they are meant to be greenest cooker and DH makes our own charcoal. Of course you could go the other way as with all things. But we'd also try to be green if we stayed in a cottage - I think pretty much anything in the UK is greener than flying overseas. I don't think camping is greener because its camping - its greener because of how you do it IYSWIM

sadierhianne Fri 13-Jul-07 16:04:58

I think that we all need holidays, we camp, have a folding camper, has everything in it, we don't need special anything, just the fuel to get there and that's that.

We don't use any mroe anything while we camp - well we might drink more alcohol but mosts sites have good recycling facilities so thats not an issue. I'd say we use a lot less electricity when we are away from home - just one light and one fridge, the camper has a cooker and fridge in it so we make use of them. Me and the kids all share a shower, there is no telly, no nothing really.

So if i compare camping to staying at home it is a lot more environmentally friendly but tbh i don't compare what i think is green and what is not, i do my part for the environment, try to get as many other people to do the same and i would never feel guilty about taking a few days away.

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