Just got back from camping at the beach on Assateague Island in Maryland and I can't tell you how nice a real bed and a warm shower felt after 5 days of sleeping on a perpetually sandy air mattress next to a wiggly 4 year old and showering in frigidly cold water!!
While I was there, I got to thinking about a typical camping experience. While camping may give you that great outdoorsy feeling and help you to appreciate the planet and all that...it is not always friendly to the earth. Think of those gas-guzzling RV's you see at the Yogi Bear campgrounds. Imagine the huge amount of bottles and cans that are often tossed in the garbage because there is no recycling onsite. In order to appreciate the beauty of nature, we need to take care of it. Some people just don't get it. Fortunately, our group (of over 100 people!!) was quite eco-conscious. Sure, we generated a lot of waste, but we had a whole team dedicated to waste disposal and recycling. Our #1 goal was to leave no trace behind.
Reusable bottles, plates and utensils were highly encouraged. A hydration station with water, gatorade and iced tea was available to cut back the need for individually bottled drinks:
Everyone was given a souvenir reusable beverage cup to use for their hydration needs. I used mine for cocktails during the daily happy hour:
There were plenty of recycling bins surrounding the dining tent:
Eating outdoors may be fun but camp food is not always healthy. Canned beans and hot dogs anyone?? At this event, the food was a major highlight - I just wish I had more photos to show you. There were amazing salads, plenty of fresh fruit, an Indian feast and some cheesecake thrown in for good measure. Yes, animals were sacrificed for our dining pleasure but there were vegetarian options at every meal.
Here's my husband whipping up batter in the hand-cranked blender for the fresh fruit crepes at breakfast!! (the blender was also used for fruit smoothies)
and whipping up some healthy veggies for dinner:
Lest you think all we did was eat and drink, here's some proof that we had plenty of time for fun in the sun!
Do you camp with your family? How do you keep it green & healthy?
(this post is linked up to a feature on Nature Adventures over on Healthy Child Healthy World)