There is an ever greater number of campers and RV travelers visiting the wonderful campsites in National Parks and elsewhere in the US every year. With the increased number of visitors during the hotter months, these campsites begin to look a little worse for wear when the colder months roll in and they start closing for the winter.
During the hubbub of activity, it’s difficult for campsites and visitors to remain aware of the beautiful environment they’re enjoying and to take care of it. Here are four ways that campgrounds can encourage people to be environmentally friendly during their visits.
Encourage Use of Provided Porta Potties
The mainstay of construction sites, the porta potty makes for a great temporary restroom for parts of the campground that are not very accessible. Some models come with wheels that allow them to be wheeled into position and moved around, as needed.
The On Site Co. provides solutions for campgrounds that need affordable restroom facilities when there’s too little space to build a full restroom building or it would spoil the surrounding beauty to do so. While people traveling in RVs won’t have much use for this option, van-dwellers and campers will certainly appreciate the added convenience it provides. Posting signs encouraging their use around the campsite is best. One porta-potty per 10 daily visitors is recommended.
Camp Fire Planning & Protection
It’s natural for campers to want to have a campfire to sit around, eat food, drink and talk. This certainly should be encouraged with proper site planning, but it also needs to be done safely. Create fire rings for each campsite that are adequate for a good-sized fire.
We would suggest posting advice on fires that provides advice on fire management. These tips should include never leaving the fire unattended, having water to put it out, not using excessive accelerants to light it (when a flint isn’t available), reducing the fire to ash eventually and then putting it out completely. The ashes are best scattered over the unused part of the campsite once they’ve had time to cool.
Be Clear About Trash Policies
In many campsites, the unwritten rule is: “Pack it in, pack it out.” If you brought it with you, take it out when you leave. In other situations, it’s best to provide a reasonable number of ways for campers to dispose of food, drink and other items that they consume or use during the course of their stay.
The buildup of trash is an environmental hazard, so campsite managers should be clear what approach they are taking toward this issue. When they’re clear with campers, visitors will then know how they should behave with their trash.
Our campgrounds are a national treasure, along with the National Parks many are located within. While it’s true that it’s the responsibility of the campers to be environmentally friendly, it doesn’t hurt for campsite managers to take the lead in using friendly policies and guiding campers in ways that care for the environment they’re currently enjoying.