Now that we are nearing the end of the classic British summer, many of us will have been risking the weather and taking last minute camping adventures.
What can we learn from these mini breaks about our environment and day to day lifestyle choices? When I went away on camping trips as a child, the only choice we really had on camping location was to turn up to a farmer’s field, with little more than a shower block in terms of facilities. Great, I thought. It was as if we could all live like Ray Mears, getting in touch with the environment to survive the weekend.
The reality however was somewhat different - daily trips to the local shop for packs of sausages, grotty cold showers and bagging up waste and disposing of it in the solitary on-site skip. Not quite the self-sufficient experience we expected.
Fast forward 20 years and the arrival of the internet. Within a few clicks you’ll easily find an abundance of eco-campsites throughout the UK where permaculture is a way of life with compost toilets, on-site farm shops and solar powered hot water. Also, since the introduction of the waste regulations and the drive to separate packaging materials, these sites will usually encourage recycling of waste at disposal points.
By its very nature, camping brings into focus the various impacts your lifestyle has on your immediate environment. From my observations, it’s interesting that when disposing of waste on campsites, people will generally have to walk out of their way to find the disposal points, and when there will need to spend additional time separating it into the various waste streams. Yet they don’t seem to mind.
They get excited at the idea of having to wait for a certain time of the day before they can use solar heated water in the shower, and of course take great pleasure from cooking meals over a simple open fire of locally sourced firewood.
Whilst I appreciate camping isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, my point is that it is easy to take great pride and satisfaction in our mundane day to day activities, simply by taking a more sustainable approach. Personally, I look forward to bringing energy back into my daily life by actively finding more opportunities to support a more self-sufficient lifestyle, even if it just means growing some of my own fruit and vegetables.
Looking into the future, I cannot wait to take my children to these permaculture campsites to educate and instil a way of life which encourages a sustainable alternative.
James joined the compliance team in August 2012 and now holds the role of technical manager. He is responsible for managing all regulator requirements across packaging, WEEE and batteries compliance regulations, and for overseeing our WEEE and batteries collections. In particular, James takes an active interest in quality improvement both for clients' data methodologies and internally to improve business efficiency.
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