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December 14, 2021 5 min read

4 Simple Steps for How to Avoid Waste While Camping this Season

Tis’ the season to get outdoors. If you’re like us here at Go For Zero, your summer success list includes a sturdy amount of camping! 

From soaking in the sunshine and fresh air to making memories with friends and family, there’s simply nothing better than getting out into nature and ‘roughing it’! Of course, camping can be a pretty waste-producing activity if you’re not careful. 

From packaged snack wrappers to plastic bottles of camping essentials, it can be tricky to keep your camping waste in check. Lucky for you, we’ve got the tips and tricks you need to master zero-waste camping! 

Keep reading for the 4 simple steps for how to avoid waste while camping! 

1. Plan Ahead

Just like any waste-avoiding efforts, the first step to cutting waste on your camping adventure is to plan ahead. 

While your planning may look a little different for different styles of camping, the basics you’ll need to consider include:

Meal Prep and Storage

Rather than filling your esky with prepackaged meals and processed goods,plan your mealsahead of time and do any necessary prep at home. 

This not only helps you eat more nutritious meals but can actually cut down on the amount of time you have to spend cooking. As a bonus, this will free you up for more fun camping activities! 

By preparing your meals and snacks at home, you can leave out the plastic packaging of store-bought camping treats. You can then store your pre-made meals in jars,bento boxes, or otherplastic-free food storage options to eliminate rubbish altogether!



While it may sound silly, planning for your water intake is an important step for successful camping. 

If you’re camping somewhere that fresh drinking water won’t be available, you’ll need to consider where you’ll get your H20 and how to do so sustainably. 

When the Aussie summer sun is at its peak, we need even more water to keep ourselves healthy and hydrated. To ensure you’re getting enough, bring a bulk water supply andrefillable drink bottles for you and anyone else on the trip. 

Even if your bulk container is plastic, it’s still far better than working your way through individual plastic water bottles. 


Unless you’re camping in a caravan, you’ll likely need a solid supply of ice to keep your food and beverages cool on your adventure. 

Before you pick up plastic bags of ice, consider if there’s anywhere nearby where you could fill up on bulk ice. Bulk ice stations allow you to fill your esky with the perfect amount of ice and skip the plastic bag altogether. 

Beyond reducing your waste, these stations are also more affordable! Woohoo!

My dad loves saving old butter and ice-cream containers and freezing huge blocks of ice to take camping, they last waaaay longer too!

2. Take the Essentials

Once you’ve got your food and bevvies planned, it’s time to take a look at the other essentials you’ll need for a successful adventure. 

Solid Toiletries


If you're shaking up with nature for more than a night, you’ll likely want to pack some hygiene essentials to keep yourself fresh and fierce. 

Pack a bar of soap, yourplastic-free toothpaste andtoothbrush, and perhaps even asolid shampoo and conditioner. All of these toiletries are compact and perfect for camping! 

Ditch the plastic bottles and miniature sizes in favour of a waste-free solution for all!

Sunscreen and Zinc


Sunscreen and zinc are simply unavoidable essentials when camping in the Australian summer weather. 

Unfortunately, most store-bought sunscreens are packaged in plastic squeeze bottles that are anything but kind to mother nature. Of course, there are natural sunscreens and zinc products you can use that don’t contain anyharsh toxins or plastic packaging!

Stock up on your favouritenatural sunscreens before hitting the road to ensure your skin is protected and safe! 

Bug Repellant

It only takes one itchy night in a tent to never forget your bug repellant again. 

Luckily, you can avoid toxins and those wasteful aerosols with naturalbug repellant balms and sprays with ease! Even keeping the bugs away can be sustainable! 

3. Reduce Your Use

Next up, keep your waste down by only taking what you really need on your trip. Fortunately, planning those meals and taking your essentials from home can make this step even easier!

Here are some key areas to reduce your use:

Utensils and Plates

Leave the plastic plates and utensils at the store and pack your ownbamboo cutlery for a more sustainable meal time. 

Bringing reusable plates, bowls, and cutlery will not only reduce your waste but can also cut down on how much you have to pack! All you need is one set per camper and a quick and easy solution to clean up between meals (we suggest bringing your handy and compact dish and laundry block along for this!).

Beverage Bottles

Whether you’re indulging in some camping bevvies or keeping up your water intake, choosing reusable containers over plastic ones is always a win. 

For those special store-bought beverages, opt for cans or glass over plastic. If there won’t be anywhere to recycle your beverage containers at the campsite, consider sticking to cans to reduce the amount of weight you’ll have to pack out at the end of your excursion. 

Take Only What You Need

It can be so easy to get carried away with entertainment, food, and ‘camping toys’ for your weekend adventure. Unfortunately, taking too much can make for challenging trips and the urge to leave things behind on the way back. 

Reduce your food and other waste by taking practical amounts with you and relying on mother nature herself to be your entertainment! 

4. Clean Up Responsibly

As your adventure comes to an end and it’s time to pack up for home, there’s one last step to keep your camping low-waste. That’s right - clean up!


Pack in, Pack Out

If you’ve chosen a remote location to enjoy nature, be sure you pack out everything you packed in. This includes food wrappers, leftovers, and eventoilet paper

While it may be tempting to leave waste behind in the fire pit to ‘burn off’, most waste items simply don’t belong in the fire to begin with. 

To make this easier to manage, try to keep your waste as organised and central as possible. 

Organise Waste

When you get to camp, set yourself a system for organising your waste. Set up a container or bag for rubbish, one for recyclables, and one for thosetricky items like soft plastics or empty sunscreen pots that can be recycled through more specialised programs likeRedcycle orTerraCycle

The more organised your waste is, the easier it will be to pack it up and dispose of it responsibly! 

How to Avoid Waste While Camping

There you have it! Your 4-step system to reduce your camping waste and keep your adventures and excursions planet-friendly! When it comes to how to avoid waste while camping, these tips and tricks are a sure-fire way to honour your values! 

Want more tips and advice for reducing waste in your everyday life?Check out our blog for all the hacks and zero-waste helpers you need to make sustainability possible for every lifestyle and adventure! 

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