Skip Navigation

10 Tips For An Eco-Friendly Camping Holiday

Camping is already a great way to have an eco-friendly camping holiday. It is a style of holiday that encourages you to get back to nature and appreciate the natural world we live in and all its wonders.

Make the most of beautiful and natural scenery, long walks and hikes and the simple life that a camping holiday brings. These are the ingredients that make up the recipe for an environmentally friendly holiday, that can dramatically reduce your overall carbon footprint. And this is something we are all more aware of as we try and improve our lifestyles to be kinder to the environment and the natural world. 

No matter how much emphasis and effort you put into being environmentally friendly, there is always more that we can do. The same applies to a camping holiday. Even the humble camping trip can be made a little kinder to the environment, and here are some pointers to help you get back to basics and have an eco-friendly camping holiday.

Forest with Heart Shaped Blue Sky
Help save the planet wherever you are

Limit your travel

One of the main culprits of environmental damage is the way we travel, the distances we go and the amount of fuel we use to get from place to place. A camping holiday is a brilliant way to make the most of the beautiful locations close to us so take a look at closer to home holiday destinations and see if there is a place perfect for your holiday. There are some great destinations and campsites right here in England, Wales and Scotland.

If you still have your heart set on a camping trip a little further afield, you can always consider the environment. Limiting your travel isn't just about the flight or trip to get somewhere, but you can also take into consideration the amount you travelling you do when on holiday. Our carbon footprint soon starts growing considerably!

Once you get to your holiday destination, whether you choose one of the fabulous campsites in the UK or further afield, try and limit your use of transport while there. Get back to nature and hike from place to place or kick back and relax while exploring the area local to the campsite - the perfect way to have a relaxing holiday while reducing your carbon emissions.

Two curious sheeps on pasture at sunset in Lake District
Two curious sheeps on pasture at sunset in Lake District


We all understand the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling at home, but it is equally important while on holiday. Where possible, ensure any disposable equipment you take on your camping trip can be recycled. Pick camping sites that have recycling options available as ways to get rid of your waste and anything you can't recycle at the campsite take home with you to recycle in your usual manner.

Our Europe guide gives basic recycling advice and information for each country so that you can help save the planet wherever you are!

Throwing empty plastic bottle into the trash Recycling
Look out for recycling banks, bins or deposit schemes

Invest in good quality crockery and cutlery

It might be enticing to take the easy option when camping and use disposable paper or plastic options to eat and drink with, but these are an absolute nightmare for the environment. However, there are some great options out there for reusable dinnerware and cooking options such as environmentally friendly bamboo plates, dishes, cups and cutlery that you can wash and reuse. 

When it is finally time to throw them away at the end of their useful life, they can often be recycled and are easily biodegradable. Much better than any throw-away paper or plastic options. You can even opt for a eco-friendly, recyclable picnic table, crockery and cutlery set made from 75% recycled material that folds up into a hand carry-able box! Find out more about the Table for Two in a box.

Camping tools on the grass
Stay clear of single use crockery and cutlery

Limit the tech

Help the environment and yourself by taking the time for a digital detox. If you want to go off-grid, you could buy local fresh food every day or two so that you don't need to worry about keeping food cold and use traditional bbq methods for cooking instead of gas or electric cookers.

We would advise that you take a mobile phone with you when you camp and when you leave the site for day trip, just in case something bad happens and you can call for help. Why not invest in a solar-powered device charger? Our top pick is the Anker PowerPort Solar and you can find out more about that and other gadgets on our Camping Tech: Our Top Picks blog.

Man using smartphone in fall forest
Camping is the perfect opportunity for a digital detox

Reduce your water use

A camping holiday is a perfect time to consider how much water you need. Long hot showers are a luxury we are used to, but you could opt for campsites with bucket showers for a short shower that is good enough to get clean. If this isn't an option at your campsite then when you do bathe, be considerate with your water usage, have a quick dip rather than a long scrub. A quick shower is a perfect way to wake up in the morning and get ready for a fab day relaxing. 

Chemical alternatives

Camping can mean using a surprising amount of chemicals from toilets, cleaning supplies and even our everyday washing soaps and often these aren't kind to our planet. Avoid pouring out too much water containing harsh chemicals directly onto the ground where the chemicals seep into the soil. 

Instead, use appropriate drainage sites, and you can go one better and swap out your usual brands for eco-friendly options made with natural ingredients. Perfect for a getting back to nature camping trip.

Composting toilet this way
Composting toilet this way

Shop local

Camping is the perfect excuse to hunt out new cultures and exotic tastes. So, on your holiday, choose to buy as much food and other items you might need to buy as locally as you can. You will be helping the local economy, helping small, local businesses, and it will give you plenty of opportunities to try new things. 

It is an excellent idea to do a little research before heading out on your camping trip to see what is available local to the area where you will be staying. Choose local butchers, bakers, farm shops and other shops for your needs and help reduce carbon emissions.

Fresh fruit and veg at farmers market
Support local and small businesses

Don’t stray from paths

We tend to see walking and hiking as environmentally friendly hobbies, and they are, but something that we often don't consider is the damage that walking boots can do! This type of footwear is necessary to enable you to walk comfortably and safely over hills and through trails, but they are the worst type for causing damage to the environment. 

Hard soles and sturdy boots can cause damage to the local flora and fauna as you trample through the wildlife, destroying insect and small animal habitats and disturbing untouched animal safe spaces. You can avoid this by simply sticking to the paths and trails already marked out. 

Wooden path in woodland
Don’t stray from paths

Borrow camping gear

Camping is a holiday and hobby choice that requires a lot of equipment. Tents, boots, blankets, sleeping gear, bags, utensils for cooking, cleaning, cool-boxes, cooking equipment etc.

If you are trying out camping for the first time, then see if you can borrow some so you can have a trial camping holiday before investing in a great set of camping gear for yourself. When it comes to buying then look out for secondhand gear where possible. There is often plenty of camping gear available on websites like eBay and Gumtree, and a lot of it is as good as new. 

Father And Teenage Son Putting Up Tent On Camping
Borrow camping gear

Leave no trace

Leave no trace is a significant aspect of camping etiquette, and it is vital for the environment too. Make sure you pick up any rubbish and debris you might have left lying around. Once you have packed up your tent and camping gear spend a little time having one last walk around your camping pitch to make sure there are no toys or leftover items left. 

These might seem harmless but can be dangerous to any wildlife that comes across them, not to mention that many products are made with materials that are not kind to the environment. 

With all that in mind, we hope you can take some inspiration from these tips to ensure your next camping trip is more environmentally friendly.

Boy rest in tent and enjoy with sunset
Leave no trace

GOGREEN is our sustainability & environmental initiative aimed at reducing our company's carbon footprint. It covers things like who we work with and how we operate internally as well as how we communicate with our customers and encouraging greener travel.

We've set up a dedicated Green Team to oversee and continually improve the program. You can find out more about this scheme on our Environmental Policy page.