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Eco-Friendly Items for Your Campsite

The camping and outdoor lifestyle industry is growing at a fast pace. It’s evolving too, and ‘green’ is the way to go, meaning sustainable and biodegradable products with solar and renewable energy solutions. Here are a few stand-out products and companies leading the way to a more responsible future.

Biodegradable Products

Bio-Pak® Alpine Fresh Natural Enzyme Deodorizer and Waste Digester is a safe way to clean black holding tanks and remove odors. Formaldehyde- and biocide-free and zinc- and copper-free, the environmentally friendly formula allows for rapid breakdown of waste and paper and is septic safe—there’s no need for special RV toilet paper. Bio-Pak provides portion control and is easy to use with no messy liquids; it’s also available in Tropical Breeze scent. Walex recommends Porta-Pak black tanks when temperatures are regularly above 32°C/90°F. Available online and in various stores; price varies per pack size (approx. $17CAN/10 pack).

Bio-Pak® Alpine Fresh Natural Enzyme Deodorizer and Waste Digester | Image by Walex

Biodegradable Bio-Kleen Awning Cleaner removes tough stains, mold, mildew, dirt, insects, tree sap, bird excrement, and more from vinyl, canvas and acrylic fabric awnings. It’s concentrated so dilute as required. Available in a variety of sizes including: 32oz, 1 Gallon, 5 Gallon. Bio-Kleen offers a large product range of environmentally safe, cruelty-fee and vegan cleaning products. Available online and in various stores; $17.95USD/32 oz ($23.15CAD).

Caboo specializes in tree-free paper products and wipes. Its 100% biodegradable bathroom tissues, free from chlorine bleach, are made from organically grown sustainable bamboo and sugarcane. The tissues are septic safe and non-GMO project verified. The 2-ply sheets are soft and strong, hypoallergenic, chlorine-bleach free, BPA and paraben- and fragrance-free. Other products are paper towels and baby wipes, both tree-free. Available online and in stores; prices vary per pack size/approx. $45CAD/24 toilet paper rolls.

Caboo tree-free paper products and wipes | Image by Caboo

Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Pure-Castile Soaps are concentrated, versatile and biodegradable. The liquid soaps are available in eight scents (including baby unscented) and are made with organic and certified fair-trade ingredients (no synthetic preservatives, no detergents or foaming agents) and packaged in a 100% post-consumer recycled bottle. Also available in bar form. The company also has lotion and balms, hair care, home and laundry, toothpaste and more. Available online and in stores; $16.99USD/32 oz ($21.95CAD).

Solar Power

It took a natural disaster for the founders of LuminAID to invent their breakthrough portable solar lanterns which are now used in over 100 countries. Collapsible and compact, the lanterns (some inflatable, others pop-up) can provide more than 100 hours of bright light with every charge and are perfect for camping, RVing, hiking and backpacking, or to have in case of an emergency. The company has expanded its product line to include power lanterns with a phone charger, solar speakers and Bluetooth-enabled solar lights. Available online and in various stores; prices vary per product (PackLite Max 2-in-1 Power Lantern $66CAD).

LuminAID portable solar lanterns | Image by LuminAID

The eRove™ Electric Cooler by Furrion is unique in that it’s also battery powered and solar rechargeable. With 50Qt of space, it can fit up to 72 cans and hold 6Qt of dry storage. The eRove comes with an ePod Power station and a 100-watt solar panel, which provides a rechargeable battery for the cooler. Its optimized cooling system can freeze to -22°C and the cooler features detachable cup and umbrella holders. Available at Furrion dealers (various RV/electronic stores); $899.99USD/$1,150CAD.

Use solar power to cook or warm your food or boil water with the GoSun Go portable solar oven; according to the company, “If you can see a shadow, it will cook”. Simply called the ‘Go’, it features a sturdy yet lightweight frame with stainless-steel cooking tray and vacuum tube; the tube acts as an insulator to enhance the food’s flavor (perfect for dehydrated foods) and keep moisture in. With internal temperatures of 550°F (287°C) the Go can also sterilize pond and lake water. No need to worry about burning yourself as the outside of this portable oven remains cool to the touch and safe. Each Go comes with four silicone cook pans, a universal action mount, cleaning brush, solar dial, cookbook and a carrying case. Specs: .91 kgs (2 lbs)/13.5-oz capacity. Available online and in various stores; average retail price $139.99USD/$180CAD.

GoSun Go portable solar oven | Image by GoSun Go

Sweet Dreams

The North Face Eco Trail Sleeping Bag (stuffsack size: 22.9 cm x 40.6 cm) is made from fully recycled materials and is good to -7°C. Its shell is 50 Denier (D) 100% recycled polyester ripstop with Non-PFC Durable Water-Repellent finish, the lining is 50D 100% embossed polyester taffeta and the insulation is 600 fill recycled down. Features include:

  • Extended width in knees for maximum comfort and mobility and vaulted foot box
  • Wraparound J-zip for increased mobility and venting
  • Fitted hood (with cinch cord) and draft collar for comfort and heat loss prevention
  • Internal phone/watch pocket and tie-down loops for securing bag to sleeping pad.

Available online and in various camping stores; retails from $180CAD for adult sleeping bag.

Yukon Outfitters’ SomniSmart™ hammock is made in part from recycled plastic water bottles. The lightweight hammock is constructed with Repreve® fabric; the company is a world leader in recycled fiber. The SomniSmart™ is available in single- and double-style configurations. Available online from Yukon Outfitters; $79.99USD/$100CAD.

Eco-friendly Gear

Eukarya makes sustainable headlamps from zebra and cherry wood, machined aluminum and high strength tempered glass. Its latest model features brightness memory and up to 14 hours of battery life, USB-C charging and a dedicated rechargeable battery indicator; it’s also water resistant. One tree is planted with each headlamp sold. Origin 2 $129USD/$166CAD plus shipping; available online from Eukarya.

Eukarya makes sustainable headlamps | Image by Eukarya

The Hielo Del Dia 12L Cooler Bag by Cotopaxi is a one-of-a-kind handmade cooler made from partially repurposed leftover fabric. The coolers have a waterproof liner and are insulated with repurposed foam and feature a practical side strap; there’s also a side pocket for a water bottle. Cotopaxi sources many materials from other companies and utilizes remnant fabrics and prides itself on ethical manufacturing. Each pack in the Del Día Collection is made by employees who handpick its look, from the fabric selector to the pattern maker and sewer. Also check out Cotopaxi’s colourful windbreakers, backpacks, travel and hip packs and sleeping bags. $100USD/$129CAD plus shipping; available online from Cotopaxi to ship to Canada.

List prices/exchange rate may vary; taxes and any shipping charges applied at online checkout.

There are many ways we can be eco-friendly campers and RVers and responsible global citizens. Choose and use biodegradable and recyclable products and recycle and dispose of waste properly and safely while outdoors. For information on being a good and sustainable camper read up on the Camper’s Code.

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If you have any ecofriendly ideas or products you have used and would like to share with other campers, contact us.

For camping and RVing options in British Columbia go to the Camping Map.

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Published: August 18, 2022
Last Updated: August 18, 2022

Marney Carmichael by Marney Carmichael

Marney Carmichael is a freelance journalist originally from Northern Ontario. She has lived and worked in seven countries and spent many years exploring and snowboarding in BC. She loves walking with her hound dogs and is currently rediscovering Canada with her family.