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Camp Sustainably This Summer



Lessen your impact on the planet with these tips

Lessen your impact on the planet with these tips


DEC's 56 campgrounds and Day Use areas are open to the public. Reservations for the 2021 camping season are at an all-time high, as more New Yorkers and visitors from out of state prepare to head outdoors to take advantage of recreational opportunities.

Camping is a great way to enjoy some relaxing time in nature and is a perfect time to think about how we can lessen our impact on the planet. Below are some simple tips you can use to ensure your next camping trip is a sustainable one (and may make packing and cleanup easier, a great bonus!). Whether you are new to camping or an old pro, there are always ways to improve your sustainability efforts and help preserve our beautiful places for years to come!

  • Use Reusable Plates, Utensils, and Bottles: Cut down on waste and save money with reusable products. Single-use plates, utensils, and bottles take up extra space in your bags and in our landfills. Most of our facilities now have sinks for washing dishes, as well as potable water for refilling reusable bottles.
  • Rent or Borrow: Find used gear instead of buying new items. Done using your camping gear? If it’s still usable, ask if the facility collects it, or drop it off at a donation center on your way home.
  • Bring Solar Power: Using solar-powered lights, radios, and chargers is an easy, renewable energy source that reduces your need for extra batteries and keeps you connected while camping.
  • Recycle: When you arrive at the camping site, check what materials are recyclable at the facility and separate recyclables during your trip. Some items should never be put in the recycling bins.
  • Buy Local Firewood: Help stop the spread of invasive pests--and save trees--by following the New York State Firewood Regulation. Check out DEC's website for more information on where to buy local firewood.
  • Don’t Burn Trash: Don’t throw plastic cups, food wrappers, or other trash into a campfire. Plastics release toxic smoke and could pollute the ground and nearby waters.
  • Carpool: Travel with your friends and family in one vehicle instead of taking separate vehicles to decrease carbon emissions. Also, check out New York’s expanding network  of electric vehicle (EV) chargers, which are making camping with an EV more practical than ever before.

Want more tips? Check out DEC’s sustainable camping video on their YouTube page. You can also learn more on DEC's website about how to camp and pack sustainably (PDF).




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