Starting in 1989 as one man’s vision to clean up Sydney Harbour has since grown to become Australia’s largest community driven environmental event. Clean Up Australia Day focuses on cleaning up, fixing up, and conserving our environment for years to come.
Have you ever experienced finally getting to go on that long-awaited camping trip just to arrive and find empty cans stashed in an empty fire pit, or rubbish littered around, or maybe even find the local wildlife venturing around eating food scraps thrown about by the previous campers? It sucks. This isn’t something exclusive to offroad camping either, it happens at developed camping sites as well. It is the kind of thing that can instantly dampen your cheerful holiday or vacation mood and ruin your trip. So, what can you do to stop it and what can you do to ensure you don’t contribute to it?
Campfires are fantastic. They are an iconic camping tradition in which everyone can gather around and roast some marshmallows, but sometimes people feel the need to dispose of their rubbish in the fire thinking “oh, it’ll burn it”. Well guess what, glass bottles and tin cans don’t burn. They are still going to be there after the fire burns out. Put them in a bin or keep them with you until you can dispose of them properly.
Camping will naturally result in you piling up quite a bit of rubbish, and it is tempting to just leave it laying around with the thought that “the next guy will clean it up”, well guess what, they won’t want to do it either. Just take a large bag to store your rubbish in and take it with you and throw it in a proper bin along with those cans and bottles. If everyone did this, you wouldn’t have to deal with the filth left by the campers before you and those that follow you won’t have to deal with yours.
Now what do we do about the wildlife that has started encroaching upon the campsite? They are naturally drawn to food and food scraps that have been left behind. This results in them staying close by and even actively seeking out your leftover food scraps. This might seem like a cool story that you can talk about with your friends later but unfortunately animals can’t always differentiate between small food scraps and rubbish. Now, I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but plastics don’t really digest well. This can cause some serious issues for the wildlife who eat this. So, make sure to do a good sweep through your campsite before you leave and properly pack away or dispose of food scraps.
Keeping the wildlife away is the best way to protect them.
Okay. So, you might have already realized this , but there is a bit of a common theme amongst most of these tips, and that is to put rubbish in a bag and put it in a bin. You do it for bottles, you do it for rubbish, you do it for food scraps. But what about lessening the rubbish we have to pack up. Some simple ways would be to use proper dishware and cutlery instead of disposable plastic ones. Or using a hand towel to wipe them down afterwards instead of paper towels.
The less we use the less we will have to clean up afterwards. This seems obvious but so many of us don’t really give it that much thought. It is important to think about what you will have to use during your trip and whether you can somehow reduce the waste you will produce.
Help keep Australia Clean