Best Products For Eco-Friendly Hikers
Many avid hikers have long searched for sustainable products they can take on trails. Until more recently, though, the market for such products was either limited or pricey, because eco-awareness was still quite “niche.” Fortunately, global demand for eco-friendly products has increased as consciousness about the environment has expanded significantly. Recent data indicates that online searches for sustainable goods have risen by 71%. On top of this, 66% of all consumers now consider sustainability before making any purchase.
This growing interest in sustainability has further encouraged more brands to embrace eco-friendly initiatives. Case in point, global sustainability investments have increased by over 34% since 2019. Aside from this, more industries have begun onboarding professionals practicing careers in sustainability, like conservations scientists and environmental scientists. Through this sort of effort, businesses are able to ensure that their practices and products are safe for the local habitats and environment, and good for the world at large Ultimately, these new brand initiatives have brought about a plethora of eco-friendly products to choose from.
For more active individuals like hikers, these sustainable products are designed to enhance activity and preserve nature at the same time. And since keeping hiking trails clean and preserved is top of mind for many hiking aficionados, we thought we’d take a look at some of the most relevant eco-friendly products you can consider for your next trip:
Reusable Food Containers
Regardless of what you plan to do on your hike, taking food and water is a must. After all, it’s easy to get dehydrated on the trail, and you’ll most certainly be burning a lot of calories. At the same time however, food-related trash is some of the most damaging to nature. As a matter of fact, 80% of this waste even ends up in waterways and, eventually, in the ocean.
With this in mind, it’s best to opt for reusable food containers for your meals and drinks. For instance, while glass is a popular food container, for a long hike or your next kayak adventure, silicone or steel will be more practical. Waterproof, light, and shatterproof, these materials are better suited for demanding activities. For dry foods, flat silicone bags are great plastic- and BPA-free options. Meanwhile, for liquids (whether that means drinks or soup), there are many durable stainless steel products that are spill-proof and lined for insulation. Just remember that reusable food containers may not always be dishwasher-friendly, so you’ll need to clean them by hand upon your return.
Collapsible Trash Bins
Although it’s very possible to hike with zero waste, chances are you may still be creating some waste that is usually easy to throw away –– like fruit peels or labels. The reality is that most hikers (especially casual ones) are likely to bring along items that create waste. This not only causes pollution, but also eats up rangers’ valuable time. A few years ago, this exact issue came up in Death Valley National Park, where rangers spent hours cleaning one filthy bathroom. Needless to say, this time could have been better spent on more pressing matters.
To prevent causing this sort of problem yourself, invest in a collapsible trash bin. Typically made of a flexible and waterproof material, these products are lightweight and take up barely any space in your pack. Once unfurled, they can hold up to two liters of trash. And best of all, many even come with lids that you can seal to keep in odor. This is particularly handy if you’ve thrown away fresh produce that can rot on the trail.
Biodegradable Pet Waste Bags
If you like hiking with your furry companion, chances are they’ll be creating waste on the trail, too. In fact, professionals from hiking communities like those in San Diego claim that doggy waste bags are some of the most common trash items they find. When left on the trail, these bags not only create a messy (and malodorous) problem, but also increase plastic pollution.
For these reasons, biodegradable pet waste bags are great options for you and your four-legged friend. When made in accordance with the ASTM International standards, biodegradable pet waste bags should safely degrade in soil. This is usually the case with brands that are plant-based, since these break down substantially faster than their pure plastic counterparts. That said, having a biodegradable pet waste bag doesn’t mean you can just toss it anywhere. It’s still trash after all, and even when degraded may not align with the delicate environment of the trail. Instead, pack it with you and compost it properly at home.
Being one with nature is a gift that we need to respect so that future generations may enjoy it, too. Although becoming an eco-friendly hiker is not something that can always be done overnight, investing in a few mindful hiking products makes for a great start, and will drastically reduce your environmental impact. Over time, your efforts will contribute to both the preservation and celebration of your favorite outdoor environments.
Written by Casey Ellis for greatlandlaser.com
Photo Credits: Pexels