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Traveling on land for days means using a gas engine which can negatively impact the environment. However, with conscious effort and carefully thought-out steps, there are ways you can enjoy overlanding in an eco-friendly way.
Did you know that there are compostable paper cutleries? Unlike their plastic counterparts, which take thousands of years to decay, biodegradable paper plates, cups, and utensils can decompose in six months or less.
If you don't like ecological tableware, bring reusable items that you can easily wash and clean.
There are biodegradable toilet paper and wipes, which decomposes in about 42 days. These products are convenient for traveling and more eco-friendly.
Eco-conscious companies make reef-friendly, reef-safe, or eco-friendly shampoo, soaps, and sunscreens. These products do not contain toxic ingredients. Read the label and see that you're not buying goods with oxybenzone or octinoxate.
Buy from brands that use recycled, sustainable, and eco-friendly materials.
Vinegar and baking sodas are excellent cleaning and disinfectant agents. They are widely used in housework as an alternative to bleach. Bring white distilled vinegar and baking soda as they are versatile and effective.
Don't bring plastic bags on your overlanding trip as much as possible. Instead, use mesh bags, cardboard, or reusable boxes to store your things. Mount large containers on the roof rack so you have more space inside the car.
Don't use plastic straws, plastic bottles, disposable cups, and single-use plastic containers.
Bring organic and fresh fruits and veggies as you don't need to pack them in plastic bags.
Bring your own garbage bag. There are washable trash or storage bags that you can conveniently store and strap at the back of your truck.
Find a designated garbage bin and dispose of your trash properly.
Bring your drinking water and water for washing and cleaning in your car. Ask the locals or other overlanders where you can find freshwater resources or where you can access water for your laundry or shower along the way.
When using tap water, don't leave it running. Preserve water as much as possible.
Buy fresh produce from local or farmer's markets and eat at local restaurants. This will help reduce your food waste and is more budget-friendly. You'll also support small and medium business owners.
Fire is a fundamental source of heat and light when camping or overlanding. Learn the safe and designated spots for campfires. For example, some places don't allow digging for pits.
Most overlanding sites have an existing fire pit or ring that you can utilize.
Don't cut trees or branches to make a fire. Collect twigs, logs, grass, needles, and dried leaves instead. They burn faster than fresh ones. Ensure that you put out the fire before leaving.
Maximize the power of the sun by using solar-powered chargers.
Don't litter but clean as you go. Leave the place cleaner and better than you first arrived.
When you need to go, dig eight inches deep hole that's at least 200 meters away from water sources. When you're done, bury it and cover it with leaves, branches, and other natural materials.
Use biodegradable toilet paper so you can bury it as well.
Pick up after your dog. Discard it properly or try to also dig a hole where you can bury its poop.
Driving on open land can be fun. But be mindful of your speed. Slowing down can help lessen your carbon emission. Don't leave your car idle for more than 30 seconds.
If you can, try using biodiesel or renewable fuels. They are clean-burning that can help improve the air quality and increase energy security.
Nature is our home and resource. We must respect and preserve it for our enjoyment and necessities and for the future generation. Be a responsible overlander. Let the old and famous travel quote remind you how to make
overlanding eco-friendlier: "Leave nothing but footprints. Bring nothing but memories. Kill nothing but time."
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