Camping as a sustainable form of travel

November 25, 2022


Camping: The sustainable form of travel

Those who like to "camp" usually have a deeper connection to nature and are sensitive to many environmental issues. We campers like to go out and love the contrast between raw nature and the protection of a tent or campervan. It's probably the primal instincts that still put us in this survival mode - and we love this state. Especially when we are in control: Fully fueled campervan, auxiliary heating, fully equipped kitchen, hot water, bikes or skis on the rear rack and a lot of survival gadgets! This is how many of us encounter nature today. But is all this really so sustainable?

Cozy round among campers on a "Parkn'Sleep place".

As a result of the pandemic, society's needs have once again shifted strongly in the direction of mobility, independence and flexibility . Away from mass tourism, towards individual tourism. In addition, the environmental impact of travel is more in focus today than ever before. Many people are thinking more about how and where they go on vacation. A Survey from Luggagehero describes this in terms of.

How many travelers are truly sustainable?

This question can easily be divided into three categories: those who do, those who don't, and those who would like to.

87% of respondents would like to travel more sustainably

39% already do this consciously

43% say they rarely or tend to travel less sustainably

What motivates people to travel more sustainably?

Some of the reasons travelers give for being sustainable while traveling include:

40% want to help reduce their environmental impact
34% say they travel sustainably to have a relevant experience at their destination
33% want to feel good about their choice of accommodation

How do eco-travelers feel inspired to choose a sustainable path?

60% feel inspired by visiting natural beauty
54% choose to be more sustainable because they see the visible impact of tourism on destinations
32% don't feel guilty because they know the impact of their vacation on the environment
47% feel inspired because they see the positive impact of sustainable tourism on locals

Nature-conscious: family vacations at the Parkn'Sleep place "Mostindien

The environmental cost of traditional travel

It's no secret that flying leaves a huge carbon footprint. The aviation industry is responsible for an estimated 2.1% of all global emissions - a reality that many are trying to reduce or offset. However, with all the attention on aviation's impact, it's easy to forget another major contributor to the environmental cost of vacation travel - hotels.

Worldwide, the hotel sector is responsible for about 1% of global carbon emissions, not to mention the additional food and plastic waste generated by hotel dining.

Comparison hotel nights and camping nights

A Study of the Caravaning Industrie Verband Deutschland (CIVD) sheds light on the topic of CO2 footprint: Camper trips cause on average 10 times less CO2 emissions than hotel trips, taking into account the entire balance (energetic upstream chain).

"Camper travel produces on average 10 times less CO2 emissions than hotel travel."

How can outdoor accommodation be better for the environment?

Camping, glamping, and caravan/motor home vacations are already less carbon-intensive than the average hotel stay because a high proportion of trips are taken by domestic tourists, which means fewer flights or ferry trips.

The construction of sites (plots for tents or RVs) and other outdoor accommodations, such as cabins, pods, or teepees, also require fewer resources than hotels and generally use natural, more sustainable materials such as wood.

The energy used to operate campgrounds is also far less than that of a traditional hotel, as heated and cooled indoor areas are small relative to the number of guests. Although RVs consume a significant amount of gasoline, their carbon footprint is lower when parked at an RV resort, and many campgrounds integrate environmentally conscious amenities such as renewable energy and recycling facilities.

"Slow travel": you take your time. Source: Stock

Aside from energy consumption, camping also promotes a slow-food lifestyle, as most guests bring their own supplies to prepare a tasty meal on the grill or around the campfire instead of eating out. Some campgrounds also offer local produce on site, while others are located directly on farms, allowing campers to grow their own fruits and vegetables.

Not only do campgrounds attract a large number of guests at a lower cost relative to hotels, they are also a proven revenue generator for local establishments, including restaurants and stores. This added value benefits the entire community.

Finally, outdoor vacations foster a connection to nature that encourages people to turn off their devices and opt for screenless and more energy-efficient entertainment options like biking, hiking, and water sports in the area. The more people spend time outdoors, the more they learn the importance of making sustainable choices every day that translate into action far beyond a camping trip.

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