So, this might surprise some of you, considering that I definitely don't seem like the outdoorsy type, but I absolutely love to camp.
Some of the best memories I have from when I was a kid was when we would go on family camping trips. My mom grew up with practically no money, so camping was the only way that her family really got to go on vacation. My dad is also quite the outdoorsman, and spent a lot of his hippie days out in the wild, photographing nature and spending huge amounts of time hiking. My parent's love for the environment and the outdoors transcended into their marriage and into the lives of their children.
Though, we did spend quite a bit of time in hotels and taking other trips, we always made sure that a camping trip was on the books for some bonding time. I can remember all the horror stories - the time we forgot sleeping bags, the time the people who were camping next door to us were smoking weed and doing shrooms so were absolutely trippin' and going crazy next to us, the time when my brother fell into the river next to our campsite and fractured his collarbone.... I mean even though some of the times were not a picture perfect experience, we always, always had so much fun and really enjoyed one another's company so much more. I think the fact that we were in a confined space without TV or computers or work calls to distract us made it so much better. We didn't exactly rough it - we always went to a campground with a pool, and showers and bathrooms - but stillll, it was an amazing bonding experience for all of us, and we were limited in our resources.
Anyway, after my fall break in October, my roommate and I were talking about family trips and the fun we used to have, when it came up that we both loved camping, and loved going to the same campground! We put a camping trip on the books for when the weather became warmer - and our excitement grew when our guy friends went on a camping trip in Febrary (in the snow, in 20 degree weather), and had the time of their lives.
So, A and I planned to go camping the 18th-19th of April, since both of our schedules were way too crammed to go any other time. So, we left from school Saturday afternoon (after waiting for this biotch who blocked me in to finally leave...people are soooo rude!), and headed 45 minutes away to our campground. I was so nervous about setting up a tent, getting a fire going, but we managed to get it all done! The tent was up in ten, yes TEN minutes, and the car was unpacked within a half hour of us arriving.
We went on a six mile hike around this gorgeous lake, stopping for photo opportunities everywhere we went, really capturing the beauty of the nature that was around us. While we may have forgotten hamburger rolls, ketchup, extra blankets, a lottt of firewood (who knew it burned so quickly!), it was one of those trips where we just felt empowered. So many people had told us that we were pretty much screwed - we would never ever be able to light a fire, set up a tent, cook dinner... and we did it (with the apologies of all who doubted us).
A went to bed extremely early - like, 11:00 early. She was freezing, our fire was dwindling, and she wanted to text her boyfriend before bed. As she was huddled in her sleeping back with her twelve layers of sweatpants and sweatshirts, I grabbed my blanket and mummy bag, and laid out in the open field, listening to Sigur Ros on my iPod and just staring at the stars. It was one of the most calming and beautiful experiences I've had, and I just felt so at ease and so relaxed (believe me, I know how cheesey this sounds).
Anyway, for anyone who likes the environment, I would hugelyyy suggest a fun camping trip!
And pleaseee excuse my appearance in these pictures - no makeup will do this to you :)
Home sweet home:
She went across the river this way:
While I chose this way instead:
This is the hamburger I cooked...but I had to eat it on bread, with no ketchup...whoops!
I thought it fitting to write about my camping experience on Earth Day. While I loveee the environment and I'm a firm environmentalist, I don't cast judgement on anyone who doesn't live completely green. I hope I don't sound like a bitch in posting these...
There are so many simple things that we can all do to help the environment. These are just a few things that I've become more conscious of, and these are super, super simple things that everyone can do:
1. Recycle! - seriously, it takes two seconds to do.
2. Turn off the lights when you leave a room - holy crap, I was soo guilty of leaving the lights on when I would leave my room... again, it takes two seconds, and yet helps reduce your carbon footprint so much!
3. Ride a bike/walk whenever possible. It's great exercise, and good for the environment - talk about killing two birds with one stone!
4. Line dry clothing. My parents have been doing this since I was like, a fetus. Obviously, only in the summer for us Northeasterners!
5. Switch to energy efficient lightbulbs. Again, so simple.
6. Buy a reusable water bottle! They're sooo cute. Just buy a Brita (or skip it, and just love the tap water), fill up your reusable bottle, and you're good to go! (Just fyi, 25% or more of all bottled water is tap water!!!!). And if you do loveee bottled water, if possible, go for glass bottles over plastic :)
7. Wash clothes in cold water - not only do they smell/clean just as good, but they'll also fade more slowly!
There are obviously other things you can do, like buying a hybrid. Unfortunately, when I got my car, Mercedes hadn't made a hybrid yet (2005 was sooo not as green), but next car I get, I'm hopefullyyy going hybrid.
Happy Earth Day everyone!
What are some of your tips for simple ways to "go green?"
Currently listening to: Kasabian - Empire.