Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees..."

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:
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She went across the river this way:
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While I chose this way instead:
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This is the hamburger I cooked...but I had to eat it on bread, with no ketchup...whoops!
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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.


Couture Carrie said...

I love camping, too! Your trip looks like so much fun!
And I love your tips for going (staying!) green - wonderful post, all around :)
My carbon footprint is reduced drastically by the fact that I hardly ever drive - I walk or ride my bike everywhere!


Hanako66 said...

Your trip looks like a blast! I went camping for the first time since girl scouts last year and had a really great time.

I do what I can energy efficient bulbs, I only use environmentally friendly cleaners, water bottles, organic dry cleaning, etc...but love to hear tips from others:)

Hanako66 said...

Oh and you look beautiful without makeup...not fair!

Keith said...

Hey Allison. Great post! I really liked the photos. It looks like you two had a fantastic time. I love camping. I did that a lot when I was a kid. My family would go camping quite often. I also went with the boy's group at church. There's nothing quite like being in the great outdoors. It does bring you closer to nature.

Pop Champagne said...

Wow awesome! Looks like you guys had fun camping :) I used to love camping, but my parents never did so we didn't go a lot when I was younger. But I think I will try camping again this summer for sure

kimvee said...

It looks like you had a lot of fun on your camping trip :) I've never been camping before and would love to do it one day hehe

Nicole Marie said...

looks like such a fun time! but i dislike camping. i know i really need to try it again but my previous experiences have not been the most fun times

Eddie said...

Amazing Allison. Going camping is something that I only did ONCE in my life, although I have done many outdoorsy events.

Not only do you look amazing (smoking bod missy!!), you look like you were having a ball. I especially liked the fact that you did a "ballet" jump over the water as opposed to your friend doing a balance act... lol.

Your burger was completely adorable. Not all burgers have to be perfectly round. It had oodles of personality, and I'd rather eat a snazzy burger than a perfect one. Who needs ketchup with edges like that?? LMAO

You are awesome Allison. I don't think I've met anyone more kinder than you. You're inner-beauty matches your outer-beauty.

Thanks for all the tips about carbon footprints. I live in a humble studio here in Brooklyn, so I already save on electricity and waste in general. I came home the other night (after a few drinks) and the next morning I noticed that I had accidentally placed two bottles of beer in my regular garbage pail. I flipped out (in a slow-motion, hungover way).

Besitos para siempre

karl's sweet child said...

uuuurgh i want burger! you girls look so happy!

Elizabeth Marie said...

I am not a camper, but you're inspiring me! Looks like fun...

And thank you, you're a looker too my lovely! :)


dapper kid said...

How wonderfully fun :) The camping trip sounds soo amazing. And it is such a lovely bonding experience to have with your family!

I do wish it was easier to recycle in London, they give us a tiny green basket that they collect sporadically every few weeks. More often than not we have to drive out ourselves to get it done. And we have always line dried our clothes, or just on the radiators during winter. We have yet to own a dishwasher or tumble dryer in my house lol. And yup, cold water washing is the way to go. It keeps all your clothes in tip top condition and you can easily buy washing up powder for cold water.

Robynne said...

aw super cute photos.

Elizabeth Marie said...

hello, I miss you! :)

Susanna-Cole said...

Hello dear,

You know, I've never really done much camping, as much as I love the outdoors (and growing up I pretty much lived in the outdoors all day, and then just came inside to sleep at night), but ah, reading this totally made me want to get up and go camping! Especially since the weather is all summery now and the sun is shining... and I'm wondering if I can find anyone to go camping with me like RIGHT NOW! :D

Anyway, wonderful post, I really enjoyed it, and thanks also for your super sweet comment! <3


fhen said...

whoa looks like you had good time while camping! love your photos and you make me wanna go camping too..

and i totally agree with your list to help our earth! go green!
i am now also making a habit of not using plastic bag if i do grocery shopping or shopping in a bookstore.

together we can make a change


molly said...

ahhh i love that camping season has started!!
saw your camping pictures on facebook, looked like mad fun!

i hope you post a picture of you in the sweater when you receive it - i cant wait to see it on you :)

Gina said...

camping is so fun, and i adore hiking. cute pictures!

•¦Amy¦• said...

I've never been camping o.o. I don't know why, but I've just never been. Lol not even in my backyard!

We've been line drying clothes for ever, though I am going to admit that the reason is mostly due to the fact that I can't use a dryer without severly shrkning the clothes in it...

Bradpetehoops said...

Awesome blog!