June 21, 2015

Plan Your Low-Impact Fishing Trip

Photo Source: CBC News
HAPPY SUMMER and FATHER'S DAY!

So you're heading to camp or the cottage for a weekend, week, or longer fishing trip. Plan for low-impact and avoid bush dumps or toting all that trash home.

Here are 15 tips for keeping the bush the bush and making your fishing trips a little more environmentally friendly.
  1. Bring only what you need. Plan well. 
  2. Buy fresh foods at a farmers' market and bring your own bag.
  3. Remove excess packaging and recycle it before you leave. For instance, a lot of food is put in a plastic bag, then inside inside a cardboard box that is wrapped in plastic on the outside. (See 2 and 4)
  4. Buy in bulk in refillable and reusable containers you are happy to take home. 
  5. No plastic wrap, please.
  6. Even if you have electricity, brew your coffee with something other than K-cups. A perk coffee pot with a reusable filter is perfect.
  7. Avoid travel-size containers for soap, shampoo, lotions, toothpaste. etc. Put all that in your own refillable containers. Better yet, encourage bulk containers to be left at camp or the cottage.
  8. Bring or install a water filter. If it's your camp, install one. If you are visiting, a simple backpacking water filter works fine for a week. HINT: The person who sits on the porch enjoying the view and pumping lake water from one bucket to another is excused from cooking and dishes. Bottled water is a huge environmental burden.It is estimated that over 3 liters of water are used to manufacture 1 liter of bottled water. 
  9. Choose reusable drink containers. An insulated cup that can be taken out in the boat or used at camp is perfect. Red Solo cups are not camp friendly, even if you do write your names on them.
  10. Whether you buy fishing equipment, cooking equipment, camp chairs, toys or anything else to take to camp or use at camp, buy quality items. These things should last numerous seasons and not end up in the trash at the end of your trip. 
  11. Take your reusable bait boxes to the bait shop and avoid all those little plastic disposable containers.
  12. Bring reusable dishes, cutlery and glasses. In most cases, your camp or cottage will have all that waiting for you. If you're camping, ask each person to bring his or her own place setting. Yup, you've got to do dishes. Enjoy the process and teach the kids.
  13. Bring all recycling back with you. Yes, I know, it's a pain in the butt. Just do it. You'll be a better person for it. Assign someone to be in charge of a recycling system. If you think about it before you leave, you'll be surprised at how little recycling you have to do.
  14. Choose a spot far enough away and compost vegetables only. No meat, cheese, grease, animal waster and other bear-attracting items, please. 
  15. If it's not your camp, ask the owners if they recycle or compost. Use your best judgement if they say yes to recycling. Some camps say they do when it really goes into the camp dump. You'll know if you pay attention. And asking helps educate others and raise their level of consciousness.