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Eco-friendly Camping: Recycle Your Fuel Canisters

by Liz Childers

“The Sierra Club releases daily “green” tips. For people who love being outdoors, these are excellent resources. Each week has a theme that focuses on a different outdoor experience and how that experience can become more environmentally friendly. Why is this excellent? Because if we love the outdoors, we should be enjoying it in the best way possible.

One week in January, the Sierra Club focused on winter camping. The three tips were to make your layers eco-friendly, build a snow shelter, and recycle your fuel canisters. All three are wonderful tips that we can all incorporate into our camping routine – whether its winter camping or not.

Our favorite tip was the recycling of fuel canisters. This one is so easy – we should all be carrying the fuel canisters out of the campsite anyway! In the summer, cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches or small pizzas are easy camp food to make and eat. In the winter, however, we need heartier food to stay warm, which requires more fuel. This makes the winter the ideal time to start recycling all those empty canisters.

Unsure of how to recycle fuel canisters? First, make sure they are totally empty. Buy a puncture tool and drain off the residual fuel. Then crush it like a can. A large rock can be a great aide for this. Crush the cans as you camp and store them together in a bag in your backpack. When you get back home, simply take them to the recycling center or put them with the rest of your aluminum pick-up recycling – they recycle just like a Coke can.
What’s your greatest tip or trick for being more eco-friendly while camping?”