Rubbish at campsites

By: Claudia Bouma, Photography by: Chris Bouma


If you like to go bush to enjoy the peace and quiet as well as the beautiful surroundings, it should be second nature to look after the place says Claudia Bouma.

Rubbish at campsites
One morning the kids were eager to roam around the campground to pick up the rubbish and before we knew it, three bags were spilling over with tissues, cigarette buts and everything else under the sun

Our last camping trip to the Grampians was interesting in many ways.

Firstly, we were astonished by the massive hike in camping fees. Secondly, we were disappointed by the introduction of the compulsory booking system. Thirdly, we were appalled by the rubbish we came across at our campground.

We’ve taught our kids from the word go to take care of our own rubbish. Is it really that hard to put empty cans and tins, food scraps, teabags, etc into a plastic bag? Sure, it requires more effort when you camp in a spot where you have to dispose of your rubbish but it also provides insight into how much rubbish we actually create.

When we first headed bush we realised we needed a special bin which would ensure wild animals wouldn’t rummage through our rubbish. Chris checked out the local 4WD store and picked up a huge black bag which fits over the spare tyre and closes with Velcro. It’s big enough to keep us going for two or three days without having to worry about curious possums or adventurous mice and rats. When we drive into town, we locate a bin and get rid of it. It’s as easy as 1-2-3.

It seems we’re the exception, not the rule. One morning the kids were eager to roam around the campground to pick up the rubbish and before we knew it, three bags were spilling over with tissues, cigarette buts and everything else under the sun.

We repeated the exercise at least five times during our 18-day stay and every time we filled a number of bags. You wouldn’t believe how many tent pegs the kids found: more than 80. If you’ve every driven over a large tent peg, you know the potential damage it can do.

The bottom line is that a lot of people don’t seem to care about the environment – or fellow campers – and simply can’t be bothered to do their bit.

If you like to go bush to enjoy the peace and quiet as well as the beautiful surroundings, it should be second nature to look after the place. If we all do our bit, everyone can continue enjoying camping in the bush.  

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