Sustainability at Camp Gallagher: Eco-Friendly Packing Tips from Barbie C.

Barbie Clabots

Barbie Clabots

Former Camp Gallagher lodge leader Barbie Clabots is a Gender and Environment Consultant at the International Union for Conservation of Nature. She's been a very supportive friend of Camp Gallagher and we appreciate her expertise on how to protect our camp, the surrounding land, the waters of Case Inlet and the wildlife that call Puget Sound home.

Sustainability at Camp Gallagher:
Eco-Friendly Packing Tips from Barbie C.

Camp Gallagher sits on a special beach; the waters of South Puget Sound contain many of our state’s shellfish farms. Our water system is also an on-site septic; this means that our water doesn’t get treated or processed the way it does in a city. So we have a special responsibility to take care of our waste water; this includes what goes down our sinks and shower drains. 

We (invite/encourage/ask) all campers to keep this in mind when packing. Biodegradable and non-toxic personal care products are ideal. Please do not bring items with triclosan (an antibiotic) or microbeads. The Skin Deep app is a great way to scan products when you are out shopping.

Ideal brands for personal products:

Regarding sun protection, the ingredients in many sunscreens can be toxic to fish (we even have corals on the outer coast of Washington State, too!). Keep in mind that clothing is UPF 5-10, so a light shirt and hat are the best direct sun barriers.

Ideal brands for sunblock:

You might find microbeads in your toothpaste or face wash. Those are banned for sale in Washington State starting in 2017, because those microbeads are tiny plastics that fish ingest, and these plastics then get into the human bloodstream when we eat seafood. Keep an eye out for polyethylene, and consider bringing a wash cloth to scrub your face instead.

Body odor

Getting in the water every day is the best way to keep the smell away! Please don’t bring perfumes or body sprays, these can trigger asthma attacks for other campers.

Feminine stuff

The BIFFYs (Bathroom In the Forest For You!) are a bit different and not connected to our septic system, the human waste is pumped out of those. The only thing that should go down the BIFFY hole is toilet paper and human waste; so consider tampons without plastic applicators (O.B. brand) or no-waste menstrual cups (Diva Cup).

Camp Gallagher is a community-based nonprofit
dedicated to youth development through summer camping.

Find out more about our mission.