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Outfitters, in the heart of nature, require special attention to preserve the environment. We've identified five simple actions you can take on your next outfitter visit to protect the natural habitats that surround them. Every gesture counts and can make a difference! 

1- Choose Biodegradable Products

When you stay at an outfitter, it’s important to consider how your choices impact the environment. Unlike urban environments with sewage systems, outfitters are often remote, and the products you use may directly affect the surrounding ecosystem.

Dishwashing soaps, body products, shampoos, insect repellents, sunscreens and other toiletries frequently use ingredients that are potentially toxic to biodiversity. By opting for biodegradable products, you can help minimize your ecological footprint during your stay at an outfitter. 

Thankfully, there are many options for quality biodegradable products, especially in Quebec. Choose certified products, such as EcoLogo or those that have successfully passed the OECD’s 301D test. By choosing these environmentally friendly alternatives, you’re making a concrete contribution to preserving the natural environment around you.



2- Opt for Reusable Packaging

After enjoying a delicious meal at an outfitter, it’s not uncommon to have leftovers. Unfortunately, without reusable containers on hand, it’s often tempting to use disposable materials like aluminum foil or plastic wrap. What’s more, when you’re lunching in the forest or in the boat, the need for packaging is often unavoidable. And let’s not forget the freshly caught fish you’ll be bagging back home.

So why not anticipate these needs by bringing a few reusable or recycled containers with you? By opting for reusable packaging, you’ll considerably reduce your trash output during your stay at an outfitter. What’s more, consider taking reusable water bottles to avoid using single-use plastic bottles.

In making this simple but significant choice, you are actively participating in the effort to achieve a more sustainable, nature-friendly approach, while keeping the pleasure and comfort of dining al fresco.

3- Apply the Leave No Trace Principles

Applying the seven principles developed by Leave No Trace Canada ensures that you respect the natural environment during your excursions. These principles are as follows:

  • Plan ahead and prepare
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces
  • Dispose of waste properly
  • Leave what you find
  • Minimize campfire impacts
  • Respect wildlife
  • Be considerate of others

By adopting these principles in your outdoor experience, you contribute to the natural preservation of ecosystems, and ensure an enjoyable and respectful experience for yourself and others.

To find out more about the principles and the ways to apply them in practice consult the Leave No TraceThis link will open in a new window website. 

4- Reduce Your Waste


You might not know it, but most outfitters don’t have access to waste disposal services. They must often carry these tons of waste to the nearest drop-off point, sometimes for distances over a hundred kilometres. Even though they are becoming less frequent, some outfitters still have access to remote landfill sites where they are allowed to bury waste.

Consequently, it’s crucial to minimize waste production and prevent it from generating more pollution than it should. Some outfitters offer compost facilities, contributing to reducing the waste destined for the garbage can. However, it is essential that visitors cooperate by sorting their waste properly and disposing in the appropriate bins. It’s also important to ensure that recyclable materials are properly sorted.

Another effective solution would be to simply bring your garbage back home, so that it can be processed at your waste management facilities.

5- Buy Local

Rather than buying everything before you leave, why not stock up on food and goods in local stores? By planning, you could discover fabulous places and incomparable products. For example, you could stop off at a bakery, butcher’s shop or microbrewery on your way.

By choosing local products, you’ll not only be supporting the regional economy, you’ll also be tasting the authenticity and diversity of regional flavours.

Buying locally isn’t just about food, it also extends to local crafts, unique souvenirs and specific regional products. In addition to enriching your tourism experience, you’ll be building ties with the local community and discovering treasures often overlooked on traditional tourist circuits.

Adopting sustainable practices during your trip to an outfitter is essential to preserving fragile ecosystems while ensuring an authentic, respectful experience. Together, these simple but meaningful gestures will not only preserve the breathtaking scenery surrounding our outfitters for future generations, but also create lasting memories in unspoiled natural environments.

By Anne-Marie Royer, Conseillère en développement touristique durable at Québec Outfitters Federation.