Recommended Products For Mountain Use

It’s hard to read the news these days and not be concerned about our environment. This is especially true when you look at The Mountain which is so close to all of our hearts. See below for our thoughts on how to help preserve the pristine with your camp’s product selection

Important Information

As we have been researching and compiling a list of recommended products for use on the mountain, it has become clear that the best thing we can do for our lake health is to not put any products directly into the lake. At the very, very least use products that are the most gentle to our environment so we can preserve the pristine quality of our lakes for as long as possible.

This same principle holds true even for products used at our cabins that eventually filter down through the earth to our waterways (either directly over land when it rains, or through groundwater percolation that reaches the water bodies). Remember, if possible, the drain outlets should be at least 150 ft away and have some sort of greywater filtration system. Again, we encourage the use of natural and gentle products in our sinks and showers at our camps. Some general guidelines to buying green is to try to get phosphate free, no parabens, and to purchase biodegradable or biocompatible products. If you are interested, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), has rated green products and there are many other sources on the internet that offer similar rating systems – please visit their website for more information on many more products than are listed below. We tried to identify products that have the highest rating in terms of biodegradability and are locally available, but there are many more eco-friendly available.

We urge you to do your research and pick what is right for your family. Biodegradable literally means that the ingredients used in the soap can be broken down naturally by bacteria, rather than remaining in the soil. A soap is generally considered to be biodegradable as long as at least 90% of it breaks down into water, carbon dioxide and biological material within six months of being used. Sodium lauryl sulfate and lauryl alcohol are naturally occurring ingredients and are biodegradable. Chemicals like triclosan and triclocarban are almost impossible to break down naturally and are also impossible to filter out during water treatment. The result is that lakes and rivers become polluted with these chemicals which upsets the natural balance of the water. Phosphates are another group of chemicals that are frequently found in regular soaps and that cannot be broken down or processed out of wastewater. When phosphates find their way into lakes they can cause an overgrowth of algae and other plants and ultimately lead to eutrophication. Remember that any soaps with ingredients like triclosan or phosphates are not biodegradable, even if the labels claim that the product is all “natural”. Products that advertise themselves as anti-bacterial are especially likely to include these, so double check the ingredients.

Recommended Products For Mountain Use

Below is a list of possible options and also purchase locations for products that have no phosphates, are biodegradable and eco-friendly. These are a few of many products that advertise themselves as biodegradable, natural and organic. It is important to remember that there is no oversight of these advertising claims so it is important to read labels and avoid cleaning products that contain phosphates.

Dr. Bronner’s (also available at LaBonne’s, Salisbury Pharmacy, and Stop ‘n Shop)

Avalon Organics (also available locally)

Everyone Soap (also available locally)

Avalon Organics (also available locally)

Things to avoid: oxybenzone, octinoxate

Badger Zinc Oxide Sunscreen

Elemental Herbs All Good Kids Sunscreen