Confronting camp stoves and single-use propane canisters May 03 2013

Confronting camp stoves and single-use propane canisters

EcoZoom rocket stoves provide a sustainable option to single-use steel propane canisters which can result in problematic waste and recycling options. As Summer quickly approaches, campers are starting to build out their go-to camping kits for the outdoor season. With each individual camping need comes many choices for campers to weigh when choosing a product. Sleeping bags, tents, camp chairs, and backpacks come in all shapes and sizes with features and benefits that must be compared against one another. Camping cook stoves are no different, but there are some things you should know prior to purchasing. If you go to a campground this season it’s likely that the majority of campers will be cooking on a propane burner. Coleman® and Camp Chef are two of the more popular brands that use propane canisters to fire up the grill, and many campers love them for their ease of use, temperature regulation, and being able to use them where open fires are not allowed. What isn’t so easy is disposing of the single-use propane canisters the stoves use once they are empty. Unfortunately federal law doesn’t allow for transport of small propane cylinders that have been refilled, therefore the canister needs to either go in the trash or be recycled. Before that can happen, each canister must be completely emptied, otherwise it is considered hazardous waste since propane is highly flammable. To further complicate the issue, finding a recycling center for the canisters isn’t always easy. You get the point – due to the amount of campers using single-use propane canisters, the impact potential on the environment is significant. An article from Ontario Parks sums up the expense that single-use propane canisters can create. Some campgrounds have adopted their own recycling programs, but many have not. This is where EcoZoom stoves come in.

Joshua Tree Recycling

Joshua Tree National Park and some other National Parks offer propane canister recycling.

EcoZoom stoves can burn wood, charcoal, or solid biomass in a safe and controlled environment while still meeting all your camp cooking needs of portability, durability, temperature sensitivity, and heat output without any added disposable waste. The technology and design of the combustion chamber can heat up a skillet or boil water just as quickly (and likely more quickly) than a propane burner while emitting 70% less smoke and burning 60% less fuel than a traditional campfire. That means just a few sticks or a handful of charcoal to make the most of your camp cooking needs. Camping stove options are a plenty and propane will likely be the go-to for most, but don’t forget about the other options on the market. Wood, charcoal, or even solar cook stove options can meet your needs, be fun to use, and result in less impact than single-use propane canisters. Looking for how to dispose or recycle your propane canister? Read Coleman® propane cylinder disposal instructions here.   About the Author: is an EcoZoom employee and likes to cook outdoors with his EcoZoom stove on camping trips or sunny days.