With Earth Day slowly creeping upon us, we at RVUSA.com realized that some RVs don’t exactly classify as eco-friendly. Studies have shown that RV’ing is much more environmentally friendly than staying at a hotel, flying or driving. And there are so many ways to make your RV and camping trips much more environmentally safe, and most of the time, you can use these ideas for your stationery home too. If you have an older RV or a newer one that could still use some eco friendly upgrades, now is the time to make those changes in the honor of mother nature!
- Replace your flushing toilet with a composting toilet. A composting toilet uses much less water than a flush toilet does. And you don’t have to worry about pump outs. So you’re getting the best of both worlds with this one. It only makes sense to make the swap ASAP!
- Be more conscious about using your fuel. Paying attention to the way you drive you RV and keeping up with routine maintenance are easy but impactful ways you can ensure you’re taking care of the planet. There are several ways you can do this!
- Always keep the RV tires inflated. This can improve your gas milage by a small percentage, but every little bit helps! (And it reduces your chances of having a blowout.)
- Find bio diesel and full up with that whenever you can.
- Reduce weight in the RV by only packing the essentials.
- Slow down when going up hills. This keeps your RV from having to work twice as hard and reduces gas usage.
- Stay closer to home when camping. Or stay longer at each destination.
- Keep your RV on a regular maintenance schedule.
3. Bring reusable items with you on camping trips. Of course it’s much easier to buy plastic utensils and paper plates and toss them at the end of the night, but is that really the best option for the environment? Bring your own glassware, utensils and plates from home and just rinse them off thoroughly after ease use. Then put them in the dishwasher when you get home. You can even wash and reuse those utensils if you have to use plastic ones. You can also find ways to reuse plastic water bottles, baggies, aluminum foil and even parchment paper. And always recycle!
4. Build a fire. It is camping after all! Try not to use your furnace or heat inside your RV and build a fire instead. IF you’re traveling during chilly nights, bring extra thermal blankets and sweaters. This will cut back on energy use and keeps you from creating extra emissions. The same goes for your air conditioner. Try parking your RV in the shade for a bit of rest from the heat, or during the winter, park it in the sun for extra heat. Maybe try to travel during comfortable months when the weather isn’t extreme or find temperate zones where the weather is perfect year round! And besides, a campfire is much more fun and you can’t roast marshmallows with a unit! Just be sure to not burn those plastic plates in the fire, which causes more carbon emissions, and be sure to keep the fire small and reasonable.
5. Find marked campsites. It may be more fun to go on a hunt for the best natural spot to set up camp, but you might be interrupting the natural habitat where you park. When this happens, you damage the ecosystem and everything around it is thrown off. The plants and wildlife thrive here and their homes are thrown out of kilter when campers set up here. Find places that are designated for camping so that you don’t scare any wildlife away from their home. The landscape has already been made for campers and large RVs. Go ahead and explore off road destinations and back trails, but leave them for day trips instead of overnight parking.
6. Use natural cleaning products. A splash of vinegar mixed with some baking soda can go a long way when cleaning countertops, ovens, microwaves, etc. For more serious cleaning, avoid products with chemicals, which can clog septic and holding tanks. This can cause backup or damage in the tank. Consider compostable cleaners as an alternative. There are a ton of great options and more are being made each day.
7. Turn off your utilities before leaving for your trip. Even If you only plan to be gone for a few days, turning off your energy sources can save energy and money. All it takes is the flip of a few breakers right before you head out and you’re good to go.
As always, come back every day to the RVUSA blog for the RV Find of the Week on Monday, Travel Destination Tuesday, Featured RV Dealer on Wednesday, Throwback Thursday, and RV Tips and Tricks on Friday. Leave us a message below if you have any thoughts, memories or comments. We’d love to hear from you! If you’d like to receive our daily blog posts directly in your inbox, click here to join our free email list.