My dad has worked at an RV company for years, so growing up, my only experience camping was in a 30-foot Winnebago Motorhome. I have branched out a little bit since then; my husband and I spent three months camping throughout Africa last year, but I still like the comforts of a home that you can get in a RV. Unfortunately, a gas guzzling RV doesn’t always make me think green. But, thankfully, there are ways to make it a more eco-friendly travel option. Here are tips green RV’ing this summer.
1. Stay Close to Home
Growing up, this is one of the ways my parents saved money on RV travel — we didn’t venture far from home. Staying close saves money on fuel and is more eco-friendly than a long-distance trip. Check out the campsites near your home — you may be surprised to find hidden gems within a short drive. As an added bonus, if you’re traveling with kids they will love the camping experience and you won’t have to hear as many “are we there yet?” questions from the backseat.
2. Bring Bikes
If you’re traveling by RV, consider bringing bikes. This is a green way to travel to the store or around your campground without having to use the fuel to drive the RV. If you need to travel further than you’d like on a bike, consider bringing a Vespa or small vehicle that will use less fuel and get you where you need to go.
3. Practice Green Living on the Road
Many of the eco-friendly things you do at home to reduce your carbon footprint will also work on the road. Open the windows in the RV rather than using the air conditioning and take shorter showers so you don’t use so much energy on hot water. If you own your RV you can also install solar panels and use energy efficient light bulbs to reduce your energy usage. Driving at, or under, the speed limit will save on fuel. While it may be more convenient to stock up on disposable plates and silverware for your vacation, go green by washing your own dishes.
4. Go Small
Once you see the luxury of some of the newer motorhomes on the market today, it can be tempting to rent a 43-foot RV for your next vacation. However, a smaller RV will be more fuel-efficient and reduce the overall carbon footprint of your vacation. Many of the smaller motorhomes are great options for green RV’ing. You may have to pack light, but your vacation will be more environmentally friendly, and you will probably have a little extra cash in your pocket from the money you save on fuel.
5. Practice Green Camping
Just because you’re in an RV doesn’t mean that the basic rules for camping don’t apply. Be sure to practice leave-no-trace camping; take all of your trash with you when you leave. If you’re camping with your dog, remember he has an environmental impact too — so plan accordingly. Only camp in designated campsites and make sure that recycle everything you can.
Learn more about the progress green RV’ing is making.
Have you ever traveled by RV? What are your tips for green RV’ing?
Photo credit: qwrrty