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Traveling by RV is an excellent way to see the world. It's a truly unique experience. You're able to relax almost as if you're at home throughout all the miles of your journey — no more crammed back seats and overstuffed cargo spaces! But with RV travel comes the question... how eco-friendly is it? Here are some ways you can lessen your carbon footprint while RVing.
When you're rolling along the open road in your RV, chances are pretty good that you aren't going to be using appliances or other items that require power — you don't want to drain the battery. But when you park to plug in or arrive at your destination, you're able to tap into your power supply to your heart's content. While this is surely convenient, there are other more sustainable ways to do this. Maybe you've already wondered if now is the time to buy solar panels for your RV — if you have, that's great! Not only are solar panels more affordable than most people expect, solar energy is better for the environment all around. It doesn't emit the air and water pollution or other harmful gases that electricity plants can. This can be a great option if you tend to explore more remote areas where you won't be able to hook up for a charge... ideally a sunny one!
Whatever you use in your RV that ends up in its wastewater tanks — cleaners, dish soap, bathing products and toilet paper — will all be disposed of and eventually make its way back into the earth's water supply. And remember that whatever you use to keep your RV clean and fresh should be eco-friendly and biodegradable not only for the environment's sake, but for your family's health too. Pay attention to toilet paper used and stock up paper made specifically for RV and boating use... it breaks down quicker than conventional toilet paper you'd use at home. And while it might be tempting to use disposable dinnerware and cutlery for convenience's sake, make the switch to reusable products. There are so many options available now, many made from recycled materials. Every little change you can make will help and over time it will become second nature for everyone.
Is your RV suiting your family? Maybe it's feeling too small, or maybe it's just too much RV for what you really need. If you're comfortable but could go a bit smaller, definitely consider it. The bigger the RV, the bigger the carbon footprint it leaves. And if you could sacrifice just a bit of space, you'd be making a big difference. Also consider the other benefits of sizing down — less expensive to fuel and run, and less cumbersome to drive and park. Think of the other things you might be able to use the money saved... eco-friendly upgrades, perhaps?
One of the best things about RVing is the comforts of home are always at your fingertips. But if you've had your RV for some time or are purchasing a used model, take a closer look at the existing appliances to see if they're energy rated. If not, swapping them out with newer ones will serve you well by increasing efficiency and cutting down on energy costs. Switch faucets and shower heads to low pressure models to cut down on your water consumption. Changing out all old light bulbs to energy efficient LED bulbs will also keep your RV cooler, which is never a bad thing!
If you already own an RV or are able to rent one (and have the vacation time to do it!), consider yourself so fortunate. And while you're exploring the world, remember to do whatever you can to make sure you're leaving as little a trace as possible. Remember... small changes add up.