How our planet is cooling
The long term effect of our waste
The limited amount of fossil fuels left on the planet
…You get the idea.
Reducing our carbon footprint is something we all can do to help this increasing problem. Yes, even RVers can take some measures that will help to conserve our planet’s resources, so people can enjoy the RV lifestyle for many generations to come.
Following are some things we can all can do to make a difference. I’ve written them in the form of New Year’s Resolutions — perfect timing for the new year!
1. Drive less.
This doesn’t mean staying home and not using your RV. It means making use of facilities closer to home. Every area of the country has sites to see and things to do close at hand. By reducing your driving distance, you’re leaving more time to enjoy something besides watching miles (and the miles) roll by. Stay an extra day or two when you visit an area. Not only will it be more relaxing, but you can see that much more in terms of local culture and activities. It’s always fun to learn something new; try to take the time to do so.
2. Get the most for the money.
Most RV resorts and campgrounds offer a reduced rate if you stay for a longer period of time. Is there really a need to move on? By staying a week or even a month, you’re getting a bigger bang for your buck. After all, the RV lifestyle is supposed to be “laid back.” What’s the hurry?
Instead, bring bicycles, strap a canoe on the roof, get some exercise. By towing a car, you’re burning more fuel to get there. Plus, you’re just trading one comfortable driving seat for another, which is simply perpetuating your inner couch potato. Instead, get out there and smell the fresh air you came to enjoy. Hiking, cycling, walking, and paddling are all excellent ways to get the ol’ cardiovascular system working again. Exercise; it does a body good.
4. Travel the byways.
Freeways are for those who are eager to get from Point A to Point B in a hurry. RVers have no reason to be in a hurry; it’s counter-productive. The whole point of Rving is to see the countryside. If you’re traveling at 70 mph, there’s no way you can pull into a roadside fruit and vegetable stand, or stop for lunch at a small town corner cafe. Take the time to follow "the alternate route." You know the scenery will be a lot better.
5. Support local growers.
Nothing beats fresh produce and homemade breads, jams and jellies. Stop at Farmers Markets along the way. Not only will you be able to enjoy the freshest foods and eat healthier, but you’ll also be supporting local small businesses and reducing the amount of fuel used to take goods to supermarkets.
The less stuff you bring, the less fuel you’ll burn. Consider downsizing your RV lifestyle. Smaller RVs can get into more interesting places. Roughing it can actually be more fun. Don’t overlook the fact that a van with a canoe on the roof will get you to that isolated fishing lake you’ve always wanted to visit.
7. Leave no trace.
No matter where you spend time, when it’s time to leave, take it with you. Be considerate of the environment and other RVers as well. Try sort and recycle your trash — even if it means taking it back home with you. Leave your campsite spotless. And keep in mind, if every camper cut a tree branch to roast marshmallows, the trees around that campsite would soon be bare.
8. Consider solar power.
Generators are noisy and use lots of fuel. Solar panels are silent and use no fuel. A win, win situation for the planet, for your pocket book, and for all who are camping around you.
9. Make conservation a state of mind.
In everything you do, consider the consequences of your actions to the environment and to those around you. Think about how wildlife may be affected, or the likelihood that future generations might suffer from something you are doing. If we all took the time to look beyond our own immediate concerns, the planet would be a whole lot better off.
And if you’re looking for an idea that’s not necessarily "green," but still a lot of fun….
10. Get lost on purpose.
Adventure, that’s what RVing is all about. Forget the schedule, and throw the maps away — you have everything you need with you. Why should your life or destination be predetermined? Enjoy each day for itself, acting on whims or unexpected opportunities. You may be surprised what’s down that little side road… Go find out!
The main theme of this list of New Year’s Resolutions is to be conscious of the world around you. Take the time to learn, to enjoy, to participate. But more importantly, take the time to consider others.
I’ve been involved in RVing for over 40 yrs — including camping, building, repairing, and even selling RVs. I’ve owned, used, and repaired almost every class and style of RV ever made. I do all of my own repair work. My other interests include cooking at home, living with an aging dog, and dealing with diabetic issues. If you can combine a grease monkey with a computer geek, throw in a touch of information nut and organization freak, combined with a little bit of storyteller, you’ve got a good idea of who I am.