The main motivation for most RV campers to hit the road is the desire to enjoy nature. With that in mind, doesn't it make sense that we'd want to do all we can to protect the environment? Here are some helpful tips from EnviroCitizen.org for having an eco-friendly RV vacation.
- Use Beneficial Bacteria, Not Chemicals, to Treat Waste Tanks: A trend green camper should be glad to see is that campsites are banning chemically-treated waste water at waste dumps. The traditional waste water chemical treatments such as formaldehyde may actually be passed along to local water supplies or leach into soil from campground septic systems, so campers can keep things green by using bacterial additives rather than toxic chemicals to cut odors in waste tanks.
- Terrapass Carbon Offsets: Before taking off on your RV vacation, why not purchase carbon offsets through Terrapass? This voluntary program puts your mind at ease that you're doing your part while enjoying a great vacation.
- Heat and Cool "Naturally": If you'll commit to opening windows to bring in fresh air except in the hottest part of the day and pack plenty of blankets for cool nights, you can keep your energy consumption to a minimum while RV camping.
- Use Non-Disposables: If you've ever fretted over fast food packaging thrown away on vacation, travelling by RV will be a real bonus! Buy inexpensive, unbreakable dishes in different colors and assign a color to each family member. It helps keep things organized at campground dinnertimes and cuts the amount of trash you'll produce tremendously.
- Slow Down and Enjoy Nature: One of the joys of RV camping is being able to enjoy the beauty of nature. Racing down the road (and wasting gas) will make you miss nature at its best, so slow things down, try travelling less-travelled roads and save gas while enjoying the scenery.
- Don't Go Off-Road! RV's aren't off-road vehicles! They're made to drive on paved highways and campground roads. You can help preserve our natural wonders by keeping recreational vehicles off unpaved areas. Take along a bike or some good hiking shoes; that's the best way to get out into nature!
- Clean Up Your Campsite: Isn't it disappointing to arrive at a campsite filled with the last camper's trash? Do you part by leaving your campsite in pristine condition when you leave. The next camper will be grateful!
- Conserving Water Saves Time for Fun! Who likes to wash dishes on vacation? Although RV campers actually conserve water much more than most vacationers due to smaller supplies and water heaters, you can save even more water by washing dishes once a day. Keep dirty dishes in a sealed plastic tub to keep pests away from your trailer.
- Clean and Bathe with Green Products: If you're using green products at home, why not take them along on vacation? Biodegradables make great travel companions. Just think, you'll be helping the environment no matter where you go!
- Stay Out of the Water: Lakeside campsites are great, but camping right next to a body of water increases the chance you'll pollute it. Choose a campsite a short distance away from lakes, rivers or streams to reduce accidental pollution.
- Go for Product, Not Packaging: As you shop for your trip, keep in mind the amount of packaging used on those products. Why buy something that requires four layers of packaging when most products have better options? Larger quantities, refillable bottles, simpler packaging, those are the products to pack. You'll save space, too!
- Recycle As Much As Possible: Even with the best planning, you're going to have some waste. Plan space in your RV for recycling containers and watch for recycling stations along your route.
As promised, EnviroCitizen.org has given you some tips to get you started on green RV camping. Sit down with your family before your trip and create your own green camping plan. Now that's real "worry-free" camping!