No matter who you are or where you come from, we all share one mother in common — Mother Earth. And Sunday, April 22 is Earth Day, the time we all take a moment to step back and think about how much we owe to our beautiful blue planet.
As an RVer, you’re likely already an avid lover of all things outdoors. From hiking in her mountains and forests to kayaking on her swiftly-moving rivers, we campers find all sorts of ways to enjoy the bountiful gifts Mother Earth has given us.
Even just sitting back in your camping chair or hammock and enjoying the view can make you feel totally tiny, peaceful, and awe-inspired. Nature gives us all so much… so isn’t it high time to find some ways to give back?
We think so.
That’s why we wrote this post full of tips and tricks for going green, as well as some eco-friendly travel ideas you might not have already thought of. Let’s get to it!
Did you know you’re already doing the earth a favor by RV camping?
It might seem counterintuitive, considering how much fuel it takes to keep even a modest camper up and running. But one study found that, compared to the carbon costs of traditional airplane travel, RVing is actually a fairly green form of getting around.
Plus, RV camping makes campers more aware of the beautiful world around them. After all, most campgrounds are in beautiful, protected landscapes full of untouched forests and other natural splendors. Getting back in touch with the natural world can help all campers rediscover just why our Earth is so special and worthy of our protection — especially kids. A trip through our nation’s national parks will do more for their sense of wonder than any classroom science class could ever hope to!
(Psst: Want to help your child get even more involved and interested in nature? Grab a National Parks Passport before you hit the road, which gives them a fun way to keep track of all the places they’ve visited. You can also look into the National Park Service’s awesome Junior Ranger program, which offers educational, interactive fun at a large number of parks and preserves.)
Although RVing is already an environmentally-friendly travel style, there are ways you can make your next trip even better for our planet. Here are just a few of them.
1. Keep it clean.
This should go without saying, but when you’re camping (or doing anything else, really), if you bring it in, bring it out — and that means everything, including garbage.
Even at developed campsites, leaving trash on the ground is not an environmentally friendly move. That candy wrapper or wad of gum won’t disintegrate for eons, and its plastics can end up being tracked into our water system. So do us all a favor and throw things away where they belong: in the trash can!
2. Don’t create new fire pits.
Gathering around the campfire is one of the most enjoyable parts of any camping trip — and don’t worry, you can totally have your s’mores! Just be sure you keep your flame contained in a pre-existing fire pit. Every time you create a new one, you’re ruining the plant and insect life on that piece of ground… and besides, there are already plenty of designated fire areas for everyone!
Eco-Friendly Travel Tips
Here are some more green travel tips to make your next trip even more environmentally responsible.
3. Ride your bike or go on foot when possible.
Even if you’ve got a toad or you’re in a travel trailer, take advantage of the great outdoors by going to your next off-site destination on foot or by bicycle. It’s a pretty great deal for both you and nature. For one thing, you’ll get some exercise and fresh air — but that’s not even the best part.
Using less gas shrinks your carbon footprint… and your total travel budget. Win-win!
4. Don’t buy bottled water.
If you’re hooked up to city water, using a potable water hose, and have squeaky-clean tanks, there’s no reason to buy the bottled water that’s rapidly plastic-ifying our oceans. A reusable water bottle should be high on your list of eco-friendly travel essentials and gear — and it’ll also save you money and in many cases keep your drink cold longer.
If you do need to use prepackaged water, try to buy larger containers, like gallons, to set in the fridge and refill your reusable canteen from there. It’s not as good as avoiding plastic entirely, but it’s still better than the smaller bottles that accumulate as plastic waste so quickly.
5. Reduce, reuse, recycle.
You’ve certainly heard it before, but it’s worth saying again — the less resources we exhaust, the better.
Try to find ways to reuse the everyday items around you rather than tossing them in the trash. Here are some clever ideas for food packages to get you started.
Reducing food waste is also a key part of the equation. Did you know Americans waste more than $160 billion — yes, with a b — by throwing out food each year? That represents 3.3 billion tons of carbon added to our national footprint.
Fortunately, the answer to that problem is pretty simple: If you buy it, eat it! And once it’s done, recycle the package it came in.
Celebrate Earth Day
This Earth Day, celebrate by getting out and experiencing our earth in all its many stunning forms: oceans, beaches, mountains, trees, caves and canyons… the wide world awaits. (Psst: need help picking from all those options? Here are some of our favorite spots for spring break getaways and some amazing summer travel destinations.)
That’s the best thing about finding eco-friendly ways to travel and explore, like RVing. Not only do you get to experience more of all the majesty the world has to offer, but you leave it exactly like you found it, or even better, for others to discover later.
Happy Earth Day!
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