How RV Travel Can Be Sustainable

 

Photo by Stefan Widua

RV travel is a great sustainable alternative for getting around compared with other more carbon-intensive methods of transport. While driving a camper van may not seem like the most sustainable mode of travel at first glance, it’s greener than you may think.

Read on to learn more about how RV travel can provide opportunities to help you be kind to our planet while seeing the world!

Carefully Select Destinations to Reduce Driving Time

One easy way to make RV travel more sustainable is to choose your destinations carefully. The more time your vehicle stays parked, the more emissions you can save during your travels. 

Focus on your local area. Are there places you’ve always wanted to check out but haven’t gotten to yet? Combining RV travel with enjoying something closer to home could increase your trip’s sustainability. 

Another option is to go places that you stay in for several days. Although having an RV gives you lots of freedom to explore without accumulating a sizable carbon footprint.

Make Your RV Sustainable

Another smart thing to do is investigate what you can do to the RV to make it more sustainable. Traveling by land is generally much more eco-friendly than trips by air. Regardless, it’s still worthwhile to do numerous things to minimize your carbon footprint even more.

Maybe your current RV is an outdated gas guzzler. Then, a possibility could be to upgrade to a more sustainable model. Winnebago and others are even working on electric RVs that should be available soon.

Alternatively, if you’re generally happy with your RV’s performance and reliability, consider making sustainable upgrades, such as installing solar panels or eco-friendly appliances. You can also use sheer curtains that let plenty of natural light in and stop you from using electric lights so often. 

You can even get creative about your RV’s interior. Think about sewing the curtains yourself or doing a DIY furniture project, if time and your skills allow. As a bonus, you eliminate the emissions associated with manufacturing and transporting store-bought versions.

Don’t Forget Your Bike

You probably already know biking is an eco-friendly way to get around, but you may not realize how much of a difference it can make for your footprint, even if you’re not a frequent biker. A University of Oxford study indicated that switching from motor vehicles to bikes for just one trip per day can cut someone’s carbon footprint by about 0.5 tonnes annually. 

That’s an excellent reminder not to leave your bike at home before heading out in an RV. Even if you’re an extremely well-prepared traveler, you’ll probably have to make some supply runs. Bikes offer convenient ways to do that, especially if you’re only going out to grab a few small items.

Bikes are also ideal to use during daytrips. They’ll help you stay active while covering more ground than you can on foot. Also, exploring your surroundings on a bike gives you a different perspective than you’ll get in a car. 

Prioritize Reusable Supplies Over Disposable Ones

As you become an experienced RV traveler,  it’ll be easier to figure out what you truly need to bring and what’s better left at home. Traveling as lightly as possible helps fuel economy, and you’ll likely appreciate the convenience of only packing what’s necessary. 

When shopping for things like plates, cutlery and other things you’ll use on every trip, buy reusable versions as much as possible. Bring reusable bags to contain the trash and recyclables you’ll inevitably accumulate on your journeys, too.

Many gas stations and other places you may stop along a route in the U.S. typically don’t have recycling bins. That’s all the more reason to reuse what you can and hold onto the rest until you find a place for recyclables. 

Reusable items are getting increasingly popular. It’s easy to find options made of all kinds of materials with fun colors and patterns to express your personality. Those differentiators are also handy when you want to keep stuff separate for particular family members to use. 

Shop Local When Possible

Traveling is a great way to get you out of your comfort zone and able to take part in new experiences. One way to do that is to explore the small businesses near your destinations. 

The people at those enterprises will appreciate your support, and you might come across some new favorite products. Shopping locally is also a great way to learn the backstories of what you buy.

Maybe some delicious cookies feature honey from a farm just down the road, or you find a beautiful bracelet made by a craftsperson who used a specific crafting technique that was passed down through generation. These small details make fantastic stories you can share when you bring back souvenirs for loved ones.

Travel Strategically in Your RV

Exploring the country in an RV is like other modes of travel in that it requires people to take specific actions to act more sustainably. While RV travel will already be a more sustainable alternative compared with other modes of transport, it will be important to also take steps to ensure that your travels are eco-friendly and supportive of local communities. Luckily, you’ll be on the right track by following some of the tips mentioned here. 


Want more tips on how you can travel sustainably? Check out our latest sustainability guides!

 RV travel is a great sustainable alternative for getting around compared
with other more carbon-intensive methods of transport. While driving a
camper van may not seem like the most sustainable mode of travel at first
glance, it’s greener than you may think.

Read on to learn more about how RV travel can provide opportunities to help
you be kind to our planet while seeing the world!Read MoreSustainable LivingBlog – Sea Going Green

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