Earth Day on the Road: How Can an RV Trip Be More Eco-Friendly?

Earth Day on the Road: How Can an RV Trip Be More Eco-Friendly?

Greetings, campervan and RV travelers! Earth Day is zooming our way fast, and we're perfectly poised to make some real, positive changes. Our rolling homes offer us a VIP ticket to the natural world's most stunning displays. And there's no better occasion than Earth Day to preserve these magnificent scenes just as we found them.


Earth Day is the perfect time to press the reset button and adopt new, eco-friendly habits that seamlessly blend into our lifestyles, creating a more sustainable world with ease. Small steps, when taken together and consistently, can lead to significant environmental benefits, particularly when we all commit to playing our part. So, this Earth Day, let's hit the road with new eco-friendly practices to keep our scenery splendid and our impact minimal. Here's how we can roll into a more sustainable future together.

Leave No Trace


Abandon Single-Use Products: Single-use plastics are not only a relic of the past century but also a present-day peril to our environment. These non-biodegradable items can linger in ecosystems for centuries, often ending up in our oceans and harming marine life. Equip your RV with a set of sturdy, reusable gear that stands the test of time and travel. Say goodbye to disposable water bottles and embrace a large refillable water jug, along with individual reusable bottles for every traveler. Cloth napkins, dish rags, and towels make for a sustainable swap from paper products — they're less wasteful and honestly, they just feel better to use. If you must opt for disposable items, seek out eco-friendly, biodegradable options. Let's hit the road and leave no trace behind!


Say goodbye to disposable water bottles and embrace a large refillable water jug, along with individual reusable bottles for every traveler.


Proper Waste Disposal: Discarded waste not only pollutes the picturesque landscapes we cherish but also poses a direct threat to wildlife, contaminating their habitats and food sources. As responsible RV adventurers, the only footprints we should leave behind are those in the dirt, not in our planet's ecosystems. Always pack your trash out when you leave the campsite and aim to leave it cleaner than you found it. Have an extra bin or box on hand in your storage compartments for recyclables. Get to know the recycling protocols of your destinations and sort your waste accordingly. Many grocery stores offer recycling services—so when you head into town for supplies, take your recyclables with you. Doing your part keeps garbage out of landfills and nature pristine.


Avoid Making New Fire Pits: There's nothing quite like the glow of a campfire to bring the joy of the great outdoors to your RV campsite. And yes, your beloved s’mores are definitely on the menu! Just remember to keep your cozy flames to the pre-existing fire pits to protect the plants and critters that call the ground home. No need to scar the earth by making new ones—there’s an abundance of designated spots ripe for storytelling, laughter, and marshmallow toasting. So gather round, share those fireside tales, and savor the warmth without leaving a mark.


Avoid Making New Fire Pits



Conserving Resources

Efficient Electricity Use: Excessive electricity use in your RV, when sourced from non-renewable energy, directly contributes to the depletion of finite resources and the production of harmful emissions, which are detrimental to our environment and exacerbate the effects of climate change. Saving electricity is not just good for the planet, it'll save you some dough, too. By unplugging devices you're not using - yes, even chargers without phones attached can leech power - you're preventing unnecessary drain. Make the switch to LED bulbs, they last longer and use a fraction of the power. For climate control, consider adjusting your layers before cranking up the heat or A/C. Dress warmly inside during colder months, and have breathable fabrics for warmer weather. Keep your RV insulated, and use reflective window covers to maintain the internal temperature.


Keep your RV insulated, and use reflective window covers to maintain the internal temperature.


Install Solar Panels: Get ready to rev up your spring travel plans by powering up your RV with some renewable energy! Installing solar panels on your RV isn't just a move for the tech-savvy or the deep-pocketed anymore. It's become more budget-friendly and is a smart way to tap into free, sustainable power. Plus, who doesn't love the idea of being a bit more self-reliant? A compact portable solar panel can keep most of your gadgets charged, while a full-blown solar setup, like the kind we adventure-seekers dream of, can help you cut the cord for even longer stretches. Going solar not only extends your off-grid adventures but also saves you money and protects the environment. So, why not let the sun power your next journey, and embrace the freedom of truly sustainable travel? Your RV, your planet, and your wallet will thank you!


Installing solar panels on the roof of an RV.


Save Water: Conserving water is crucial because fresh water is a limited resource, with less than 1% of all water on Earth available for human use, and every effort to reduce wastage can significantly alleviate the strain on local ecosystems and help preserve this precious commodity for future generations. Start saving water by keeping an eye on how much you use. Shorten those showers, turn off the tap when brushing your teeth or doing dishes. Get savvy with water by collecting rain or reusing greywater for flushing toilets or washing your trusty ride. Next pit stop, why not green-up your faucets and showers? Swing by the hardware store and grab aerators rated at 1.2-1.5 gallons per minute. Swap out that showerhead for an eco-friendly model with a flow rate under 2.5 gpm. Not only does this save water, but it also maintains solid water pressure, allowing you to extend your stay in the great outdoors before having to deal with greywater disposal.


Using water-saving faucets on an RV, controlling water flow to conserve water.



Using Eco-Friendly Products

Earth-Friendly Cleaners: When it’s cleaning day in your RV, use products that don’t leave a harmful residue behind. Opt for non-toxic, biodegradable products, like enzyme-based water tank cleaners. Say 'no' to harmful chemicals, such as bronopol, which can release carcinogenic formaldehyde—linked to various types of cancer and known to contaminate our precious soil and water. Make the smart switch and protect both your health and the environment. Also, consider streamlining your cleaning arsenal with multi-purpose cleaners to minimize the number of different products you carry. Less clutter, more space, and a cleaner Earth—it's a win-win!


Earth-Friendly Cleaners: When it’s cleaning day in your RV, use products that don’t leave a harmful residue behind.

Responsible Soaping: For your hygiene needs, choose biodegradable soap and shampoo, which are better options for outdoor washing. However, it's crucial to prevent soapy runoff from contaminating natural waterways, as it can disrupt aquatic ecosystems, harm fish and other wildlife by altering the oxygen levels in the water, and spur algae blooms that strip essential nutrients and potentially taint sources of drinking water. Therefore, always ensure you're at least 200 feet away from streams and lakes when disposing of soapy water to avoid ecological contamination.


Natural Insect Repellent: Chemical repellents like DEET can be harmful as they may pose health risks with excessive exposure and can contaminate water and soil, negatively impacting wildlife and the environment. Ditch DEET and other harsh chemicals in favor of natural bug repellents. Look for ingredients like citronella, lemongrass, and cedar oil, or whip up your own eco-friendly concoction. With a reusable spray bottle, combine equal parts water and apple cider vinegar, a dash of eucalyptus oil, and a few drops of lemon oil for a gentle yet effective barrier against insects. These naturally sourced solutions are not only kinder to your skin but also kind to the environment we all cherish.


Reusable spray bottle for DIY insect repellent with natural ingredients such as apple cider vinegar, eucalyptus oil, and lemon oil.



Engaging in Conservation

Adopt an Animal: Get involved from afar by adopting an animal through a reputable wildlife conservation organization. Your symbolic adoption can help fund habitat preservation, research, and education efforts.

Donations: Look into conservation organizations or trusts where your financial contributions can assist with their ongoing efforts. Paying entry fees at accredited zoos and nature reserves is one way to go about this. Another option is to donate directly to one of the organizations below:

  • The Nature Conservancy
  • World Wildlife Fund
  • National Audubon Society
  • National Wildlife Federation
  • Wildlife Conservation Society


    Visiting accredited zoos or nature reserves.


    Volunteering: If you're settling in an area for a while, find out if there are local conservation projects that could use a helping hand. Spend a day planting trees, join a beach clean-up, or participate in wildlife counts. Every bit of help counts. Of course, you could do something as simple (but effective) as picking up litter.


    Picking up litter on the beach.


    With these simple yet impactful eco-friendly tips, we can turn every day into Earth Day on the road. Let's celebrate our beautiful planet by embracing a greener RV lifestyle, setting an example for future travelers to follow. Together, we can pave the road for future generations to enjoy a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable world. Happy travels and happy Earth Day, roadies—here's to many more miles of happy, earth-conscious travels!



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