A lot of attention has been focused on green technology and this is especially true for consumer vehicles like cars, trucks, and even SUVs. However, you don't often hear of green innovations when it comes to RVs and campervans. However, when you look at the total experience of a family vacation in an RV and then compare it to one that involves driving or flying to a resort, the total impact becomes closer - but there are still things that any RV owner can do to improve upon that!
RVs Aren't Efficient to Drive - But That's Not the Whole Story
Just as is happening with all types of vehicles, the transportation we use for fun and entertainment is gradually getting more environmentally friendly. Of course, it's a steep learning curve; RV's themselves are large and heavy, and the trucks needed to tow boats and trailer-type campers need considerable power to do the job safely and efficiently.
Consequently, we are some years away from having the greenest possible boats and RV's. But the good news is that the green consumer doesn't need to shun these vehicles altogether. They are still beneficial to the environment in a number of ways, even in their incomplete development.
Modern RVs Have Become Much More Efficient
In the past decade, RVs have started to become more eco-friendly and energy-efficient. This includes using lighter, stronger materials, improved engine technology, renewable materials, and manufacturers themselves have invested in factory efficiency too. While it sometimes may be appealing to buy an older, used RV - consider the total cost of ownership and environmental impact that purchasing something newer might bring to your family.
Efficiency Can Come Naturally
To begin with, a stationary RV has considerably less impact on the environment than your other options. Staying in a hotel requires a lot more electricity, generates more sewage, and potentially impinges on sensitive ecosystems because guests take those amenities for granted. After all, why not just throw your towel on the floor and get a fresh one delivered by the maid?
You Own the RV So you Can Make Green Choices
One of the big advantages of owning your RV is that you can customize it to suit your lifestyle. This includes selecting efficient appliances and even choosing natural fiber cushions if that's your preference. You also have a giant flat surface on your roof that is perfect for collecting solar energy instead of burning fossil fuels in a gasoline generator. Thanks to the development of RV solar panel kits, you can pull an RV into a campground and power all your creature comforts without using your gasoline generator. Even in RV parks with good hookups, that electricity has to come from somewhere.
Save Gas By Selecting RV Parks with Eco-Friendly Amenities
Various RV parks are now offering amenities from composting to solar power to help reduce your environmental impact. However, there's also a better way to travel. Instead of hauling your RV everywhere you go, how about picking one with a charging station and tow an electric car along with you. This way the energy-inefficient RV can stay put and you can explore the local area in the electric vehicle instead. Just make sure your RV park has a good charging station!
As noted earlier, travel is a great way to educate yourself about environmental issues as well. There is something about seeing these places in person that can really spur our energy to work for their preservation. It's just not the same to support Walden Pond when you haven't been there, so an ecologically-friendly trip to see it is worthwhile for its long-term preservation.
The exciting part is that that's not the full extent of your impact as a greener traveler. Yes, you will use less fuel yourself, and yes, you will make your drop in the bucket of the atmosphere and the earth.
But it goes much further. As that one drop, you are a voice speaking as a consumer. You are saying that you are part of a market that wants greener ways to travel, and in doing so, you are sending a message to the manufacturers that it's worth their effort to continue the work toward developing greener boats and RV's.
So while it may not seem that important to use solar power at your campsite, or to go sightseeing in an electric car, or to stay in an RV instead of a hotel to begin with, it really is important. Your actions will contribute to a movement that could one day lead to RV's powered exclusively by solar power, or to boats that have feather-light hulls and motors that require less horsepower to transport, or any of countless other things.
The green consumer has incredible power to change the economy. It has always started with little things, and it has always led to big things. Do the little things now and you'll see the big things later.