According to the United Nations climate report, we’re set to see global warming of over double the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit that was agreed upon in Paris in 2015. Global climate change is something that affects everyone – for example, consider extreme weather events such as heavy downpours and droughts (which contribute to wildfires) which occur more often in association with global warming. Flooding can displace people from their homes on a large scale and also ruin crops, which means increased food costs. Similarly, droughts can also negatively impact crops. Additionally, since droughts make wildfires occur more easily, that’s another source of pollution that feeds back into making global climate change worse.
Getting back on track for the original 1.5 degrees Celsius limit for climate change needs effort from everybody – and it doesn’t mean you have to stop your camping trips or completely eliminate your carbon footprint altogether.
In this post, we’ll outline some ways that you can make your next RV trip more sustainable so that you can do your part for reducing climate change.
Offset Your Carbon Emissions
One way you can be more eco-friendly and still go on RV trips is to offset your carbon emissions. One way to do so is with carbon offsets. Carbon offsets are a commodity that you can buy which helps counterweight your emissions. One metric ton of carbon dioxide (CO2e) is absorbed or prevented from release for every offset you purchase.
Examples of carbon offsets include carbon absorption projects as well as co-generation processes. Carbon absorption projects aim to absorb carbon from the atmosphere and store it, much like the ocean does. Reforestation projects and carbon capture plants are two examples of this. On the other hand, co-generation processes re-use waste heat from other processes to generate more electricity per amount of fuel used.
Cut Down on Garbage and Waste
This tip is an old one but still very relevant. Here are a few ways you can cut down on the amount of garbage you produce when you’re out on an RV road trip:
- Limit the number of single-use plastics and disposables you buy – While doing dishes is never any fun, disposable plates, forks, cups, knives, and other single-use items really clutter up landfills. Did you know that landfills account for over 15 percent of methane emissions? The more single-use items we throw away into landfills, the larger these emissions will become.
- Buy in bulk – Whenever possible, try to buy in bulk to reduce the number of trips you take to the store and to reduce the amount of packaging that goes to the landfill. Additionally, try looking for zero-waste stores where you can bring your own containers to fill up.
- Compost food scraps and biodegradables – Instead of throwing all waste into trash, sort what can and can’t go into composting. Whenever you stop by a town, you can then get rid of your compost scraps as necessary. If you’re afraid of your compost scraps smelling, you can keep scraps in a compostable trash bag in your freezer to prevent smells.
Install Solar Panels on Your RV
Solar panels are just for houses and buildings – you can get them installed on your RV too. You might as well take advantage of the sun on your long road trip drives. These days, you can even find solar panel installation kits on Amazon. Additionally, getting solar panels and batteries can open up new places for you to camp – not all campgrounds have electricity for you to plug into after all.
Replace All Lightbulbs with LED lights
Did you know that residential LEDs use at least 75% less energy, and last up to 25 times longer, than incandescent lighting? That alone makes it worth it to switch over to LED lights. Additionally, LED lights happen to emit very little heat – every little bit helps when you’re trying not to crank up the air conditioning.
Use Energy Efficient Appliances
Energy-efficient appliances aren’t just for at-home use, you can use them in your RV, too. Anything from microwaves to fridges has an energy-efficient equivalent. Labels like ENERGY STAR can help you choose more efficient appliances to use in your RV.
Use Non-Toxic Eco-Friendly Cleaning Supplies
The supplies most people use for cleaning can have negative impacts on the environment. For example, air fresheners often contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which affect indoor air quality and contribute to the formation of smog outdoors.
Programs such as Safer Choice make it easier to find products that contain ingredients that are safer for human health and the environment.
Pearl Tsui is a writer who’s written on anything from environmental pollution posts to posts helping you find more energy-efficient appliances. When she’s not writing, you can find her outside on nature walks.
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