With solar panel installations in RVs and Volkswagen’s 2024 electric microbus set to hit the market in the coming years, it seems we’re headed for green pastures and greener travel. That said, these additions aren’t the only way one can head off on the eco-friendly ride of their life.
We’ve broken down 5 ways you can enhance the environmental friendliness of your trip:
- Research recycling centers
- Shop sustainably
- Prep meals
- Pack reusables
- Plan your route
Let’s dig in.
Recycling on the road
Recycling on the road can be a little trickier than recycling at home.
What can be recycled
Do some research on what can and can’t be recycled in the area or at the campground. Different states have different recycling regulations.
In general, you can recycle:
- Plastic bottles and containers
- Food and beverage cans
- Flattened cardboard and paperboard
- Food and beverage containers
- Glass bottles and containers
Note: Make sure to rinse materials before you toss them in the recycle!
You cannot recycle:
- Plastic bags
- Plastic wrap and film
- Flexible packaging
- Cups with wax or plastic coatings
- Polystyrene foam and plastic
- Recylables in bags
Tip: If you don’t know something can be recycled, it’s better to leave it out. Take it home and recycle it there!
Where can you recycle
Drop your recyclables off at:
- Campground recycling bins
- Nearby recycling centers
- Grocery stores
Tip: Find local recycling by searching earth911.com.
Plenty of brands are upping their sustainability efforts.
Some outdoors brands offering eco-friendly products include:
- Green Guru
- Toad & Co.
Whenever possible, look to buy from brands that use ethically sourced, eco-friendly, and recycled materials.
Minimize food waste by planning your meals in advance, so you know exactly what you need and how much of it you need. The simple and tasty camping recipes are endless.
Tip: Save money by buying in bulk at your local grocery store or farmers’ market. Buying from bulk sections also saves space as these foods have less packaging!
Reducing and reusing
One of the easiest ways to live sustainably on the road is to bring reusables. Refill water bottles and jugs at fill stations at supermarkets and gas stations. Some towns, like Hot Springs, may even offer free spring water fountains for refilling.
Reusable materials you should pack are:
Tip: Use sustainable sandwich wrap to pack your lunch for the trail.
Planning your route
The less you’re lost, the less gas you use. And, in turn, the less harmful emissions you will produce. Using a road trip planner app is the best way to plan your route before you hit the road. You can find your fastest and safest RV route, and also plan all the stops — from the fun stuff to the gas stations.
Tip: Minimize your footprint by driving on the slower side. Heck, turn off that RV AC, roll down the windows, and cruise!
Find eco-friendly RVs on Outdoorsy
As we wait a few years for the new Volkswagen bus to hit the market, here are a few eco-friendly rides to get you going:
- 2021 Dodge Ram ProMaster in Portland, Oregon
- 2015 Ford Transit Camper in Phoenix, Arizona
- 2017 Dodge Ram 1500 in San Diego, California
- 2020 Airstream Bambi in San Diego, California
- 2005 Ford Econoline in Los Angeles, California
- 2018 Dodge Sprinter Van in Los Angeles, California
- 2019 Ram Promaster in Denver, Colorado
- 2019 Campervan in Seattle, Washington
Safe and sustainable travels!