5 Steps to Save the Planet Every Day

Since transitioning to a nomadic lifestyle, we have found more and more ways to reduce our environmental impact. Below are five ways that we have changed our lifestyle to do a little more for our planet.

Stop with the Plastic Sacks Already!

There are very few instances when plastic sacks at the clothing, grocery, or convenience stores makes any logical sense. Around 5,000,000,000,000 plastic bags are produced YEARLY and most of the trash in our oceans is plastic.

Alternative: Use canvas shopping bags instead of plastic. Leave a few canvas bags in your vehicle and remember to take them into the store with you when you shop. Some stores will even give you credit for using canvas bags.

Avoid Using Plastic Drink Bottles

On the many miles of trail that we have hiked and biked across our country we have seen and picked up hundreds of plastic bottles. Some sources claim that a PET bottle takes around 1,000 years to biodegrade naturally.

Alternative: Use a reusable cup such as an Ozark Trail, Yeti, or another of the many different brands that make stainless steel cups. Although the process to produce a stainless cup is less than environmentally friendly, if you use it regularly over a long period of time it is a step in the right direction.


Recycle or Reuse Everything You Can

Did you leave your reusable bags at home and drive across town to the grocery store? No worries, use your plastic bags as trash bags around your house several times if possible. When building our bus, we used old cut up bike tubes as rubber grommets to run cable and PEX tubing throughout the bus. When a t-shirt gets beyond an acceptable state of ragged, tear it up into garage or kitchen rags.


Conserve Electricity & Use Solar Power if Available

Besides our engine, our entire bus is powered by solar power. We have 300 watts of solar mounted on the roof that powers LED lights, a high-efficiency refrigerator, and a small inverter. We have found that when we rely on the sun for our electronics, we waste less and use less altogether. 300 watts has been more than enough to support all of our electronics with some to spare.

Do you have a light on at home while you are at work? Is there weather-stripping around one of your windows that lets in outside air? All of these things can require more electricity and cost the environment and your wallet.


Conserve Water

Perhaps the easiest and most time-honored way to save the planet is to consume less water. The average person uses 80-100 gallons of water per day. In our bus with a simple 12V water pump and small storage tanks as well as our re-usable water bottles, we use less than 80 gallons every two weeks! Here are some ways to reduce your water consumption at home:

-Don’t run the water while brushing your teeth

-Skip watering the lawn

-Ensure that all plumbing and fixtures operate as they should and don’t leak

-Replace inefficient appliances with High Efficiency units that use less water and electricity

-Take shorter showers

We hope this list has been helpful and that you have found new ways to help the environment. If you have different ways that you reduce, reuse, or recycle, please send us an e-mail! We would love to learn some new tactics to reduce our footprint.



We Need Your Help!

We Need Your Help!

We have been on the road for 2 months traveling through some of the most beautiful parts of America and we have come to a few realizations:

  1. We are extremely blessed! We have both lived very fortunate and privileged lives growing up in nuclear, Christian families in the Bible Belt. We are both so very grateful for the upbringing that we have had and the support that continues to this day. Although this is a good thing, it has led us into point #2…
  2. We have grown up in an age of consumption and entitlement. By being extremely blessed and comfortable as young people, we have grown up in a generation that consumes much and cares little about it. Part of the motivation for moving into the bus was to simplify our lives and focus on issues that really matter (see point #3).
  3. We want to help others while we travel and we need your help! We have felt a calling, burden, whatever you want to call it to help others while we travel around. We have tossed around the Peace Corps and feeding the homeless, but we don’t really know where to start.

Most organizations just seem to want donations, which we don’t really have the ability to do and the Peace Corps is a huge commitment that we might not be ready for yet. We need your suggestions. Do you know someone doing inner city work in Seattle or have a cool idea that would require you to quit your job and be mobile to do it? Let us know. We are on the West Coast until Fall and are up in the air after that. Send us an e-mail at okienomads@gmail.com to give us your ideas or connections.

Thank you in advance!

Zach and Rachael


I Hope We Can See It Before It Is Gone: Bears Ears National Monument

I try to remain politically neutral on the internet, but I can’t stay in Geneva anymore. What happened on December 4th is disgusting. Here’s some history to show you what I mean:

1908: President, War Hero, and Environmentalist Theodore Roosevelt Jr. signed into law the Antiquities Act. This act gave the president of the United States the power to designate areas as National Monuments that ultimately led to the creation of Devil’s Tower and Grand Canyon National Monument.

1908-Present: The Antiquities Act has been used 157 times to protect ares such as Giant Sequoia Trees in California and has only been used twice to reduce the size of monuments in a time when challengers for the environment weren’t prepared to fight for public lands.

December 6, 2016: President Candidate Donald Trump delivered a speech in Fayetteville, NC where he said this:

December 4, 2017: President Donald Trump delivered a speech in Utah reducing the size of Obama-era Grand Staircase Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments by almost 2,000,000 acres.

This announcement comes almost exactly one year after the speech above declaring to follow in the steps of Teddy Roosevelt as a protector of the outdoors. Ironically enough, through this announcement, President Trump has spit in the face of the environmental legacy of Roosevelt’s that Trump promised his voters that he would follow in the footsteps of. Roosevelt created the Antiquities Act. Trump is reversing the use of the Antiquities Act.

Environmentalist companies and organizations such as Patagonia, The Wilderness Society, and the Sierra Club have filed suit against the United States. Native American tribes such as the Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni that have lived in the area for thousands of years have also joined in the fight to stop the President.

Get Involved

  • Spread the Word! Raising awareness on social media is the easiest and most effective means to fight this injustice.
  • Donate! Friends of Cedar Mesa are raising funds for a Bears Ears Eduction Center HERE.

We hope to see Bears Ears and Grand Staircase on the road in 2018. I am in hopes that the wheels of bureaucracy will turn slowly and we will still have access to the original National Monuments in the Spring. Maybe the good guys will win and the President’s order will be reversed, only time will tell.

In the meantime, take a look at what the Trump administration would rather sell off to the states and private extraction interests instead of keeping it in the hands of Americans.

Photo by: Tim Peterson

Photo by: Josh Ewing

Photo by: Adriel Heisey


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