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.
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.