Is it environmentally friendly to live in a caravan?
It’s more important than ever to be conscious of the environment but it’s increasingly hard as we become so demanding in the ‘Now’ trend. Our parcels must arrive the next day, the shops must have the exact food we want in when we want it, we must know the exact amount of energy we have used to the penny every day.
Actually, the last one is a good one, hopefully it encourages individuals to simply switch off lights.
Today we’re discussing if it is environmentally friendly to live in a caravan? Firstly, we live the everyday rat race like most humans do where we are dictated by internet, expect food on the shelves in stores and petrol to power our cars. We’re not ‘off-grid’ and to us this is a good thing. While we find our feet, earn some money, build a business we can’t add more onto our load by figuring out an off-grid lifestyle. So, here is how we keep living in a caravan environmentally friendly.
Environmentally Friendly Diet
We are conscious about the environment and our vegan diet mainly reflects this. We shop local and obviously, being vegan, live off fruit, veg, nuts, seeds, grains and cake, of course.
Choosing a vegan lifestyle cuts down a huge carbon footprint, doesn’t contribute to the greenhouse gases through beef consumption, uses less land and water. To find out more about how a vegan lifestyle is environmentally friendly read our blog here.
Water Consumption in a Touring Caravan
Being lazy at heart really helps us keep our water consumption low. Filling up the clean water tank all the time can be tedious. It’s not a difficult job or a long job with a hose but it is tedious, like finding socks to wear.
Because we want to fill our water tank up as little as possible and empty our dirty water as little as possible we are very conscious of our water consumption. We wash up in bulk loads and we never leave the tap running when cleaning our teeth.
The showers at campsites are often push button operated that turn off after a few seconds, like in a swimming pool. This also contributes to our personal water consumption.
That being said, we’re not smelly dirty mongrels living in a mound of washing up. We keep clean and just go about our daily lives but over all we do save water.
Power Usage of a Touring Caravan
We have a 16amp socket with 13amp socket outputs on one circuit. Obviously this limits us to using no more than 13amps at one time. This means we aren’t generating lots of unused power by using heating items like radiators, microwaves, kettles, hair straighteners, hair dryers all at once. We have to be very careful not to over load the circuit and keep many items unplugged for safety.
We have less lights and the lights in the caravan are LED energy saving lights. We have battery powered fairy lights in the awning and often just sit around the fire for evening heat and light.
We cook on propane gas that we try and save as much as possible to reduce costs and save trips to the gas outlet.
Again, we go about our daily business as normal but generally we use less power than living in a flat or house.
Solar Panels for a tourer caravan
We can buy solar panels for our 2-berth caravan costing around £200. We have not yet invested in solar panels but we are hoping to in the near future. Our 2 berth Fairway touring caravan has a handy battery that does not over charge and lights up when it is full power.
With the beautiful English sun that is scarily hitting us earlier and earlier (eek, global warming), solar panels are a great option for caravans using the grid power as a back up.
Wildlife at a Campsite on the Isle of Wight
Apart from spiders, which Darryn very nicely puts outside, we coexist with nature. We sometimes get mice in the awning but have no furniture for them to live in. We get bugs and flies but due to our regular activity in the caravan we don’t get large infestations of any critters. They keep themselves to themselves and we keep ourselves to ourselves.
We enjoy seeing and hearing the wildlife around the campsite. We feed oats to two ducks that visit regularly and enjoy watching the Canadian goslings follow their parents. There are lots of rabbits around the campsite, which are super cute nibbling on the grass and, last year down by the pond of the campsite, there was a family of rats. Again, very cute rats living their life in their natural habitat that we as humans have build on.
Chemicals needed in a Caravan
We use organic toilet elsan chemicals that are slightly more expensive but worth knowing that what you put down the toilet into the system will break down naturally. We use eco washing up liquid and eco clothes washing liquid to make the best decision to harm our natural environment the least.
We do our best to make the least environmentally damaging choices, which often costs more money, but we think it is important.
Cutting Plastic When Living in a Caravan
Plastic is nightmare when you shop in supermarkets and don’t have a convenient, well priced eco shop close. The Isle of Wight has Easy Weigh in Newport and Health Indulgence in Cowes that offer plastic free alternatives to food and beauty items. If we’re over that way we’ll stock up on dry stored foods and shampoo bars but we won’t use the petrol to specifically visit.
This is definitely an area where we can improve on as we could bulk buy shampoo bars, soap bars and dry stored foods but then we have to compensate on space in the awning. It’s swings and roundabouts but we could balance a plastic free lifestyle better.