How We Live 'GREEN' On The Road.

Let me tell ya'll a story.

The other day, while visiting John in Arkansas before we left for the Smokies for vacation, I had to make a quick run to the grocery store. I was hoping to find a roadside stand or farmer's market to buy locally, but alas, nothing. That meant to the store I went.

And not just any store. I went to Wal-mart.

I don't especially like shopping at Wal-mart. Now we can all take a moment and bash this superstore all we want; perhaps it's too crowded, it's too large or like me, you can't control your impulse buying. But I'll try not to do that. Regardless, it's a place to get the things you need, and nobody is a perfect locavore who only eats organic or free range or grass fed 100% of the time, no exceptions. (If that person is you, leave me a comment, because I'm skeptical that you exist and I'd love to hear how you do it.)



Back to the story, I spent about 45 minutes in this Russellville Wal-mart looking for all of the items on my list, which included lots of fruits and veggies and things I can't make while living in a fifth-wheel camper, but I would usually make on my own at home.

Like bread. Specifically, Sunbeam white bread.

Let me digress again for a moment here, and tell you that I love white bread. Love it. I like my homemade bread just fine, but there's something delicious about a cold cut sandwich with buttered white bread. Naturally, I didn't make any bread before I left, so I had to purchase a loaf from none other than the local Wal-mart. This didn't bother me. I am going to pack as much white bread into my body as possible while traveling with John. It's delicious, and I won't be backin' down any time soon. All you perfect bread-makin', locavore, free-rangers out there are having a hay-day right now, arentchya? 

Anyway, after 45 minutes in Wal-mart (where I met some of the friendliest, happiest Arkansinians I've ever met! Damn, people down here are so nice!), the final kick in the ass was that I forgot my reusable shopping bags and had to use plastic. So there I was, heading out of Wal-Mart with a cart full of imported produce and white bread bagged in petroleum, fully realizing that there is a much more efficient, greener way to shop (and live!) while on the road.

There are many things that we do already to save money while camping which we've shared before, but perhaps it's just as important to share with you the things we do to stay 'green' while traveling. And yeah, I get it, I'm totally a hypocrite, but sharing the few things we do that are eco-friendly is better than sharing (or doing) nothing at all, right?

Right?!
Affirm my justifications, darn it!

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How We Live "GREEN" While On The Road:

We still recycle. I don't care if the campground - hell, the state - we're in doesn't recycle, I'll tote all of my bottles, cans and boxes home with me if I have to. You'd be surprised how many communities do not have recycling facilities. I'm not contributing to the landfill if I can find another option. It helps that we have a special container to hold all recyclables, so we can either recycle at the campground or haul it home easily.

We don't pack a lot of clothing. Which makes sense, considering we only camp at nudist resorts.

Kidding!

Seriously, though. It makes more sense for us to cut down on the amount of clothing we pack, therefore reducing the weight of what we haul behind the truck. If we are traveling for an extended amount of time, we just bring a little of my homemade laundry soap with us and do a load of laundry while we are on the road. Almost every campsite and/or every community has a coin operated laundry facility to use for an hour or two. We also have a portable clothesline and hang all of our towels to dry after showering.

In general, we try to pack as little as possible, not just clothing, to keep the towing weight (and therefore gas milage) down. We don't fill any of the water tanks (unless potable water isn't available, then we'll fill up at a rest stop before we reach our destination), I'll pack food from home and wait to get groceries until we get to our destination, and we live a pretty minimalist lifestyle when it comes to possessions.

John does pack a lot of hand tools, because they aren't always provided by the employer. It is also very reassuring and helpful to have some tools when we have something that needs to be fixed on the camper or truck.

We research locations and plan trips to nearby communities. For example, in the story above I needed to go grocery shopping. I did a quick Google search on my phone and found the closest store that would have everything I needed. By doing this every time I need to find something in an unfamiliar place, I can eliminate the excess driving and gas consumption in search of the nearest gas station, grocery store, or Dairy Queen.

What? You know as well as I do that ice cream is a priority.

We follow some of the same 'protocols' we use at home, like reusable shopping bags (the Wal-mart incident above was not the norm, folks!), conserving electrical energy used in our camper, and avoiding  disposable plates and cutlery.

We have 4 reusable, lightweight plates and cups that I've randomly acquired and some odds-and-ends silverware that we use in the camper. This means I have to do dishes on occasion, but it also means we aren't throwing away plates and cutlery, or tossing it into a campfire.

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What do you think? What are some things you do to be green while traveling or camping? Anything we can do differently? Share, please!


2 comments:

  1. Great ideas! Thanks for sharing on Wildcrafting Wednesday! Hope you can join us again today :)
    http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2013/07/wildcrafting-wednesday-27.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love this post! Cracked me up and made you real. LOVE :)

    ReplyDelete

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