Being eco-friendly in and around your ‘van

Eco-friendliness, sustainability and the protection of the planet are hot news topics these days – and rightly so.

The concepts creep into every aspect of our lives. They can even impact your caravanning experiences – without in any way disturbing or interfering with the enjoyment of your days in and around your ‘van.

Here are just some of the issues – and how you might be more eco-friendly – when you are enjoying those outings in your caravan:

The caravan

  • you are off to a very good start by choosing a caravan holiday in the first place;
  • you are more likely to be staycationing, but even if you board a cross-Channel ferry with the ‘van, you still avoid the plane journeys that contribute so much to pollution of the atmosphere – you are going green from the word go and a posting on the website Terrapass on the 2nd of December 2022 explains exactly how driving is greener than flying;
  • some makes and models of caravan are also built to more eco-friendly standards than others, so this might play a part in choosing your own – a lighter weight, for example, means that you’ll be using less fuel to tow it, while effective insulation keeps down the cost of air-conditioning in summer and heating in winter;
  • remember that the way you pack your caravan and the way you drive while it is being towed will also determine your fuel economy and, therefore, have a direct impact on the eco-friendliness of your caravanning trip;

Public transport

  • you need the car to tow your caravan to the campsite, of course, but once it’s pitched, why not try other forms of transport to explore the surrounding area;
  • your own two feet provide one alternative, and the slower pace of walking allows you to take in more detail of the countryside you are passing through while biking might get you there a little quicker;
  • for longer journeys, you might find it even more of an adventure to do your exploring by public transport – buses make far less pollution and they carry ten times more passengers than the average car;

Solar energy

Energy efficiency

  • use energy-efficient appliances and make a point of looking out for these when purchasing any new equipment for your caravan, such as fridges and televisions, as these will help to reduce the amount of electricity consumed;
  • back up your energy efficiency by choosing renewable energy sources wherever they are available;
  • if possible, look for campsites that offer renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power – this will help to reduce your carbon footprint even further;
  • LED lighting is much more energy efficient than regular bulbs, so try to use LED lighting where possible;

Close the curtains

  • something as simple as closing the curtains is a simple but effective way of helping to keep the heat out in summer and the warmth in winter – saving valuable energy;
  • this will also keep direct sunlight off the furnishings, stopping them from fading and helping them last longer;

Natural materials

  • use eco-friendly cleaning products and use these when cleaning your caravan to reduce your environmental;
  • try to use natural materials such as wood and cotton when decorating your caravan – this will help to reduce the amount of energy used in the manufacturing process;

Recycle, recycle, and recycle again

  • recycling is one of the keys to sustainability – getting the longest possible life and use of practically anything avoids the twin costs of disposing of what’s thrown away and the manufacture of whatever needs to replace it;
  • even the water you use can be recycled – collect it after you’ve taken a shower or done the washing-up and use it to water any plants or flowerbeds, you’re almost certain to find on any campsite;

Shun plastic

  • according to the website  Statista on the 8th of February 2023, UK households throw away an estimated one billion pieces of plastic packaging every year – that’s around 66 pieces every week;
  • do your bit for the environment during your caravanning holidays, and the rest of the year, by shunning plastic wrapping, bottles, and plastic bags – always take your own reusable shopping bag with you when you pop into the supermarket instead of spending your money every time to buy their plastic bags;

Be mindful of the wildlife

  • sustainability and eco-friendliness, therefore, demand that you are ever mindful of the remaining wildlife of these islands;

Take away all your rubbish

  • finally, as you are packing up to move on to another camping ground or to make your way home, make sure you are taking away all your rubbish with you;
  • it’s an easy enough principle to remember – everything that came with you when you arrived at your pitch needs to leave with you when you go.

It needn’t affect the ability to enjoy your holidays and outings in your caravan by continuing to keep eco-friendly and sustainable actions and behaviours firmly in mind.