The unintended ecological impact of RV life: Happy Earth Day 2017

This post started as a quick quip on Facebook to illustrate how our new lifestyle will help lighten our ecological impact by reducing our need for electricity. That wasn’t the driving force to the mobile lifestyle, but more and more the reality is setting in that what we’re doing is meaningful in more ways than we’d anticipated.

For example:

  • We’re moving from about 1,700 square feet to 350 which means less space to heat/cool (less energy consumption).
  • A smaller space means less room for “things.” One thing in, one out is the new reality.
  • We will buy very little plastic, especially plastics that aren’t recyclable. This means we’ll have to be creative sometimes –
    limitations breed creativity: bee’s wrap vs. plastic wrap, for example.
  • We’ll buy locally grown/produced food when possible. This means exploring local farmers markets!
  • Our electrical requirements will go from 1,250Kw/mo to about 250Kw. That’s less than $25/mo in grid based electricity for a family of three.
  • We will be 100% solar powered (renewable).
  • We will have a composting toilet, no sewer requirements (no blackwater).
  • Less space to clean, which means fewer harmful chemicals for most (Heather uses natural cleaning supplies anyway)
  • The truck is diesel, which is known to be more fuel efficient, and produce less carbon monoxide than gas*.

Many things will contribute to these savings, and some of them will force changes in how we operate. One quick example is that our laptop power chargers are 85 watts. Today we have three of them… and they’re plugged in 24/7. Apple power supplies are known to draw power even if there’s no laptop attached to the other end. The same for the AppleTV, and many other electronics – the cell range boosters, WIFI range extenders, and so on. To combat this, these electronics will be connected to surge suppressors, that will be turned off before bed, and going on the road. You don’t even think about this in a traditional home, but in an RV you should.

Above all, the process of moving from 1,700 square feet to 350 has made us intimately aware of the things we’ll choose to take. There shouldn’t be a time where we open a cupboard or a closet and find something we’d forgotten about. Never mind storage buildings, and the like.

We absolutely have to be proactive and think about our possessions, the power they consume, and the impact they’ll have as waste. We only hope to inspire you to do the same, even if your mobile lifestyle is currently a dream.

*There are still questions about the ecological efficacy of diesel fuels. However, if you consider that it’s our only vehicle and it’s used to tow literally everything we own, we think there’s some inherent value there.

Michael

Husband, father, epic adventurer, perpetually curious, rule breaker, startup guy, innovator, maker of things. Doer of stuff. CEO of Epic Playground. Creator of inboundgeo.

2 opinions on “The unintended ecological impact of RV life: Happy Earth Day 2017”

    1. Awesome! Welcome to our journey. We hope that what we are doing will inspire you to find your own Epic Mini Life (in whatever form that takes on for you), grab it by the horns and hold on for a fun ride! =D

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