What Features Make a Caravan Eco-Friendly? December 19th, 2014 in General by Danny Smith With people around the world incorporating green practices into their lives, there is no reason for leaving out caravans. Caravanning has become one of the most popular family holiday ventures in the world today with people preferring road trips to conveniently planned holiday packages. One of the reasons behind this preference is that people like to spend some quality time with their families and they also want to take a piece of the home’s comfort along with them on their trip. But in today’s economy, the prices of everyday stuff seems to be rising. Even common things have become so expensive that people often try to reuse them as much as feasibly possible. This is what creates the need for developing eco-friendly caravans where we may use energy efficient appliances and second life products. But most importantly, we need to ensure that almost all of the materials or components in the eco-friendly caravan are recyclable. Ideas for an Eco-Friendly Caravan Before you start coming up with wacky ideas for eco-friendly caravans, you need to ensure that your suggestions are practical and capable of being executed today. If you are thinking of implementing some sci-fi space stuff, then I guess it would be a long time before your dream caravan sees the light of day. Here are some possible suggestions that should get you started on building your very own eco-friendly caravan. Used Stuff Isn’t That Bad Just because you are building or buying a caravan, doesn’t mean that you need everything shiny and sparklingly new. You should focus on the functionality of the appliances and not the aesthetics. Products in their second life are good enough to be used if they still have their efficiency maintained at appropriate levels. These would also cost less to acquire. Go Green And I am not referring to stripping down your caravan and putting in eco-friendly materials in it. You need to have an eco-friendly mindset in order to contribute to environmental protection. For instance, instead of using the air-conditioning, you could open up the windows and enjoy the breeze. How about shutting off the vehicle if you are in a traffic jam? These small contributions go a long way into adopting green practices. Energy Efficient is the Way to Go When you get appliances or tools for the caravan, check its energy efficiency ratings. I know this may not appeal to most of you, but these electronic items do help in reducing energy consumption and while you cannot practically save energy, but you end up saving it anyways because the unused part is utilized elsewhere. Energy is a vital resource, especially when you are on a road trip where the nearest help could be miles away from you. You should also check your vehicle for efficiency and if required, get it tuned by a mechanic so that you don’t waste precious fuel on your trip. Try Solar Power As geeky as it may sound, solar power can be used in a caravan. Now don’t imagine one with huge solar panels fitted on top of it. There are a lot of feasible ways in which solar energy may be used. For instance, you could carry solar cookers with you so that you don’t have to light up a fire of use a stove for cooking food. It may take a bit longer to cook food this way, but at least you don’t have to expend precious fuel. It’s fun, safe, and you can even involve your children in it. The same goes for all the lighting. You could try and get solar powered lights or other components. But this is for those who are into frequent caravanning. For the occasional traveller, I would suggest using solar appliances only as the lighting and all could be a little hefty on your pocket. How About Some Good Old Manual Efforts Powered tools and appliances are really handy and they really take away the need for manual efforts. However, doing things manually can be therapeutic and would save you loads of energy. You could try and juice an orange with a hand juicer instead of simply popping them inside a juicer machine. You can even involve your kids in these activities. Use a broom and a mop to clean the floor, drill a hole using a hand drill, or even try to jack up the caravan with one that requires you to do it by hand. As far as setting up annexes and awnings are concerned, do them manually instead of using automatic ones. These are really engaging activities and are eco-friendly as well. Conserve Resources Have you left the water running in the bathroom? Are you idling away the engine even when you can manage with the engine turned off? Conservation of resources is an equally important activity and is quintessential for maximising the benefits of green initiatives. You need to utilize your resources carefully and this includes energy, fuel, food, water and others. Going green is not only about adopting green practices or using recyclable products, but it is about developing the right attitude which would motivate you to contribute towards the conservation and protection of the environment. You do not have to reinvent the wheel to be an environmental conservationist, all you need is a good idea and the passion to implement it. 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