When most people see a huge, gas-guzzling RV barreling down the interstate, the last things that come to mind are sustainability and eco-friendly living. The average motorhome doesn’t even get gas mileage of 10 mpg, and driving your home from one campsite to another every few weeks doesn’t exactly help reduce carbon emissions.
But believe it or not, having less of an impact on the environment was a big factor when I decided to downsize my life and pack only what I truly needed into a tiny tin box on wheels nearly three years ago.
When my husband, newly adopted rescue pup named Monkey, and I hit the road in a Jeep and pop-up camper in the summer of 2016 from Atlanta, the era of #vanlife culture was just getting off the ground. But for me, it’s never been about becoming Instagram-famous or shirking responsibilities to bum out for a while. Instead, full-time camper life has been my way to spend as much time in nature as possible, be more mindful about my relationship with the environment, and take my writing career to the next level.
Our journey so far has taken us across much of the U.S. and into parts of Canada and Mexico as we work full-time from wherever has internet reception. We’ve since upgraded to a 33-foot, Class A motorhome to keep our sanity and figured out ways to offset our carbon footprint through solar energy, recycling, water usage, and driving habits.
Living this type of low-impact lifestyle certainly isn’t for everyone, and half the time I’m not even sure it’s right for me! But along the way, I’ve learned a lot about how to live large with less and make the most of everyday experiences without causing unnecessary harm to the incredible world we live in.
In a series of articles to follow, I’ll be sharing a bit about my full-time camper life journey and how thinking about the environment plays into my family’s daily routines. In staying true to the mission of Earth and Main, I hope you can learn from my off-the-grid experiences and pick up some tips to try in your own home – regardless of whether it’s on wheels like mine or firmly planted on the ground.