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Downsize – and Hit The Road?

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

Maybe it’s the election-connection, or perhaps the position of the planets, but I’m feeling hopefully restless. And, despite my loud heralding of the merits of traveling less and vacationing where you live as the foolproof way to help the environment (tone-down and tune-in) …I admit it… I have travel-itis. My musings reach far and wide – from a familiar yearning for the Northeast, Northwest to across the continents all the way to Europe and Morocco. My heart is open and my eyes feel wide. An offset flight up North won’t do it this time. I’m feeling the pull of the open road and the of mystery that leads. With some trepidation, I’ve started making plans…

So, it seems, have many independent-minded, free spirits who have made the trade – from homes to RV’s – a downsize and an upgrade to a smaller life in a bigger world. (I lived for a time in an RV, which I mostly left parked in a campsite because it quickly became obvious that at 8 – 12 mpg, there was no room for eco-comfort in moving around too much. But, a few environmentally-committed RVers are changing all that by retooling motor homes in “green” to live the adventure and to promote eco-awareness as they travel.

Solar panels, water catchment, veggie-oil fuel and recycled materials make up much of what could be considered an almost carbon-neutral way of travel, if not life. The website of one family on a “Living Lightly Tour”, not only documents their innovative systems of living off the grid, but a lifestyle that reaches farther into communities and ideas we are all beginning to acknowledge and share:

Ideas for Living Lightly:

  • Smile
  • Buy Used
  • Live Smaller
  • Eat Less Meat
  • Share Your Stuff
  • Use Natural Cleaners
  • Line Dry Your Clothes
  • Avoid Disposable Items
  • Eat Locally Grown Food
  • Use Cloth Shopping Bags
  • Reduce Your Consumption
  • Use a Reusable Water Bottle
  • Conserve Water and Electricity
  • Walk / Ride Your Bike / Carpool

Go back to the top of the list – maybe it’s that planet thing again, but I felt something click. It’s about sharing, moving, seeing and growing. And sometimes, Going.

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One Response to “Downsize – and Hit The Road?”

  1. Jaimie Hall Bruzenak Says:

    If you race from place to place in an RV, you do use a lot of fuel. Still the environmental footprint of the RV lifestyle is much smaller than that of a stick house for most RVers. Those who aren’t constantly tethered to hookups in a park are very conservative with power and water and most generate power from the sun. These RVers are called boondockers. They generally like to stay in one place for a while, not move constantly.

    If you want to RV and be green, there is no conflict. Come out and join us!

    Jaimie Hall Bruzenak
    author of Support Your RV Lifestyle! An Insider’s Guide to Working on the Road and other RV books

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