A smaller eco footprint

It’s only when we come home from a trip that I realise how little we lived with on the road. No dishwasher and just a tiny sink in which the dishes must be washed really fast, as the sink plug sometimes leaks. A 9kg gas bottle seems to last us 3 to 4 months for all our cooking and when free camping our hot water as well. We tend to cook lighter faster meals on the road and eat healthier. Whereas at home in the cold weather we do tend to cook hearty casseroles and cakes.

To conserve water, showers become ‘Pommie style’, wet yourself down, slap on the shampoo, scrub what must be scrubbed, then wash off. Repeat for the conditioner. Even when we’re in caravan parks and on ‘town’ water I have to stop myself from doing the stop, start showering routine as it just becomes a habit.

We generate our own solar power when free camping or we top up the batteries from the car when travelling.

Clothes washing is limited to once a week as we don’t have a washing machine on board. The task of ironing doesn’t exist. Who needs to look glamorous for a goanna?

As we’re constantly monitoring the gauges to check our water and power levels, it is surprising how little power and water that we do use.

There is a downside though. We do carry bottled drinking water as we don’t trust our own chemistry skills to keep the water tanks safe enough for drinking. There’s our use of diesel fuel to consider too. The diesel heater seems to run forever on a tiny amount of fuel providing cosy heat on cold nights. Our Jeep has very good economy and tows our van without a complaint but distance is more the issue. We do travel long distances to reach the tropics and on average we use a tank a day, but then we take things easy and fuel consumption drops dramatically.

If we take into consideration the cost of wintering at home, the urban lifestyle, home heating, entertaining, shopping and zipping around town for heavens knows what then I think both the planet and our waistlines benefit when we are on the road.

Water’s getting low

15 thoughts on “A smaller eco footprint

  1. We rented out our house to travel full-time. At present, we are back ‘in the brick’ because a tenant moved out.
    I can’t believe how expensive it is! We lose around £1000 per month rent to begin with, but then have all the bills; gas, electric, council tax and water to pay. When we live in the caravan, the costs are about half.
    I think that caravanning is quite eco-friendly, certainly when compared to flying. They say that ideas are in the ether. Curiously, I am writing a blog about Zero Waste Caravanning to be published in the next couple of weeks!


      1. Good point well made! We do all need to do something though. I don’t know whether it is being covered so much in Oz, but there is barely a day goes by in the UK when the devastating impact of climate change is not on the news. Yesterday, it was the Himalayan Glaciers melting much more quickly than was previously thought. Natural systems are really good at maintaining equilibrium, but I do really worry that we are closer than we think to that tipping point where we trigger irreversible change.


      2. It is a ‘hot’ topic here but there seems to be little government action and of course the loudest voices are of the nay sayers. I wonder what we are leaving the generations to come. On the positive side the state of South Australia is working hard to harness solar power and is building massive solar arrays.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Its a great way to live with hardly any carbon footprint and virtually no waste. imagine how much better off the world would be if everyone lived that efficiently? Oh and ‘Pommie Style’?


  3. Yes, back in a house now after 4 years travelling we are realising how simple life was on the road. We are trying to keep it simple, but complexity is starting to creep back in. I was even caught looking at dishwasher catalogues today! I do relish the opportunity to cook more fancy meals, my hobby I guess, but apart from that, the simple life is more relaxing.


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