10 tips for a responsible van life

Sustainable van life is one way of traveling I can’t wait to get started. Now that my van is finished and I have been able to take advantage of it in parts of Europe such as France and Portugal, I can’t wait to see more of Europe in my van and try a few more Road trips in Europe as part of my ecological van adventure.

I do want to make sure, however, that I get a responsible van life experience. Many people ask questions such as …

  • Is van life green?
  • Is living in a van environmentally friendly?
  • How sustainable is van life?
  • Is life in a van good for the environment?
  • Is van life sustainable?

And my answer… I think that if you are careful, life in an ecological van is possible! In this blog post, I want to share with you my tips for a sustainable van life, tips for an eco-friendly van life and everything you need to know to make responsible and environmentally friendly choices.

Sustainable van life isn’t about being perfect, it’s about making sure you make every effort to respect the territory you are staying in and the community you are traveling in. We only have one planet and life in a van is the perfect way to see so many places around the world, but only if we do it in an eco-friendly way.

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10 tips for a sustainable van life …

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1. Leave no trace.

“Leave No Trace” is one of the core values ​​of van life and is of the utmost importance when we talk about a sustainable and environmentally friendly van life. It is really important to respect the environment and to make responsible choices every day, but especially when we go out in our vans. Don’t leave trash behind, don’t throw your water in natural water sources, respect the wildlife… ideally, when you leave the campsite, it should be impossible to know you were there in the first place!

2. Be aware of where you park your van.

Before embarking on the adventure of sustainable van living, be sure to verify that parking is permitted. Not everywhere allows wild camping Albania and Switzerland allow wild camping and freestanding in some parts. UK, you must check with the private owner before parking outside a campsite. Respecting the rules is part of responsible van life!

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3. Drive less and go slower.

If you are embarking on an eco-friendly van adventure, remember that your van is your home now. You don’t have to rush from place to place to cram everything like people often do when they are. hiking. Take your time! Driving more economically will not only help the environment, but give you time to get everywhere and stay longer.

4. Adopt a low waste lifestyle.

Minimizing waste should be a priority in any lifestyle, but it’s especially important for a sustainable van life. This helps to maximize space and reduces what we send to landfills.

Minimizing single-use plastic and paper is a big step towards becoming low-waste or zero-waste. Try to avoid buying anything with unnecessary packaging. Many stores these days allow you to put things like pulses and grains in your own tupperware, so you can cut down on plastic.

Also try to reduce your food waste. So much food is wasted because we buy too much! In van life, you don’t have a lot of space to do large bulk stores (although it saves packaging), but make sure you only buy an amount of fresh food that you can. store and preserve before it disappears. Buy only what you need; be a conscious consumer.

We can also reduce waste over the life of the van with other things like water and energy consumption. Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth; wash in a sink rather than when the faucet is on. Remember to turn things off in the van and unplug the charging technology when finished to save energy.

A UK road trip checklist: things to remember

5. Recycle as much as possible and dispose of waste responsibly.

Recycling has become such an important part of our daily life and it is just as important in the life of green van. Even the most environmentally conscious among us will create a bit of waste by adopting a low waste lifestyle, so make sure everything is recycled and disposed of properly, including food waste composting. . Take special care when disposing of water and toilet waste from your van!

6. Make lasting exchanges and use natural toiletries.

There are so many single-use products that we can replace with a reusable version: coffee mugs, shopping bags, water bottles… there really is no more excuse! Make sure your van is equipped with all of the reusable products you need for the ultimate eco-friendly van adventure. Check out more of my sustainable travel exchanges here.

Something I have done more recently is swap my usual toiletries for greener alternatives. Say goodbye to the single-use plastic of a shower gel and get a beautiful bar of natural soap. You can even get eco-friendly sunscreen and mosquito spray. Just be careful not to use any products if you are about to go into the water (e.g. for swimming or bathing) – you should not use any products for bathing, for example in a lake or a swimming pool. river.

Check out my green gift guide here – maybe you could treat your new sustainable van life friend something for their adventure!

7. Buy second hand.

You don’t always have to buy everything new! Second hand can be just as good, saves products that end up in landfills and can save you a lot of money! Places offering second-hand products include Amazon, eBay, Facebook market, Depop, GumTree, and charity shops, to name a few! This applies to things you might need on the road (for example, clothes and books), as well as things for the van.

8. Solar energy.

Enjoy the sun and use energy wisely! Solar panels on your van might seem like a huge upfront cost, but you’ll save money on charging your van and help the environment as well. Harness the power of the sun and store it for later use!

A 2-day road trip in Suffolk, England

9. Maintain your vehicle.

In addition to obviously being safer to drive and reassuring you, maintaining your vehicle and having it checked regularly allows for a greener van life, because you will reduce your van’s emissions. Tire pressure, oil changes, fluid levels, air filter changes, and a clean engine all contribute to long-lasting van life. Maintenance can be expensive and boring when all you want to do is go on an adventure, but it’s a really important part of the van’s life for your safety and the environment. Your van will last longer and you will feel better.

See the vehicle checks you should do before your next road trip in this blog post.

10. Get involved with the local community.

There is so much you can do to give back to the local community on your sustainable living van life adventure. From local shopping at smaller, independent stores rather than big chains, to making coffee (with your reusable mug!) At an independent cafe rather than a big brand, to volunteering and learning about history and local culture.

What are your top tips for a sustainable van life?

How do you maintain the life of an eco-friendly van? Do you have anything to add?

Love as always and good luck,


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