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Sustainable Vanlife: A Guide To Eco-Friendly Practices

April 6th, 2023

What Is Van Life?

Vanlife or van-dwelling is an alternative lifestyle where a van is modified to include basic amenities such as a sleeping area and cooking facilities. This converts the van into a compact mobile home, where the owner can live there full or part-time, and relocate wherever they choose.

Sustainable Van Life Practices

Van life is often considered a sustainable living alternative to a mainstream static lifestyle, where waste and fuel consumption is reduced drastically. But in addition to this, there are a number of ways in which van life can be maximised for sustainability.

Read on to find out more.

Building Materials

The last thing you want when starting your eco-friendly van life is to damage the environment with initial building. Therefore it is important to invest in environmentally safe paints, varnishes and building materials when modifying your vehicle. Using recycled, thrifted or salvaged materials can also help you to lower the carbon footprint of your build.

Composting Toilets

Scarcity of water supplies and waste management difficulties in a van mean that a composting toilet is an essential amenity. This is a dry toilet system that composts human waste, making it safe to dispose of in nature. Scoops of sawdust are added after each use to encourage the composting process.

Energy & Water Consumption

Composting toilets are one way to be smart about water usage in a van, where conserving supplies through shorter dishwashing and shower times can help. In addition to this, wastewater or rain can be collected for daily use. Renewable energy consumption also boosts van sustainability, where most are modified to incorporate solar panels.

Waste Management

It is essential to prepare for limited waste disposal opportunities on the go, where waste reduction should be incorporated into everything you do on the van. Anything that can’t be repurposed should be recycled when you next arrive at a waste disposal point.

Van-dwellers should always consider the Leave No Trace guidance for campers and mobile homes when managing their waste. This means that no rubbish should be left behind under any circumstances, and the natural landscape should remain unaffected by your stay. Other elements of this policy advise against taking anything of a natural or historical nature with you when you leave. Erecting permanent structures that could damage the surroundings is also prohibited.

Choosing An Eco-Friendly Van

Choosing the right van is an essential part of sustainable van-living, where this is the primary base for your dwelling. Electric or hybrid vehicles are preferable to those that run on fossil fuels, where you should plan ahead to organise your driving around battery duration and charging point locations.

At Van Sales UK, we offer an extensive range of electric vehicles, where we can provide advice on government grants, running costs and charging methods. Contact us today for more information about our electric van range.

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