There are now 94.5 million camper households throughout North America, with RV ownership at an all-time high of 13 million households. A little over 50% of RV users bring along their family when camping, according to Kampgrounds of America. Camping is mostly seen as a respite from everyday life, but parents may find that it’s also a wonderful opportunity for the whole family to learn how to save energy. Awareness and the practice of energy-saving lower the costs of camping, and lead to taking care of nature – the very thing that campers are enthusiastic about.
Each family member should understand what green energy is in order to make good choices. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says that using clean renewables reduces the need for importing energy and decreases the use of “dirty” fossil fuels. Field trips, games, and role-modeling are some of the ways that even younger children can discover that solar, hydro, wind, geothermal and biomass are sources of clean energy. Through familiarity, each family member will be able to come up with ideas on how to make use of renewable resources to save energy.
You can start going green by using the most popular type of renewable energy. Install solar panels on your RV to conserve energy. Solar energy is practically free, and is obviously in abundance wherever you go, even when it’s cloudy. It keeps the appliances, lights, chargers and heaters going. If your campsites don’t have electrical hook-ups, you can still enjoy watching TV, have a cool drink from your refrigerator, or ensure you have light to read by at night.
You can also reduce your energy consumption by hanging wet clothes on a clothesline rather than using a dryer. Wind is another free natural resource. Together with the sun, it can dry whatever you wash, and a clothesline can easily be constructed wherever you’re camping. Using less propane is also a good goal. The Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education says that propane is a popular choice for campers because of its portability, but it also produces carbon dioxide, the leading cause of climate change. Instead of propane, get that grill going and barbecue to your heart’s content. Cooking outdoors is an exciting activity for the whole family, and everyone can take part in the preparation and cooking.
Cutting Down On Electricity
Organize your fridge, and arrange your food and drinks neatly so that it’s not over-packed. RV fridges work best when there’s space for air to circulate. Find ways to lessen the need to open the refrigerator door. This will make it run more efficiently, and thus, conserve energy.
Family members can take turns in cooking outdoors. It saves electricity and keeps your RV’s interior cooler resulting in less air conditioner use. Assign specific people to check leaks, cover vents that let the heat out, and identify appliances or anything that may be turned on, but is not being used.
There are many more ways to care for the RV and save energy while you’re camping: the trick is to make it fun and treat everything as an adventure. Over time, energy conservation, even while camping, will be second nature to the whole family.
Author: Alicia Rennoll
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