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Old 05-13-2005, 08:46 PM   #21
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I am gratified by all the thoughtful comments on this thread. I've learned a few things.

My original post didn't really emphasize my major point adequately. I wanted to say that being "green" or conserving resources is about more than gas mileage. As several people recognized, our consumption of resources includes material objects we buy and throw away.

That includes our travel trailers or motorhomes. Roger made a good point: Buying long-lasting Airstreams is a "greener" option than buying a low-cost disposable "white box" RV that ends up being trash in ten years. Not only do they avoid becoming landfill as quickly, but Airstreams contain a lot of recyclable aluminum!

I think that RV'ers can consider themselves good stewards of the planet, if they choose to make choices that limit their impact. Yes, driving an RV at 10 MPG is not particularly low impact, but my original point was that the driving portion is only part of the overall equation. As Janet recognized, while you are camping you are usually consuming less than you would at home.

I think this leads us to an obvious conclusion. We should ALL camp more and longer! "Save The Planet -- Go Camping" <-- wouldn't that be a great bumpersticker?
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Old 05-13-2005, 09:11 PM   #22
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it's not easy being green

as a seasoned full-timer (for a whole 6 months now!), i'd like to add my 2 cents:

i think this is an important topic and as rich said, this is way more than a gas-consumption issue.

yes, my E350 is a gas hog and eats up a lot more gas than my honda civic BUT compared to my past life as a homeowner, I now a) use a lot less electricity; b) don't use any natural gas; c) generate way less garbage (including all that stuff you accumulate as a gardener, even an organic one - all those plastic pots!!); d) buy a helluva lot less because, well, frankly, i don't have the room to accumulate stuff; and e) use very little water (no more long baths or showers <boohoo>). i'm currently not working and so do very little driving; however, i am concerned about gas usage when i do start working...especially if i'm still living in a rural part of the country where i am doomed to commute at least 30 miles/day. which brings me to the vespa: a good idea if you're in a more urban setting; not too handy when you're living in a place where you have to drive on the freeway to even get to a small town but c'est la vie, i'm sure it'll come in handy, some day.

also, it's been quite a shock to go from environmentally/recycling-conscious oregon to arizona where, if you live in town, curbside recycling is pretty good but for the rest of us...well, let's just say i'm feeling really guilty about all the beer and wine bottles i've been accumulating
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Old 05-13-2005, 10:27 PM   #23
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Angry Green?

I'm fulltiming in a 22ft CCD. I definitely know I'm more green than I was in a huge 5 bedroom house that I didn't need and had long since stopped enjoying. I heat my whole place in 7 minutes. I run the vacuum about 6 minutes a week. I don't have a huge, mostly empty refrigerator, and my stove has ignitors, not pilot lights. Every flush doesn't take 1.5 gallons of water, either. My computer's flat screen is also my TV screen. No, it isn't a home theater experience, but it's big enough and I'd rather be out walking, bird watching or just chatting with my fellow campers.

I will have to break the habit of shopping at Sam's club! What does one do with nine rolls of paper towels? That's gonna be a year's supply. I promise I'll never buy a gallon jug of milk or juice again unless I'm having a party.

I'm learning to re-think "saving" stuff I might need later.

Come winter am I going to be an energy hog? Yes. But I'll be hogging enough to heat less than 1400 CUBIC feet. My old house wasn't well insulated, had 10 ft ceilings in 3000+ sqare feet - 30,000 cubic feet.

Angel, no. Perfect, no. Ideal, no. Green? Compared to my old life I'm chartreuse, kelly, forest, moss and PEA Green!

I could have gotten a bigger A/S. I certainly have a tow vehicle that would let me pull a 25 or 28 footer. I'm just trying to find out if "less is more" and if I can get away from it all... without hauling it ALL around with me. I'm getting over the "brand new hobby" stage, but basically the reality of being a full-timer seems far better than the reality of scrubbing moldy grout in three tiled bathrooms in my old house.

I'm almost embarassed to tell you how much GREEN $$ my scaled-back lifestyle is saving me. I'm having to start a new annuity because the INTEREST on the money might be significant in terms of tax bracket. Yes I've already loaded my Roth IRA for the year. I own a business with a partner. We struggled to build it for a long time and weren't able to save for retirement for many years. Now, outliving my money is becoming less and less likely.

I didn't set out to be green, or even to save so much money. I just wanted less to have to worry about. Perhaps a curious amalgaman of 60's hippy and new wave conspicuous consumer melded inside me - I bought a new AIRSTREAM, and an almost new tow vehicle. But I still simplified my whole life - everything else seems to be a side benefit.

I had a stunning realization right before I put my house on the market - I was watching one of those shopping channels and was nearly seduced into buying a lovely set of china I'd probably use once a year. ADVERTISING WORKS even when you think you know how to ignore it. Example: Kitchen contractors are overwhelmed with remodeling work that averages $70-$120K per job - and everyone has to have marble countertops. Why? Because we watch too much HG TV, that's why! You'll only love them until you find out that you've just installed a device that turns every drinking glass and bottle you own into flying shrapnel. You can't drop a plate 2 inches without shattering it on marble - the same drop on formica won't even chip it. And marble isn't maintenance free. Wait until one of your kids dumps her ice skates on the countertop (huge jagged scratch), or your son decides to walk on the counter to get something his sister hid on the top of the cabinets (snap!) Stay calm, killing the children or having a heart attack will cost even more than the new countertop that doesn't quite match the other ones!


Airstreaming doesn't make me feel like I'm living like a miser either. If I want to formally entertain I'll do it at a nice restaurant. I'll have the 'burb detailed if I'm not in the mood to wash it myself, though I'll do Tin Lizzie myself until I find someone who knows how to bathe an A/S. If I want to take friends out deep sea fishing, I can charter a boat, and I don't have to polish the bright work, clean the catch or even bait my own hook if it grosses me out.
And then there's the ripped, deeply tanned 19 year old deck hands! (Though I must admit that's kinda like fishing for a great white shark... Sure you want to try bring it on board, assuming you can hook it?).

And to paraphrase Scarlett O'hara, "As God is my witness I'll never mow a lawn again!

Now, some Moho owners confuse me. If you're a party animal it makes sense to have a moho. You or your guests puke on the infield at a Nascar race, pee in the pool or otherwise misbehave... it's like Vegas, what happens on the road, stays on the road. No complaints from the homeowners association and the police are just going to tell you to pull up your stabilizer jacks and leave, right? But what is up with the people who never leave their mohos once they set up the satellite dish? D'oh, why not stay HOME and be a couch potato?

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 05-13-2005, 11:43 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet
No arguement there! Do those gloves come in an "elbow" length?
Janet,

Yup! I have a veterinary catalog and can get a box of 50 if you're interested .....I think they run about $10/box. Don't even ask where we use them!!

Jim
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Old 05-13-2005, 11:56 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet
One of my pet peeves is excess packaging materials. Short-cut foods - the kind that rv'rs tend to gravitate to for convience sake, are usually over wrapped. Have you ever actually looked in the dumpster at a campground? But never fear - I have some recommendations to avoid over packaged materials.

1. Steaks and baked potatoes have almost no package - eat well!
2. Poptarts can be used as wheel chocks - re-use them - save money and waste!
3. Beer cans: loads of packaging- bring a keg - they are refillable. Share with friends.
4. Diapers - potty train ASAP!
5. Bottled water - use the faucet! (but not the one at the dump station)
My recommendation is to pre-prep meals at home before the camping trip and store the food in re-usable containers. This also has the added benefit of less time spent in the Airstream kitchen which equates to more time spent in other activities.
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Old 05-13-2005, 11:59 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jordandvm
Janet,

Yup! I have a veterinary catalog and can get a box of 50 if you're interested .....I think they run about $10/box. Don't even ask where we use them!!

Jim
Unless you are in the habit of sticking your arms into the sewer pipe, why on earth would you need elbow-length gloves for camping!?
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Old 05-14-2005, 08:38 AM   #27
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Exclamation Shoulder length gloves anyone??

Quote:
Originally Posted by yukionna
Unless you are in the habit of sticking your arms into the sewer pipe, why on earth would you need elbow-length gloves for camping!?
Maybe Janet can answer that question!.........and oh, they come in shoulder length.....not elbow length
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Old 05-14-2005, 09:19 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jordandvm
Maybe Janet can answer that question!.........and oh, they come in shoulder length.....not elbow length
Sorry, Rich, about the "sewer tunnel" this thread has taken! But what's camping without a black tank joke or two?
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Old 05-14-2005, 09:30 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jordandvm
Maybe Janet can answer that question!.........and oh, they come in shoulder length.....not elbow length
Not shoulder length - just long cuffs - want to cover my watch. Your valves are easier to get at than mine - OK - that sounds wrong too.... but... ours are a little further under the trailer than yours.
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Old 05-14-2005, 09:49 AM   #30
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I think some of you may know that there is a small but growing movement in the U.S. that embrace living a simplier lifestyle. If there is one book that I could recommend that everyone could benifit from reading it would be "Your Money Or Your Life" by Vicki Robbins.
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Old 05-14-2005, 10:14 AM   #31
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I lived in my 1970 23' Safari for about 8 months in 1987... between marriages... between everything... I have to admit that it was one of the most carefree times of my adult life... you don't buy 'stuff' 'cause you've got no place to keep it! Maintenance is limited to your few trailer systems and whatever your tow vehicle needs... laundromats are your friend! I enjoyed it immensely. There are days, now that I'm back in a 3 BR 3 BA 1600 sq.ft. ranch house with I-can't-count-how-many cars, appliances tucked everywhere, systems that need regular repairs throughout... and a half-acre yard that I really miss that lifestyle! Our home is beautiful, and I enjoy it as well... but sometimes that carefree lifestyle beckons!

Roger
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Old 05-14-2005, 10:30 AM   #32
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I've read and passed on "Your Money or Your Life". Indeed an excellent book. Highly recommend it.

And a clarification of my earlier post. We should all be aware of the choices we have in life and should try to take the choice that is most beneficial to all. I could list all I do in my life but I'll spare you. My main point is things aren't as dire as we're led to believe. And it may be scary to think of the rest of the world living our lifestyle, but that is where I am optimistic. The more people that live a free and abundant (not just material abundance) life the more we move forward with innovations to solve our problems. And why would we not want all the people of the planet to live life with the benefits we all enjoy? Who knows what the future will bring? So far Paul Ehrlcik was wrong. Hopefully his predictions will remain so. I think we will continue to be amazed by the conservation that will be made possible through technology. I don't think we have much left in us as far as how little we drive or how much food we grow. Garden because it feeds your soul as well as puts good food on your table. Keep informed and keep moving forward.

I'll end by passing on this story. A friend of mine who is one of the Greenest people I know (manages to put out a garbage can once a month for pick up whether it is full or not) was in Las Vegas for a convention. She's walking the Strip one evening and is struck with dismay as she sees a lifetime of her energy conservation flash by in one second by all the brightness of the lights.

Live your life to its fullest, Jamie
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Old 05-14-2005, 11:37 AM   #33
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I'll end by passing on this story. A friend of mine who is one of the Greenest people I know (manages to put out a garbage can once a month for pick up whether it is full or not) was in Las Vegas for a convention. She's walking the Strip one evening and is struck with dismay as she sees a lifetime of her energy conservation flash by in one second by all the brightness of the lights.

Live your life to its fullest, Jamie
I confess that while practicing my own style of conspicuous consumption, I share Jamie's dismay. Perhaps we, as caretakers of what we have are being penny-wise and pound foolish. While I try to live my life to the fullest, I also want my descendants to be able to live theirs the same way. Our choices today directly affect what's left for the generations to come. I vote we leave them a pleasant world to enjoy as well.

Roger
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Old 05-14-2005, 01:53 PM   #34
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South end of a north bound cow

Quote:
Originally Posted by yukionna
Unless you are in the habit of sticking your arms into the sewer pipe, why on earth would you need elbow-length gloves for camping!?
Okay, I know what they are really used for. Most dairy farms don't have a resident bull, they use artificial insemination to breed for more milk production. The south end of a north bound cow ain't attractive from across the room, and A.I. - that's just WAY too up close and personal.

Now can you guess why I quit FFA?

Got milk?

T. L.
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Old 05-14-2005, 02:10 PM   #35
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Okay, I know what they are really used for. Most dairy farms don't have a resident bull, they use artificial insemination to breed for more milk production. The south end of a north bound cow ain't attractive from across the room, and A.I. - that's just WAY too up close and personal.

Now can you guess why I quit FFA?

Got milk?

T. L.
Paula .......you guessed it (also used for pregnancy palpation, calf deliveries, and general examination of repro tract)! And to stay on topic......what comes out of the "south end" is GREEN
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Old 09-03-2010, 10:46 PM   #36
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We are new to the forum and this is great!! Thanks for everyone's ideas on greening the RV experience. We are looking to green the stream and live full-time off the grid as close to 100% of the time as we can. It is a pretty radical change from where we are now and it will certainly be challenging and exciting. We sold the house, bought a 2003 25 foot Safari and a 1998 dodge ram diesel truck. This is such a huge topic and there is so much to talk about. Here is what we are in the process of doing. You can follow us at Our Green RV Life - Conserve, Explore, Inspire - Home

solar power for the Airstream - 300 watts
composting toilet
rainwater harvesting
gray water filter and reuse
cork flooring, bamboo countertops, green materials inside
yamaha gas generators for back up energy
Diesel truck running on 2nd fuel tank using WVO (filtered waste vegetable oil) we get from restaurants

I would love to hear more about how others are greening their rigs and full-timing it. We are set to hit the road full-time in 4/2011.

Cece
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