Top 3 Ways to Live an Eco Friendly Van Life
Living in a van often calls for minimalism and eco friendly practices. My husband and I live part-time in our self-converted van traveling around the USA. Because of the lack of space the van holds compared to a house, we have to constantly be conscious about our waste and products we bring into the van. In such a small area we have a few things we always check before making a purchase. Is it full of chemicals or other harmful substances? How much waste does it produce? Is it eco friendly? Finally, and most importantly, does it benefit us to have it in our possession?
Before starting van life we began our eco friendly journey. I am a certified holistic nutritionist so I have always cared about what surrounds us. Van life made me realize even more how much of an impact everything has around us. I’ve put together a list of our top three practices we use in the van to maintain an eco friendly lifestyle on the road.
Eco Friendly Van Life Tip #1: Mini Trash Can
We purchased a 0.6 gallon mini trash bin for our van. We try to empty this as little as possible meaning we have to be conscious about our waste production. At first it was very challenging for us to believe we could fit a whole week’s worth or more of trash in that tiny bin. Once we started reevaluating what products we purchased, how to reuse almost everything, and limit our food scraps, we were able to achieve our goal! If we see the bin getting full only after a few days, we know it’s time to rethink our waste, start reusing more, and buy less.
Sustainable Van Life Tip #2: Composting Toilet
After many hours of research we decided to put a Nature’s Head composting toilet into our van. This is a toilet with two separate bins. One for liquid and one for solids. There is no water for flushing which is the first way it is eco friendly. Instead you fill a reusable spray bottle with vinegar and water to spray down the bowl after each use. The second way this toilet is eco friendly is the solids compartment. You fill this area with an organic composting material such as coconut coir disks. This material along with an external handle that mixes everything, helps turn solids into compost after a month or so. Chemicals, excess water, and harmful substances are avoided with our toilet choice.
Eco Friendly Van Life Tip #3: Solar Power
To live off the grid out west or deep in the southern woods, we equipped our van with solar panels to have electricity in an eco friendly way anywhere we chose. As long as there’s sun, we have power. On cloudy days we have to be mindful of our battery storage. We use this solar energy to cook with our induction cooktop, charge devices, run our vent fan and toilet fan, power our fridge, and sustain any other need we have.
These three ways of eco friendly van life are only the beginning. From our cabinet paint to our grocery shopping practices, van life helps us sustain eco friendly living to the maximum. We even use very minimum water to wash our clothes and dishes in the van to save water.
Van life has created many eco friendly habits we never would have thought of. An example is only having seven gallons of water at a time to wash our hands, cook with, drink, wash dishes, and clean up at the end of the day. We have become aware of our impact, our waste production, and harmful habits of our everyday life. Thanks to the Tiny Yellow Bungalow, we are able to stock our van with beautiful, eco friendly reusables.
Stay Eco Friendly,
Molly from Navigating Holistically
About the Author
Molly is a certified holistic nutritionist and owner of Navigating Holistically. She helps others prevent disease and illness with preventative nutrition and holistic wellness. Molly’s goal is to help people create a lasting life full of happiness. You can find her on Pinterest and Instagram!