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Green Living on the Road: Skipping the Disposables

Green Living on the Road: Skipping the Disposables

I recently posted about disposing of waste responsibly while living in an RV. I hope that post inspired you to take up some more earth-friendly habits. After all, everyone should be doing everything they can to make our world a better place.

In this installment of the Green Living on the Road series, I will be addressing what it takes to skip the disposable products while traveling. I hope these little tricks help you find a way to cut some of the disposable products out of your life.

Knocking the Paper Plate Habit

Perhaps the easiest and most obvious change you can make is to stop buying disposable dishes. Paper plates and styrofoam bowls are terrible for the environment, and it really isn’t that hard to wash your own dishes.

Tips for washing dishes in an RV:

  • Wash dishes as often as you can in order to avoid a pile-up that is impossible to juggle with limited counter and sink space.
  • Make your hot water last as long as possible by turning off the water while scrubbing the dishes.
  • If boondocking, use a dish pan to catch the dishwater and use it for flushing later on. This will help you avoid filling your gray tank and will allow you to reserve fresh water for things like dishwashing and showers.

Related Read: Disposing of Trash While Boondocking


Switch to Cloth

Some of the less obvious changes you could make include switching to cloth diapers and napkins, opting for cloth wipes instead of traditional toilet paper, and choosing cloth sanitary pads. Of course, this does take a bit more effort on your part, but it is doable, even in an RV.

Tips for using cloth products while RVing:
  • Purchase two covered containers, one to hold used diapers and feminine hygiene products and one to keep used toilet wipes in. Line each one with a wet bag to make clean up easy. Be sure to keep the covers on in order to reduce the smells in such a small place.
  • Purchase a small RV washing machine or a portable hand-powered clothes washer. This will give you the option to wash these more personal items at home rather than taking them to the laundromat with the rest of your clothing.
  • Another bonus of purchasing a small washer is the ability to wash these items regularly. Since you definitely don't want to leave these kinds of things sitting for long periods of time, try to wash everything every 2–3 days.
  • It is best to line-dry most of these items, and even those that can go in the dryer will last much longer when allowed to air dry. Therefore, you will want to invest in some sort of portable drying rack. Don’t want to put your personal products outside to dry? Go ahead and set the rack up in the bathroom and turn the vent fan on to create a breeze.

By putting these tips and tricks to use, you should be able to switch over to reusable products as easily as you might in a stationary house. Therefore, you have no excuse for using those disposable items, and it’s high time you pull the cloth napkins back out and start using them.

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Chelsea Barron

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Chelsea Barron

Chelsea has the amazing opportunity to take part in full-time RV living and traveling with her tiny tribe. She homeschools her five-year-old son as they travel, and takes full advantage of their unique situation by using the entire world as her son’s classroom. A group of total Disney fanatics, Chelsea and her family often find themselves in the Orlando area in order to visit the Disney parks, but they have also visited over 25 of the 50 states with plans to see many more along the way. No matter where her travels take her, Chelsea enjoys riding bikes, gazing at beautiful sunsets, finding new coffee shops, Irish dancing, and sitting around a campfire with her family. Check out her blog Wonder Wherever We Wander.