Monday, December 4,2023 4:12 am EST

Hotel vs. RV Environmental Impact

We all know just how much waste we produce and how much energy we use, we can even see it in our household bills. Most people have busy jobs and/or children to care for, which can make it difficult to make time to examine where they can lower their environmental footprint. For those who want to take the plunge and learn about their environmental impact on our Earth, vacations are a great place to start looking at where to cut back. Life is busy and our everyday essentials like groceries and work equipment are tough to alter or change to fit a more environmental lifestyle. Vacations on the other hand can be altered much easier and have many more options for environmental consumers. A great way to see where you can cut back to make smart environmental choices is to compare a traditional vacation to a more environmentally conscious option like an RV camping vacation. Here we will take a look at both options and see how they relate.

Hotel Vacations

Hotel vacations are designed to feel like a dreamy wonderland; endlessly convenient, comfortable and luxurious. While these things are great to experience every so often, they also leave a huge carbon footprint. Most people start a vacation with a flight, to get to a fancy location that feels new and exciting. Don’t we all love exploring new places? However, flights emit huge amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere which is an immediate start to a huge environmental footprint for a weekly vacation. Cross country flights can emit up to 2 tonnes of CO2 per person and flights across the ocean can emit up to 7 tonnes.

Next is the issue of the hotels themselves. Hotels are famously convenient and are well known for having just about everything you could possibly need while you are away from home. The downside to this is the amount of waste this creates. Hotels often use disposable plastic items such as combs, cups, bags, toothbrushes, water bottles and so on. Hotel amenities that are left in your room, whether used or not, often end up in the trash since they can’t be given to the next guest. The same thing happens with hotel foods. While the complimentary breakfast is a great addition to the trip, any food that is not eaten by the guests each morning is disposed of. This leaves heaps of waste from each guest, now just imagine how much waste that creates for the whole building each day!

In terms of energy consumption hotels also pose an issue. Being that guests are there 24/7 and safety is their utmost concern, energy is always being used in hallways and public spaces. Lights are an important part of safety. The same is said for heating and cooling, in order to make sure the building is as comfortable as possible there is always one of the two at work. All of these things mentioned leave hotel vacation guests with a huge environmental footprint, all because of where they chose to stay.

RV Camping Vacations

RV camping vacations are a great alternative to hotel vacations, as they provide much of the comfort and luxury with a significantly less environmental impact and footprint. While they certainly do not eliminate environmental footprints completely, they can be a great and simple start to a family’s environmental conservation journey.

The start of an RV camping vacation is certainly the most environmentally costly of the whole trip. It does often require a lengthy trip to your destination of choice. However there are ways to help with your CO2 output or sustainability. Make infrequent stops in order to conserve your gas for driving, and look into helpful items like solar panels. Adding solar panels to your list of RV camping gear can help to power your RV electrical products, therefore taking some strain off the battery and allowing the vehicle to run smoother. Also be mindful of what you are bringing with you on your trips. Cutting down on some weight also allows the vehicle to consume gas more efficiently.

The best way to lower your environmental footprint on an RV camping trip is to choose a great RV campground. These campgrounds often have great amenities that allow you to camp in style and luxury. If you choose an RV campsite that has service hookups it allows you to use the electricity on site. Use this wisely and only when you have to. If using your solar panels, use their power before choosing to use the campground electricity. You can also bring along solar powered lanterns and lights which are great for around your RV. The amenities within the campground are often also powered by solar technology or on a timed system to prevent unnecessary usage. Be sure to look into environmentally friendly soaps and biodegradable necessities to also help your environmental mindfulness.

During your RV camping trip be sure to be mindful of your food usage and waste production. Bring along reusable dishes and cutlery to prevent single use plastics building up. Cooking your own food either within your RV kitchen or over the fire is a great way to control portions and ensure there is little to no food waste left behind. Lastly, be sure to dispose of your waste correctly and take advantage of RV campgrounds waste disposal areas.

Key Takeaways

While no vacations are going to be totally emission free or environmentally friendly, there are certainly ways you can reduce your environmental footprint. Avoid staying in hotels that are not actively trying to reduce their footprint. Choose a vacation such as an RV camping trip and utilize environmentally friendly RV campgrounds. If you can’t manage to get an RV for your trip, and need to stay in a hotel, make environmentally friendly choices by using less single use plastics and using your towels more than once. If you need to fly commercially for your vacation, consider offsetting your carbon. You can do this by packing light, taking direct flights, using online boarding passes or even purchasing carbon offsets through registered sites. While you may be thinking that you need the comforts of home during a vacation, consider taking a tent camping trip and experience the outdoors in full. By choosing camping you can lower your environmental footprint even more.

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Ashley Juneau
Ashley Juneau
As an Environmental Technician, I have developed a deep passion for protecting our environment and promoting sustainability. Over the course of my schooling and career, I have gained extensive knowledge and expertise in a wide range of environmental issues, including pollution control, waste management, and environmental compliance. I have also honed my skills in conducting environmental assessments, analyzing data, and developing effective strategies to mitigate environmental risks. Throughout my work, I have demonstrated a strong commitment to delivering high-quality results while adhering to strict safety standards and regulations. I am a dedicated professional who is always seeking new ways to improve my skills and make a positive impact in the world.
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