Simple Tips For Responsible Yellowstone RV-Ing
Yellowstone National Park, the oldest national park in the world, is by far one of the most popular RV destinations in the world. RV campers, however, have earned something of a bad reputation, as they are often, unfairly, believed to have very little regard for the environment. While there are undoubtedly some RVers who deserve the bad rap, most RV owners are very responsible campers who have the greatest of respect for Mother Nature. Visitors to the park will be expected to adhere to strict rules and regulations that are designed to protect the astounding piece of national heritage, while also letting their own common sense prevail at all times. When camping in Yellowstone, there are a number of special precautions that can be taken to limit your impact on your exquisite natural surroundings as much as possible.
Say no to single-use items
One way to generate less trash while RV-ing in Yellowstone and make your overall trip more eco-friendly is to eliminate, or at the very least drastically reduce, your use of single-use items. Single-use items such as plastic straws and cutlery, single-serve coffee pods, plastic bags, and plastic water bottles all impact the environment in a terrible way. Invest in a set of traditional, reusable cutlery, glass or stainless steel reusable straws, and a few durable, reusable fabric bags instead. You can also make use of a refillable water bottle made from materials such as glass, stainless steel, or silicone. Additionally, brew your coffee the old-fashioned way to help keep Yellowstone and the environment as a whole free of dangerous pods. Other single-use items such as disposable gloves and face masks that can’t be replaced with more sustainable alternatives need to be disposed of in the most environmentally-friendly way possible.
Save water where you can
When camping in Yellowstone you will need water to wash your dishes, flush your toilet, and shower. All the standard water-saving techniques that you make use of at home can be applied to your RV as well. Install low-flow faucets and showerheads, and double-check your toilet capacity. Even if you make use of campground shower facilities in the park, you can save water by simply taking shorter showers. If you want to avoid hard water problems, consider investing in a portable water softener for your RV, which will decrease minerals such as calcium and magnesium in the water, making it softer. When picking a water softener, just remember to keep its weight and size in mind, as it can contribute to the overall weight of the RV, impacting its fuel efficiency.
Use energy-efficient appliances
While it may be very convenient to have your RV kitted out with a large variety of appliances, the chances are, you will end up using exorbitant amounts of energy, which has a direct impact on the environment. This is especially true if your RV might be fitted with older appliances that are not as energy efficient as most modern appliances are. If you are able to upgrade your appliances, do so. If you don’t have the budget to replace all your appliances, aim to use them as sparingly as possible. Make use of blankets instead of turning on the space heater, and cook your food, where permitted by park regulations, on a fire instead of on the stove top or in the oven. Remember to turn all your appliances off when not in use, including your cellphone and laptop chargers.
Invest in a solar panel
Installing solar panels on your RV is a very effective way to help make your camping trips more eco-friendly. Even though the weather in Yellowstone Park can be very unpredictable, you will be exposed to enough sunlight on most days of the year to generate enough power to charge your batteries and keep your refrigerator running. It is essential to do some thorough research before parting with any money. Establish your electricity requirements, and then aim to get a solar panel setup that will suit your needs best. Start with a small kit, and upgrade if need be instead of spending money on a top-of-the-range solar energy system that you have no use for. Apart from reducing your carbon footprint, having solar energy at your disposal will enable you to camp in spots without power sources.
Use eco-friendly lighting
You can reduce the overall energy consumption of your RV even more by investing in energy-efficient LED lights. These energy-saving lights will not only keep your RV brighter and cooler than traditional incandescent bulbs, but you can also save as much as 90% on energy. LED lights also boast a range of other benefits that make them a worthwhile addition to any RV setup. Whereas an incandescent light bulb generally lasts between 750 and 2,000 hours and a halogen bulb up to 4,000 hours, an LED light has an expected lifespan of approximately 25,000 hours. Not only can you help save the environment by changing to LEDs, but you will end up saving a considerable amount of money as well.
Don’t leave anything besides your footprints behind
When camping in Yellowstone, you are essentially intruding on the natural habitat of countless species of fauna and flora. It is, therefore, of vital importance to disturb you natural surroundings as little as possible. Make sure you pick up all your litter, and either dispose of it in the bins that have been erected all over the park, or take it back home with you. Aim to leave nothing behind except your footprints. It is just as important to not take anything with you except photographs and memories. It is irresponsible to remove any plant or wildlife from its natural surroundings to take home. Instead, leave everything just as how you have found it – perfect.
An RV camping trip in Yellowstone National Park will undoubtedly make for a great adventure. As long as you make an effort to be a responsible traveler, you will be able to enjoy everything the park has to offer without harming the environment in any way.
AUTHOR: JACKIE EDWARDS