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Reduce your waste on the road

How To Reduce Your Waste On The Road

This article contains affiliate links, by using them it helps finance the BusLifers community. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

For those of us who love adventure, living on the road in a VW Bus is an opportunity. It’s a chance to escape the humdrum of everyday life. However, this doesn’t make us exempt from living a more sustainable lifestyle. A big part of the Buslifers dream is feeling closer to nature. However, with that, there is a responsibility when it comes to how to reduce your waste on the road. Today 99% of everything we purchase is disposed of within six months, and over two billion tons of waste is produced worldwide every year.

With this shocking statistic in mind, it emphasizes that individually, we are tiny cogs in the wheel. However, imagine the significant difference Buslifers could make if we all strive towards living a low-waste life on the road.

Here are our four simple steps for how to reduce your waste on the road.

No To Single-Use

Avoiding single-use items is a pretty self-explanatory waste reduction tip. However, when we start to incorporate reusable products in our lives, it doesn’t take long to discover how much of what we use is disposable.

Carrier bags are an obvious example. Most of us are guilty of having reached for one whilst picking up essentials at the store. However, did you know that the inventor of the plastic carrier bag never intended for them to be single-use? It’s sad to think of plastic bags clogging up our planet, especially when it’s so simple to stop their invasion. A foldable shopping bag is ideal for keeping onboard your VW Bus, as are mesh produce bags for trips to a local market.

Other single-use culprits that you will be familiar with include, plastic dinnerware and straws. As well as cotton buds, face masks, takeaway coffee cups and sanitary products. The good news is that there are plenty of reusable alternatives available on the market, including these VW Bus enamel mugs that we love!

If you’re looking at ways to incorporate reusable products into your everyday Buslife, you will also want to check out our article on how to stay hygienic on the road.

Recycle & Repurpose

When you become a Buslifer, one thing you quickly discover is how to make do and mend.

Recycling your waste is your quickest and easiest place to get started and you could even consider composting your food waste with this compact folding food waste bin. Disposing of your recycling may require some prior planning, but most campsites do offer disposal facilities.

Repurposing is another excellent way to ensure everything you purchase enjoys a second life. Storage is always a talking point for Buslifers, so why not try turning an old shampoo bottle into a phone charger holder. You can also repurpose old clothes that would otherwise end up in the bin when you turn them into cleaning rags.

Avoid Packaging

If you’re striving to enjoy a low-waste life on the road, then like us, unnecessary packaging is going to make your blood boil.

Buying produce without packaging won’t always be possible, depending on where you travel to. However, choosing products that aren’t wrapped in plastic and switching to those that are zero-impact, such as Dr. Bronners can help us make a big difference in the long run.

Whilst on the road, look out for local farmers markets. Eco stores that offer unpackaged food and larger stores that stock fresh loose produce are great too. Don’t forget to take the reusable shopping bags we mentioned earlier!

Make & Grow

We know space is tight as a Buslifer. But, there are some easy ways to cut down on your waste by making and growing produce onboard your VW Bus.

Health and beauty products are an ideal place to start with many of the ingredients being store cupboard staples and easily attainable. If you’re also an avid forager, why not try some of the simple recipes in this bestseller, The Hedgerow Apothecary, that will help you blend your own plant-based natural remedies wherever you’re staying.

A vegetable garden is out of the question as a Buslifer, but fresh produce with zero food miles is possible! Keep it small by growing your own selection of herbs and micro veg on the road. You can also put supermarket food cartons through their paces when you reuse them as growing containers.

Are you feeling fired up for a fight against the enormous environmental impact waste has? The first step as a Buslifer is to commit to reduce your waste on the road. There is no doubt that it takes time to implement a sustainable routine, but by instilling habits that are kinder to the planet, the more positive our impact.

Looking for more top Buslifer tips? Check out our article featuring the Top 12 Travel Essentials.

Live a sustainable VW life

Live a Sustainable VW Buslife

This article contains affiliate links, by using them it helps finance the BusLifers community. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

 

With more of us striving towards an environmentally friendly lifestyle, a question for many Buslifers is… How sustainable is my VW Bus? Now, driving across the globe is going to hurt our planet. However, in comparison to living a luxurious lifestyle in an average home, your chance of achieving a smaller carbon footprint is easily within reach. It’s time to live a sustainable VW Buslife!

Here are just a few ways you can work towards enjoying the Buslifer dream, while living sustainably, on the road.

Choose Sustainable Materials

If you’re taking the plunge and doing some DIY to your VW Bus, be sure to consider the materials you use. If it’s wood you’re after, visit a salvage yard and for soft furnishings, see what you can pick up second hand. By repurposing where possible, you’re helping to keep items out of landfill. It’s also a thrifty way to give your VW Bus a quirky look. For more renovation tips and tricks, click here.

VW bus interior

Go Solar

Looking to go off-grid in your VW Bus? You’re going to want to get some solar panels fitted. There are plenty of options out there to suit your requirements. Choose from installing panels on the roof to portable, fold-out panels. Solar panels will allow you to power personal electronics. But for power-hungry appliances such as fridges, it’s worth connecting to a power bank that will act as a generator or adding a leisure battery, which will store the energy from the solar panels. In addition to the leisure battery, you will need an inverter to plug in the fridge. There is an initial investment to consider when switching to solar power. However, it’s cost-effective in the long run with the added benefit of avoiding non-renewable energy.

Save Water

Without the luxury of running water, being cautious about over-consumption is something that’s on the mind of all VW Bus owners. However, saving water is easier said than done, and it’s worth taking some time to devise a water-saving system. It could be as simple as having a bottle to save any remaining water when you do the dishes. Or go one step further and install a manual water pump.

Being mindful about water consumption is incredibly important when you’re on the road, but so is staying clean and healthy. If you’re new to the Buslife, read our advice for staying hygienic while on the road.

Live The Slow Life

As we mentioned, the most significant element that is going to let a VW Bus owner down when it comes to sustainability is fuel consumption. Get used to living life in the slow lane to save fuel and plan your route to avoid any long detours. Also, rather than travelling far and wide, sit back and enjoy the view for just that bit longer. For a happy and positive wellbeing, it’s all about slow living.

If you find yourself staying an extra night somewhere, check out our article on how to find an overnight parking spot.

VW bus drivers seat

Be A Conscious Consumer

Although it’s great to try and buy less, there are times when we need to get our wallets out. Price is an essential element when making any purchase. However, instead of prioritising the best deals, be a conscious consumer and consider the longevity of a product, the materials used and a brands ethics. For a little extra help when it comes to shopping ethically, check out the rankings of some of the world’s leading brands via The Good Shopping Guide.

Leave No Trace 

Leaving no trace is a crucial Buslife motto. Remember to dispose of waste correctly and leave areas free of rubbish. Respect wildlife and leave any artefacts that you find for others to enjoy too. Visit the Center for Outdoor Ethics for more information on protecting our natural environments.

By following these simple rules, you and your beloved VW Bus are well on your way to becoming eco-warriors.

If you’d like to do even more to help our planet in your quest to live a sustainable VW Buslife, you could also consider offsetting your carbon footprint for every tonne of CO2 you emit while driving. Other lifestyle changes include shopping locally (which most of us do anyway while living on the road) and reducing the number of animal products you consume by making the switch to a vegetarian/vegan diet.

 

Are You Ready For A Sustainable Buslife?

Yes you are! We all are and being sustainable isn’t about being perfect, but taking the steps we can with the tools we have. Do you have any other sustainability tips for Buslife you would include here? Let us know in the comments.