Part of the inspiration for moving into a motor home came from my environmental motivation. I first saw an article about the "small home living" movement about 4 or 5 years ago. The slant on that particular article was individuals that wanted to be closer to nature and more environmentally conscious. They would live in homes that were 200 - 300 square feet...smaller than many studio apartments. The homes were designed to offer suitable function that would meet your essential needs...a place to sleep, cook, eat and relax. Being in such a small space "motivates" one to spend more time outside, immersed in nature. Suddenly, the surrounding wilderness becomes your "home". Additionally, you would utilize far less natural resources in the heating and cooling of such a place. The story made a resurgence last year when the economy tanked. People were living in these small homes because they could no longer afford to heat/cool large, empty spaces (which most homes consist of a large percentage of "wasted space"). Both of those articles made me start thinking about ways I could do such a thing. I had thought about trying to buy land for such a project, but I wasn't sure where I would want to own land. I love Colorado, but wasn't sure that is where I wanted to by land. Suddenly it occurred to me that living in a motor home was very much like small home living except that I could travel and explore different areas of the country. The National Forests would become "my land" (they are, after all, set aside for the general populace).
As for the "environmental" aspects of RV living, I know this may seem odd considering that I am driving a large vehicle that is NOT known for its fuel economy. In fact, my gas mileage downright sucks. Mileage aside, though, one can live an environment lifestyle with a little creativity and modifications. I have outfitted my rig with a solar panel to sustain my electrical needs. I use propane gas for some cooking, heating and refrigeration, but those are minimal and use very little. I consistently make use of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle:
REDUCE: buy many products and food in bulk, reducing packaging; utilize reusable bags for all shopping; use solar generated electricity for the majority of cooking (rice cooker, crock pot, electric grill, hot pot, etc.)
REUSE: prior to sending any item into the "waste stream", I evaluate future possible uses for it. Examples - I drilled wholes in the top of a plastic soda bottle and now use it to water my plants; made shelves from scrap pieces of wood; made mud flaps out of discarded floor mats...and many more.
RECYCLE: for those items that I can't reuse, I place in my recycling bin. It's a good sign that my recycling bin fills up well before my trash bag. Also, food scraps are consumed by my worm bin, which in turn produces a soil amendment that supports the little garden I've started (basil, tomatoes, green onions and spinach).
So while I may not be the perfect environmental citizen, I feel I am making a difference in small ways. I'm also telling people what I am doing and showing them how I do it. If I can change the way one person interacts with the world around us, I will be happy. If anyone wants more information on any of the things I am doing, please feel free to contact me. Also, it you have any great ideas that you want me to try, send me an email and I'll see if I can figure out a way to make it work!