To celebrate Earth Day this year we partnered with photographer and all-round inspirational content creator Emma Croman. As an advocate for ethical living through her photography and online brand Tide, Emma is super knowledgeable on all things eco. She shares her top ten eco friendly product swaps with us in this month’s Conscious Campers blog post.
We hope you enjoy these useful tips! 🙂 Over to Emma…
Can van life be an eco conscious way to live?
Is van life an eco friendly and conscious way of living our lives? Well, we can’t deny that vans need fuel to be on the road – but just as we do in our houses we try and do our bit to offset our impact on our world.
The simple act of being more connected to nature helps us rethink our consumption. Living in a small space with limited access to water and mainly living on minimal electricity sourced from solar, means we can be extremely aware of our usage.
And aside from our energy consumption we can make some simple swaps in our day to day living on the road that means we are living a greener, kinder life. From toiletries to zero waste muesli the following swaps are ones that work for you, the environment and supports local businesses while you’re travelling.
Before I go on, I just wanted to introduce myself – I’m Emma Croman, a photographer and content creator who always works within certain values creating content for ethical, cruelty free brands and championing exclusivity in the media and brand communications. Alongside my commissioned work I run TIDE – a blog where I aim to normalise an older, bigger body living on the road.
You see, last year (after years of dreaming) I converted a van into a camper but got so tired of the Pinterest stereotype that I just didn’t relate to and recognised that there is a lot of work to do in the outdoor/active space. So I aim to come with my trademark aesthetic and inspire modern souls of all abilities to get outside by sharing my travels, cold water swims and mid paced adventures with my Labrador, Monty.
Everything I share on TIDE has the aim to be conscious but it has to be realistic too – for those of us living on a budget how can we create positive habits without having to spend a lot of money?
Today I wanted to share some swaps you can make for life on the road – for a range of budgets. These ten swaps cover everything from cleaning products to clothes care and there is something for everyone.
10 eco friendly swaps for your campervan
An all purpose soap
I have been raving about Dr Bronners for years – it does everything – you can use it as a hand wash, a face wash, washing laundry, shower gel, washing the dog, cleaning stains off seats.. I’ve even used the peppermint one as a toothpaste in a moment of forgetfulness and it was pretty effective. Having some of this on the road is a simple green swap that benefits you too. Some refill shops stock Dr Bronner but if not keep an eye out for multi purpose or Castille Soap as an alternative.
With limited space you don’t want to be carrying lots of bottles of toiletries. The trick is to keep it simple – I swear by Muji bottles that I refill at whatever Zero Waste shops I pass. Most UK towns have them now and factoring in a visit to each one in your schedule means you’ll form a routine that just works for life on the road. Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, washing up liquid, surface sanitiser can all be filled at a refill shop with formulas that are cruelty free, not harmful to marine life and will be kind to your own skin. If you’re local to Brighton try out the brilliant shop Waste Not.
The standard detergent that goes in your average portapotti isn’t biodegradable and contains chemicals that can harm marine life and also aren’t accepted at septic tanks in campsites. Instead swap for Elsan Organic toilet fluid.
Did you know that on average 25% of our carbon footprint comes from our clothing care? Add to that, you want to be keeping washing to minimum while on the road and this is where Attirecare comes in – made from natural essential oils and no nasties these garment care sprays have natural microbial and anti bacterial properties so will keep your clothing fresher while travelling in your van. What’s not to love?
This nifty little bottle comes from a brilliant B Corp – beautifully designed it serves as both a cold water and hot water flask. Perfect for filling with tea with the spare water from the morning kettle for the drive to the next location.
For 15% off head to Ocean Bottle and use code OBTIDELC
You need breakfast on the road to be nourishing, easy to sort among making the bed and getting your home ready for the road and have a feel good factor. When hitting the zero waste shop you can add whatever you want into your muesli directly into the jar – rolled oats, seeds, sultanas, dried fruit, hazelnuts, seeds and anything else you fancy and it will last weeks for a solid van life breakfast!
It’s not the most fun having a period on the road – but it doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable. Switching over to a Mooncup® means you’ll be kept leak free between public toilet blocks and you don’t have to buy tampons on the road – did you know the Mooncup holds more than 3 times the amount a tampon does? Additionally, each one of us uses around 11,000 disposable sanitary products in a lifetime, which end up in the sea or landfill. Regardless of flow, you only need one Mooncup and it’s easy to store in your small home on wheels too.
Go green with your sun protection
Did you know that sun lotions contain a host of chemicals and are mostly tested on animals? Add to that studies show that 14 tonnes of toxic sunscreen end up in our coral reefs each year where it can poison the habitat? I’ve long been advocating my favourite sunscreen from Green People. Shop for sunscreen here.
When wash day comes around and it’s time to give your clothes a clean you want detergent that is easy to use, can be thrown in a machine or hand washed in a sink and is kind to the environmental, your skin and easy to store and use (no mess!). Enter Tru Earth – these little strips come in a flat cardboard pack, are so easy to use and are kind to your skin and the earth. I LOVE the smell of the linen ones and it scents my whole under sink cupboard where I keep them, sometimes I keep them in my clothes bag too to keep my outfits snelling fresh. These clever strips are free from parabens, added dyes, phosphates and are vegan. Each pack contains 32 loads and are fairly priced.
It’s hard to find a decent natural toothpaste but after trying many over the years I hit gold with Truthpaste. I really notice when I stop using it because it leaves my teeth so clean and my mouth very fresh. It comes in a glass jar and is vegan, zero waste, free from palm oil and it really works. Buy it here or find a stockist near you.
If you’re a coffee fanatic like me you’ll find it hard to find a decent coffee on the road and there’s also the impact of the takeaway cups to take into account, especially at the moment where most places won’t fill a refillable cup. Instead invest in a ROK espresso – using nothing but vacuum and clever construction this brilliant espresso maker doesn’t require any electricity and makes a solid espresso. I would go as far as to say it makes better coffee than many coffee shops I’ve been to!
I hope you love these swaps and for more of this kind of content you can follow me on Instagram or see more about my story and at the bottom of the page subscribe to my monthly newsletter where I send out the TIDE Times -including one green swap per month and recap the months content.
If you’re interested in conscious living and are thinking of converting your own campervan, get in touch to see how we can help.
Check out our other blog posts:
- Sea Swimming for Mental Health – What’s it all about?
- What is Hutting? The latest lifestyle trend
- 6 Wood Finishes for your Campervan