Many people believe a RV isn't very environmentally friendly. Actually, all of our RVing friends and their RV's are more friendly to the environment than our friends who own a "sticks and bricks" house. I mean no offense to our stationary friends, as it's not all under their control. With living in an RV comes certain limitations that help the environment. Not only is the RV environmentally friendly, their owners usually have a greater appreciation and respect for the outdoors and nature. Most RV'ers (not all) will take the time to stop and pick up trash around their area. Since space is limited, the amount of disposable trash we create is also very limited. We don't have the luxury of 3 huge trash bins being picked up from our curb weekly. We're strong believers of the philosophy of "take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints". And even then, our footprints will be on a trail or road.
But what about the RV? There's a few areas that our "wheel estate" has an environmental advantage over a stationary house. One is water. We use, and waste, MUCH less water than we did when we owned a regular house. Our motor home has a 99 gal fresh water tank. We want this limited quantity of water to last the longest time possible. Showers are quick, we turn off the shower between getting wet, soapy, and rinse. We do dishes by hand with the least amount of water used. Our toilet uses about 1 cup of water per flush. Due to the construction of the plumbing in an RV, we limit the water pressure to 25 psi, again conserving water. Because we have limited black waste tank storage, we're pretty conscientious about how much goes into that storage. Even our toilet paper is single-ply paper. Just enough to get the job done. We have a small toilet brush in a holder next to the tank. Instead of wasting water, we'll use the brush to help clean it out. But yes, we replace this $1 brush each month, so we do create a little garbage. Our kitchen sink has a "water saver" on it. You need to push this little lever to get water to come out, even with the water turned on. It saves wasting water between rinsing, etc. When boondocking, this 99 gallons can last us 2 weeks. I doubt many traditional households of 2 adults can survive on 99 gallons of fresh water for 2 weeks.
Speaking of waste water, we rarely use any additives in our holding tanks. It's normally not needed, as we let the natural bacteria do it's job of breaking up the solids. But when we do use an additive to help the process, it's also environmentally friendly. Because of our water conservation, we have very little grey waste. The 65 gallon grey waste holding tank also usually gets full after 2 weeks of boondocking. Contrary to what many people believe, this waste DOES NOT get dumped on the ground (even in the desert). It's dumped into a sewage dump, along with the black waste. Again, does a traditional household of 2 adults create only 65 gallons of grey waste in a 2 week period? Since water and waste fees are very minimal, I doubt many households concern themselves with this type of conservation.
Besides water and waste conservation, many RV''s also conserve electricity. As with us, many create their OWN electricity. Because space in our home is limited, we don't have many electrical appliances. We do have enough to be comfortable, but not the 6 TV's we once owned. But more importantly, we usually don't have a need to run the heater or air conditioner. Most fulltiming RV'ers follow the sun. We go where the weather is nice. Again, reducing the need to use more electricity and gas. Almost all of the lighting in our wheel estate is 12 volt. All RV's can recharge their 12 volt batteries while driving. Many, as in our case, generate our own electricity. Our solar panel array creates enough electricity storage to keep our batteries fully charged. All for the price of being in the sun. When boondocking, we generate ALL of the electricity we need. Our inverter will power our 120 volt appliances from the batteries. The batteries are recharged from the sun. Other than the initial cost of the equipment, this electricity is FREE! Even in Arizona I don't see many sticks and bricks houses getting free electricity.
Okay, what about these gas guzzling monsters RV'ers drive? I guess this issue can be argued, but let's see if we're really guzzling gas. Our motor home averages 7mpg. Wow! That does sound pretty low, and it is. But we're moving our entire house, all of our possessions, AND the Jeep at 7mpg. So we're really getting about 12mpg. If we didn't tow the Jeep, we'd get about 8mpg for the MH and 16mpg for the Jeep. That's 24mpg for the 2 vehicles to move. But since we're only driving one vehicle, but moving both, then it's half of what it would be to drive them separately. Well, it sounds good to me when I have to fill the tank! What kind of mileage does a traditional house get? If we were to compare a stationary house with our mobile house, then we're actually getting the same mileage. We also get 0mpg when we're stationary.
Since the gas mileage issue can't be a comparison factor, then we're left with the above comparison's of water usage, waste, and electrical requirements. While there's always exceptions to the standard, most RV'ers are environmentally friendly. I know we have a green RV!