10 SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTS TO SIMPLIFY CAMPER VAN LIFE
Some people may not believe that it’s possible to live sustainably in a van, whelp, let me assure you that it’s entirely possible and can even help simplify camper van life.
In fact, there are even some things that are more sustainable whilst living in a van!
Here are some of those marvelous sustainable products, to get started with.
1. CUTTING BOARD
In camper van life space is limited, so having a cutting board instead of having plates can really simplify camper van life.
The non-toxic bamboo is naturally moisture-resistant, so the boards won’t swell or warp with each wash. It’s made of organic bamboo, free of formaldehyde (unlike traditional cutting boards), and finished with natural food-grade oil. So, I know it’s safe!
Having a bamboo cutting board was exactly what I needed, and I used it every single day. They are great for cutting fruits & veggies, using as a plate, or even displaying food like a charcuterie board.
Sustainable Tip: Charcuterie boards allow for me to nibble on different foods without having to do a lot of prep work. Also, keeping food prep simple preserves resources (like propane and water) from being used with having to cook or do the dishes. Total ECO-WIN!
2. STASHER BAGS
Let me just start by saying wow! How have I been living my life without these? These Stasher bags came in handy in most situations I faced. For example, when I needed something to put my wet bathing suit in, to keep my sunscreen from leaking when I broke the nozzle, packed vitamins to go, added ice to my cooler, or even storing hiking snacks.
These are a great replacement for single-use plastic bags and ziplock bags!
The Stasher bags are made of 100% silicone, being BPA-free. They are safe for use in the freezer, oven, dishwasher, microwave, and even in boiling water.
♻ Sustainability Tip/Highlight: They are even more amazing because they have a repurposing program. This repurposing program utilizes the broken Stasher bag, turning it into a playground or track surface.
3. WATER BOTTLE
I know, I know, water bottles always seem like they’re talked about everywhere. However, as soon as I went to Arizona and experienced triple-digit temperatures, I have a newfound appreciation for my stainless steel water bottle, so would you!
Whilst, backpacking, and van life re-teach us, that having fresh and clean water is our lifeline.
So ultimately water is essential, that’s why it’s talked about everywhere! I personally choose a Hydro Flask water bottle because the double-wall vacuum insulation keeps a drink hot or cold for hours.
Not only that, but the double-wall vacuum insulation prevents the outside of the bottle from becoming too hot in warmer climates or if left in the sun.
Another great option is Klean Kanteen water bottles, which offer a virtually zero waste alternative to almost any water bottle. This company utilizes stainless steel, bamboo, and food-grade silicone. They leave all the paints and plastics behind, creating the ultimate eco-friendly water bottle.
4. REUSABLE BAGS & PRODUCE BAGS
I know that reusable bags can seem like they are over-talked about, but they are normally just referenced for grocery shopping, not here though!
Let me start off by saying that reusable bags are so multi-purposed that they get used for almost everything!
These bags are so multi-purposed they can be used for laundry, straining nut milk (depending on the bag type), lunch, extra produce, and everything else you can think of where you’d use a bag.
Seriously though, reusable bags are so versatile and sturdy compares to plastic, the plastic bags almost always break and are such a waste! Making the switch has never been easier.
5. SCOURING PADS
Sometimes when cooking with the pots, pans or on stainless steel surfaces there is hardened residue that just won’t come off, metal scouring scrubbers like this truly help remove stubborn spots.
These scouring pads are especially great for use on a cast iron, stainless steel, and glass (Yes, even glass!).
However, I recommend not using these scouring pads on non-stick or porous surfaces because they will scratch. These are also fully metal recyclable at the end of their life. ECO-WIN!
6. UNPAPER TOWELS
Firstly, these Unpaper Towels are a total multipurpose product. They can be used as paper towel replacements, napkins, facial wipes, small drying cloths, tissues, or even to wiping down dishes. See what I mean? Unpaper Towels are so versatile and useful!
Secondly, Being 100% organic cotton means they will fully break down at the end of their life, yay!
The best part is that they are entirely chemical-free, grown by a family in Guatemala, and can be composted back into the earth at the end of its life cycle. Yet another ECO-WIN!
8. PACKING CUBES
These Tentree Packing Cubes are so light, flexible, and easy to use. I have tried a few different brands of packing cubes and none of them quite did the trick as these did! These packing cubes have density, breathability with the mesh, and even a handle to easily grab.
♻ Sustainability Tips/Highlights:
Did I mention that the company that makes these packing cubes also plants trees for every purchase? If I’m going to be buying packing cubes anyway, why not support a company with an amazing mission and help the environment!
Plus guess what!? Tentree Packing Cubes are made from recycled polyester. ECO-WIN!
P.S. The picture on their website doesn’t really show it, but not only is there the big one, but it also comes with a smaller one too! The bigger can fit jackets and jeans and so much more. Comparable packing cubes lack the depth that these have. The smaller packing cube is great for socks, underwear, swimsuits, intimates, etc. Just giving a heads-up!
9. CAR CHARGER
Having a car charger is a pretty obvious one to most, but hey it’s still a necessity! A car charger is especially a necessity when using the navigation on the phone, I swear the GPS runs my phone into the ground, on battery life.
Something I’ve learned over the years is to just keep my phone plugged in and charging while driving. It just makes sense, right?! HA!
However, this car charger is also made by Nimble, which is a company geared towards creating more mindful technology. I talk more about Nimble in the next section, too!
10. TRAVEL CHARGER
I’m often outside the van taking photos or videos or off on a hike, having a travel charger with me no matter where I’m at, and can truly make a difference in keeping all of my techs reliably charged. Yes, that’s right, camper van life doesn’t mean being inside the camper van all day! ha!
There had been too many times when I missed taking the perfect photo because my phone had suddenly died or even missing an important phone call.
I now carry this travel charger with me most places, especially when I know I’m going to be away from the van for a few hours, I don’t want to miss something again! I’m sure you wouldn’t want to either!
♻ Sustainable Tips/Highlights:
This portable charger’s composed of recycled aluminum and bio-plastics, how cool is that?! It also has the ability to charge multiple devices at the same time. Nimble is a very sustainable company; Certified B Corp, donates 1% for the planet & sustainable non-profits, and is carbon-neutral.
Did I mention they also have a take-back program? For every product purchased, Nimble will recycle up to 1lb of e-waste through their One-for-One Tech Recovery Program. They simply ship you a return envelope for your broken electronics, to be sent back to them.
WHICH OF THESE PRODUCTS DO YOU THINK WOULD REALLY HELP YOU SIMPLIFY CAMPER VAN LIFE ?
Love this article? Thinking about van life and have a soft spot for the environment? Don’t forget to save this for later and share it with your fellow van lifers!
I also wanted to make sure to mention that all these brands and products are available on EarthHero.
This zero-waste shop, not only shows all the sustainable spec for each and every product, but they care about their community and listens to their customers.
So, when I have a need, they are my first go-to shop, I’m sure you’ll love them too!