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Green Vacations Are Easy in an RV

Standard habits exercised on an RV vacation make energy conservation and eco-friendly practices easy. With restricted space and resources, RVers are natural conservers while traveling. Conscious of waste, high utility bills and saving energy, RVers practice rinsing and reusing containers, selecting paper products over plastic and using natural gas for heating and cooking.

RVs have a limited supply of water, so RVers are naturally frugal about the amount used. Many RVers conserve water by taking "military showers," or showers in which water is only running while rinsing. Employing the "military shower" technique can cut water usage from about 17.2 gallons to 5 gallons or less.

It's common for RVers to use the natural environment as a method to providing basic necessities such as light, heat and air in order to save energy. The sun's blaze can be utilized instead of turning on lights and heat, opening a window on a cool day can replace air conditioning, and cooking over a campfire instead of an electrical stove.

Most RVers aren't spending hours in front of the television for entertainment. RVers usually opt for outdoor fun like hiking, biking, fishing, swimming or exploring nature.

The latest Campfire Canvass, a bi-annual survey of RV owners by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), reveals that RVers are making efforts to be more energy efficient while traveling in their RVs. According to the survey,

-- 66 percent drive or tow their RV at 55 mph
-- 68 percent turn off water while bathing
-- 74 percent turn out lights in their RV
-- 76 percent minimize use of air conditioning by opening windows
-- 15 percent use solar panels on RVs

RV solar panels are becoming an increasingly popular trend in conserving energy and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Solar panels covert light from the sun into electricity and charge the RV's batteries, and all the basic lighting and appliances.

The Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC) is a statewide, non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging growth in the recreation vehicle and private campground industries while contributing to the quality of Michigan tourism. For more information, visit MARVAC's Web site, www.marvac.org or call 517.349.8881.

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