When you go camping, you're supposed to get away from it all. Put away the cell phone and laptop. Hang out by the campfire. Take a long walk or bike ride. Use more wind and solar power.That last one is a new routine at a growing number of private campgrounds in the United States. Some of these cater to RVs and travel trailers. While not as energy efficient as a tent, RVs can help convert people to camping (with their personal toilets and showers).
Growing numbers of private parks are investing in energy- and water-saving technologies, and stepping up their recycling efforts, reports the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.
Buttonwood Campground, located in central Pennsylvania's Juniata River Valley, is investing in solar panels for hot water and electricity. The park has also installed an 18-kilowatt solar electric system;
Camping on the Gulf in Destin, Florida, where the pools are solar-heated and bath houses use on-demand water heaters;
Carlsbad KOA in Carlsbad, New Mexico, with a 2.4-kilowatt wind turbine and solar water heating system for its swimming pool;
Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Williamsport, Maryland, which recycles all of its aluminum cans through Star Community, a local nonprofit for people with developmental disabilities. The park also collects plastic and cardboard on behalf of a local ARC Inc. group, which works to improve the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities;
Sandy Pines in Hopkins, Michigan, with geothermal heating and cooling systems. The park also has converted two of its swimming pools from chlorine to salt water filtration systems.
Some may not think these measures are green enough, since people are leaving their homes behind for a camper with most of the comforts of home. But if it gets you out of the city for a bit, and appreciating nature, isn't that a good thing?
Less nature-deficit disorder, perhaps? Weigh in with your, ah, electronically powered computer.