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If 2014 was all about Kim Kardashian breaking the internet with her belfies, then 2017 was the definitely the year that #vanlife took the internet by storm. One mention of van life in your Google search bar and you’ll be walloped by headlines about:

a) how van life has become the ultimate way to live

b) how you can beat the housing crises with the van life and

c) the essentials you need to enjoy the van life.

But for all this whooping and cheering and celebrating, one thing has been missed, and that is how to live the van life without leaving a giant carbon footprint in your dust everywhere you go.

So, with that in mind, here are our top tips to staying best friends with mother nature as you explore her every corner:

1. Pick A Fuel Friendly Van

Nothing is going to be more earth-costly in your van life existence than your van itself, which is why you should steer clear from just getting an old diesel because they are cheap, and opt for something that is going to get you further on less fuel and without making the earth splutter.

We’re talking about gorgeous n’ great vans like the VW Transporter, Fiat Ducato and Peugeot Boxer, all of which are ready for you to DIY into a home on wheels.

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2. Keep your costs down

Just because you’re heading into the world of #vanlife, doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels when it comes to keeping costs down, especially if you want to be greener. That’s why you need to think about how you insulate your walls to keep warm, where you place your ladder to avoid excessive drag, what solar panels will work best, which fuel you should put in your tank and what driving techniques will boost your MPG. Trust us, it all adds up.

3. Pack light

You’re choosing to live in a van, so your options when it comes to how much you pack are kind of dictated. It’s one of everything except bowls, mugs, forks, pillows and fold-out chairs. Everything else, though, it’s one of. There is no need for six sharp knives, three spatulas, lots of pots and pans or even three types of herbal tea. Space is limited, so use every part you can.

4. Be conscious

When it comes to simple things, like cleanliness and hygiene, you need to be clever. You know you’ll have to do laundry at some point or another, so a) choose to use the kind of natural detergent you can get from at cleanhappens.com and b) use a laundromat whenever you are passing one.

The same sort of innovation goes for showering, in which your best bet is to join a huge corporate gym that has franchises everywhere and use their shower facilities.

5. Map Out Your Routes

When you’re living the van life and covering entire countries, tiny decisions add up. We’re talking about longer routes costing more in fuel, being worse for the environment, and gas being different prices in different places. That is why it’s always worth mapping out your route accordingly.