Originally Posted by pygmyowl
We struggled with this question a lot too... Is it really possible to be environmentally friendly when you're driving an 11mpg truck around the world?
We looked at hybrid drives for the truck but they are WAY too much money, and too unreliable to take into the middle of nowhere.
Here's the four main reasons why we feel confident that we're doing the right thing:
1) Wherever possible we're using materials that are recycled or at least sustainable. (eg: Bamboo cabinetry and 'plyboo')
2) We are planning to be 'carbon neutral' by offsetting our carbon footprint (for the manufacturing & driving) with credits towards projects like: renewable energy or tree planting, etc. Ford actually has a pretty good partner program with: Terra Pass
3) My wife and I have spent the past 8 years flying around the world for work, racking up about 1 million miles between us. (ugh!) We want our kids to see the world, but a simple calculation shows that actually driving is a better way to do it, environmentally.
A single round trip flight from San Francisco to Singapore on a 747 with 2 adults + 2 kids contributes roughly 50,000 kg of CO2 (just our portion, not to mention the rest of the plane!) - calculation reference
On the other hand, if the four of us drive say 50,000 miles (more than triple the distance of the flight) we still emit less CO2 (about 40,000kg) - and we get to see the whole world along the way...
4) By teaching our kids to enjoy and value the world, and contributing to development/environment projects along the way, and publicizing the possibility of building an "eco-friendly RV" - maybe we can influence some future decisions and innovations.
SO, overall are we still contributing to the polution? - yes I suppose so.
We could just stay home and watch a DVD. But if you are going to go out and explore this amazing planet of ours, then I'd like to think that we're doing it in a pretty friendly way.
...Or at least that's our justification and we're stickin' to it!