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Take Only Pictures, Leave Only Footprints
by Don Magary, Publisher
Those of us who love the great outdoors and use recreation vehicles (RVs) to pursue a wide variety of related interests are arguably among the most environmentally conscience groups in our society. Whether it's wandering in the shadows of Monument Valley's majestic eroding red wonders, wading hip-high into a pristine Rocky Mountain stream in pursuit of an elusive rainbow trout, winding our way through a Vermont country road amid a mosaic of fall colors or watching migrating humpbacks from an oceanside cliff in Oregon, RV people have experienced nature more personally than most Americans and are more emotionally appreciative of everything it offers.
Most of us have adopted the U.S. Department of the Interior's motto, "Take Only Pictures, Leave Only Footprints," as our personal creed and commitment. Yet there persists a dichotomy of perception of just how "Green" we are.
On one hand on any given summer day you can see a steady migration of RVers en route or returning from lakes and seashores and National Park Service campgrounds are overflowing with RVers from across the country and around the world. On the other hand, you see that they got there in motorhomes with bus-sized diesel engines or trailers towed by large pickup trucks, Suburbans and all sorts of other SUVs.
During the oil shortages of the late 1970s and early 1980s, the RV industry struggled for survival amidst accusations of being "gas-guzzlers," so it doesn't take an enormous stretch of imagination to foresee the industry attacked again during this current crisis.
It's time for the RV industry to starting thinking "green."
With the dire reality of global warming looming over us and awareness of the problems created by our dependence on foreign oil, the RV industry could be an easy target for those looking for a scapegoat.
And if you have been watching recent hearings about a bailout for the auto industry and how Congress has been browbeating that industry for poor business practices and ignoring the changing market to more fuel efficient cars and trucks, you must know that change is being demanded.
We can all help just by using a little common sense.
It's time for us all, whether part of the industry or participants in the RV lifestyle, to start doing our parts to help escape our dependence on foriegn oil and lower greenhouse emissions by thinking green -- Think "RV" Green.