Student, 22, Builds a $7,000 Environmentally Friendly Van
If you care about the environment at all then there's a very good chance you monitor your carbon footprint which can be anything from driving a fuel-efficient or electric vehicle to making an effort to turn off lights and electronics you aren't using around the house. But would you ever consider selling your car and giving up the comforts of a dorm room or large home to live in a much smaller yet sustainable van? Caroline Winslow, a 22-year-old student from Colorado, recently did just that.
Inspired by a summer living off-grid with her boyfriend, Winslow explained to Daily Mail in an exclusive interview why she decided to make this critical change to her lifestyle.
"Being an environmentalist and studying environmental policy, I often felt as though my daily life didn't align with my beliefs and goals. Therefore, in order to live more self-sustained and reduce my carbon footprint, I sold my previous car, purchased a Ram Promaster, and spent this past summer converting it into a cozy off-grid home."
The van conversion cost around $7,000, which is the amount Winslow received from her college as an off-campus living stipend. Her van, which she named Roxi, features a kitchen, living room – and even a swing.
© Caroline Winslow / mediadrumworld.com
On top of reducing her energy by moving into a smaller space, Winslow used all non-toxic and recycled materials to deck out her van to ensure it lived up to its environmentally friendly standards. For example, she used natural sheep's wool for insulation, repurposed plywood from a dorm on campus for the countertop, and made sure all of the sealants and paints she used were Zero VOC.
But what's even more impressive is that the van has a 600W solar array on the roof with a 480ah battery bank inside.
"The goal of this project/new lifestyle is to reduce my carbon emissions via utilizing solar power and to also become more aware of my daily energy and resource demands," she explained.
After graduating from university, Winslow hopes to find a job in renewable energy, sustainable development, or ocean conservation. If she can take on an environmentally friendly project of this scope, we don't think she'll have any problem finding work in this field post-college.
Interested in following Caroline along on her sustainable journey? Follow Caroline and Roxi on Instagram.