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Student, 22, Builds a $7,000 Environmentally Friendly Van

This student traded her car in for an 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.

environmentally friendly

             © Caroline Winslow /

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? Check out or follow Caroline and Roxi on Instagram.

2 responses to “Student, 22, Builds a $7,000 Environmentally Friendly Van”

  1. Hey there! It’s Caroline. Wow, thank you so much for the write up! I really appreciate it! Part of my goal in taking on this project was to share my experiences and to inspire others to consider reducing their carbon footprint. So thank you for spreading my environmental message as well! PS. If you would like to follow along on my journey, my instagram is @repoweredram. Happy Holidays!

    • Thanks for reaching out, Caroline! Your project sparked excitement in sustainable communities around the world, so we are thrilled to share your story which we hope will help in fulfilling your mission of inspiring others to do the same. We’re excited to keep following you along on your journey via Instagram. Feel free to share this post on Instagram if you’d like to. Thank you again for being such an inspiration!

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