You are hereEco What?!?
A lot of people ask us: "How can a 27,000 lb diesel belching truck possibly be 'eco friendly' - talk about jumping on a bandwagon"
In fact, I pretty strongly disagree with this point of view, here's why:
yes - our truck is going to emit CO2, on first glance it would probably seem like a lot of it. But compare it against the options. In two years of driving the EcoRoamer around the planet we will emit less than 10% of the CO2 that a single return flight on a 747 from New York to Singapore would do.
We also have committed to initiating an equal number of CO2 pounds absorbing projects (e.g. tree planting) to balance our entire carbon footprint of the manufacturing and running the EcoRoamer.
|The EcoRoamer has almost 2kW of Sanyo Solar panels on the roof. Combined with our high efficiency LED lights and DC voltage airconditioning, we should be able to live in the vehicle for extended periods of time without having to run the engine or generator. Of course there is an 8.5KW generator as a backup (saved literally 'for a rainy day') but it runs off the BioDiesel as well.|
Heating and Air-conditioning:
One of the biggest users of energy in a mobile home is trying to keep the internal temperature comfortable.
We have designed and built the EcoRoamer with almost 2 inches of recycled foam board insulation in all walls, roof and floor. With everything sealed up the vehicle should have an insulation rating of over R13, reducing the amount of biodiesel the furnace will need to use to keep us cozy.
In the hot weather, we can open the 'pop top' in the overcab, which is designed to act as a natural scoop, funneling even the gentlest breeze into the vehicle and out through the large ventilation windows and solar-powered exhaust fans.
When we do have to run the airconditioning, it is a 24V DC unit that runs off the battery array, charged by the solar panels.
One of the key lessons for environmental friendliness is "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" - this is a concept that we have really taken to heart in the design of the EcoRoamer.
- The chassis itself was bought used from someone who no longer needed it for his business. This saved us introducing another new truck into the world. There are a LOT of used commercial chassis in the market (especially these days) and we encourage finding a new use for one of these tough trucks rather than building more.
- The shell of the camper body is made from an Aluminum composite material called Alucobond. This uses 80% recycled aluminum and recycled plastics for the central core.
- The countertops and subfloor are both made from recycled paper and non-toxic resins.
To reduce this impact, we have chosen to use the Airhead composting toilet from the sailing world. This toilet uses coconut husk 'coir' bricks and solar powered drying vents to help convert our solid wastes into fertile / harmless compost.
Our liquid waste and gray water tanks will be slowly dribbled onto the EcoRoamers hot exhaust pipes while driving to convert them into steam vapor.
One of the most controversial parts of the entire EcoRoamer project is our choice of using BioDiesel. There are a lot of people out there who say that BioDiesel makes use of crops to drive fancy trucks instead of feeding people who need affordable food. No doubt this is a major challenge to the BioDiesel movement, however we think that the benefits (i.e. not drilling / mining for oil and all that goes with that) out-weigh the potential costs. We also are trying to find ways to actively choose palm oil or jatropha based BioDiesel raher than edible crops. Of course, these have costs too such as rainforest depletion)
In a lot of the areas of the world we travel in BioDiesel is not even an available option, but where we can we will strive to use it.