LARKSPUR, Colo. – Since the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds launched its “Plan it Green” program three years ago, more than 100 campgrounds and RV resorts across the country have made a formal pledge to adopt environmentally friendly practices, while informing their guests of the benefits of doing the same.
But in an effort to encourage even more parks to participate in the program – and to adopt a greater number of green practices – the Larkspur, Colo.-based campground association has partnered with the Woodall’s North American Campground Directory to formally recognize qualifying parks with a “Green Friendly” icon next to their listings in the GoCampingAmerica.com and Woodalls.com travel planning websites as well as the 2011 print edition of the Woodall’s directory.
“Some parks have adopted environmentally friendly practices on their own initiative, but many are pledging to adopt green building and recycling programs with encouragement from our association,” said Linda Profaizer, president and CEO of the Larkspur, Colo.-based campground association, which currently recognizes green parks with a “Plan it Green” logo on their GoCampingAmerica.com listing. The association also holds an annual awards competition for green parks.
Profaizer said campgrounds are a natural fit for environmentally friendly initiatives, since most parks are located in scenic locations that encourage enjoyment of nature and the outdoors.
While parks that participate in the “Plan it Green” program are required to adopt a minimum of three eco-friendly practices, such as offering recycling programs for their guests, planting trees to offset carbon emissions or avoiding the use of chemicals that are harmful to the environment, parks that want to be designated “Green Friendly” through the association’s partnership with Woodall’s must have at least nine of the following 18 criteria:
• Tankless water heaters.
• Motion sensors for lighting in bathrooms and clubhouses.
• Energy efficient light bulbs.
• Non-toxic, biodegradable cleaning products.
• Water saving showerheads and/or faucets with automatic shutoff taps.
• Recycle bins for cans, paper, glass and plastic.
• Energy saving appliances.
• Eco-friendly and “Leave No Trace” tips and education for guests.
• Landscaping that uses wood chip, pebble, paved or grass paths to decrease soil erosion.
• “Reduce Water Usage” signage for guests around the park.
• One or more of the following: lighting, heaters and/or coolers with timers.
• Solar or wind power.
• Low flush toilets or waterless urinals.
• Grey water access (if allowed in state).
• On-site organic composting.
• Email confirmations rather than paper to minimize paper waste.
• Geothermal heating and cooling.
• A program for frequent tree planting.
“The list of 18 criteria may seem extensive, but several parks are already meeting most of these criteria,” Profaizer said.
For additional commentary regarding the “Plan it Green” program as well as information involving the latest trends in campgrounds and RV resorts or for leads on parks in your news coverage area, please contact Linda Profaizer at the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds at (303) 681-0401 and visit the association’s newly revised website at www.GoCampingAmerica.com.