The Little River Flower Farm Airbnb is a lovely, rustic Post and Beam Cottage with pine wood interior, Eco-friendly construction and interior design. The Tiny Home has a separate bedroom with queen size bed, a kitchen and dining area and a bathroom with shower, toilet and hot water. This Airbnb has heating and air conditioning for comfort through all four seasons, it is a laptop friendly workspace and provides all the amenities for a relaxing stay.
This Airbnb is located at the Little River Flower Farm in Buxton, Maine, just 30 minutes outside the coastal city of Portland Maine and close to many of Maine’s finest breweries and restaurants. The farm grows organic vegetables, fruits and berries, and over 3 acres of perennial and annual organic cut flowers that are sold locally as well as offered as “pick your own”, perfect for weddings, parties and other special occasions.
The farm is also a sanctuary for a few chickens that are roaming freely and happily. Airbnb guests are welcome to walk the grounds and take joy in viewing the beautiful flowers and vegetables that are growing from May to October. Great hiking trails and a private path along the Little River are accessible from the Airbnb and even in the winter months snowshoeing, cross country skiing and ice skating are outdoor activities that are available in the area.
Thoughtful gifts from the heart are the best! Even better, if they are good for the environment as well! This is our top 20 gift list for the environmentally conscious and nature loving Vanlifer, who travels and/or lives in their Van! These are all items that we use on our travel in our Van, or that we wish we had when starting Van Life. We are not sponsored by any brands but chose these items entirely because of their quality and positive ratings and reviews.
This is a one of a kind camping experience! For only $49/year this Harvest Hosts membership allows for unforgettable and unique camping experiences at over 600 participating farms, breweries, wineries, museums etc. With this membership, the hosts allow for an overnight stay on their land at no additional cost while members are encouraged to drink, eat or shop at the host’s establishment before going to sleep on their property. It’s a win-win situation that provides for unique experiences, learning opportunities and social exchange that make for wonderful memories.
Please know that tents are not allowed and the members must stay in a self-contained Van, RV or Bus with an integrated toilet solution and dirt-water collection. The leave-no-trace principle is mandatory and Vans, Buses and RVs need to be pre-approved (via online-communication) for membership. We had some amazing camping experiences thanks to this wonderful program and highly recommend it!
Keeping cozy and warm can be challenging when living in a Van, especially since spending time in the great outdoors is a big part of Van Life. These naturally warming wool blankets by Pendleton are made of virgin wool, sustainably manufactured and pass strict standards of sustainability, leaving the smallest possible impact on our earth. They are soft while providing warmth and come in different colors and patterns.
There are a few rechargeable generators out there on the market and the Goal Zero Yeti has been discussed widely in the Vanlife community. We decided to get the Suaoki 444Wh portable generator because it is small and lightweight but equally powerful and is chargeable via solar panels, as well as via AC or 12V outlets. If using solar panel to charge, one has the choice of using any make or brand as long as the output voltage for the solar panel is 14-40V and the maximum input current is 10A and the maximum watts 120W. We love this power generator as it’s the perfect companion for any digital nomad off-grid situation to power laptops, charging multiple phones and cameras etc. We even bring it when working at cafes that have no outlets.
Living in a vehicle where the whole interior is subject to earthquake-like conditions on a daily basis, it is wise to eliminate breakable items as possible. These quality grade stainless steel plates by Immokaz are the perfect dishes for any adventurer. They are functional, easy to clean, super durable while being light weight, and visually pleasing. We have used them for many years and have slapped them around quite a bit and they do not have any dents whatsoever. We love their quality and that they can be recycled at the end of their life. We also recommend to add some stainless steel cups and mugs.
These nesting bowls by Cuisinart are made of stainless steel, which makes them durable and easily recyclable at the end of their lifetime. We love these bowls as they are unbreakable and we use them for pretty much anything, we even eat directly out of them when we make one pot dinners, soups, salads, stews and saucy meals. They are also great to hold our snacks during drives or at the campfire and for storage of leftover food. Since space is limited in a Van these bowls are great as they store neatly while being stacked and nested.
Reusable travel mugs are always great gift ideas! There are plenty on the market. This one is our favorite for several reasons, but mainly because of the functionality of the lid. This lid is spill-proof, splash-proof, shatter-proof and easy to close and open. It is a great design and unlike many other travel mugs it is very easy to clean as the lid does not have any nooks and crannies like the lids of other brands. It’s made by Tervis and
holds 20 oz while it fits in a standard sized cupholder, is sturdy and ideal for travel. It holds drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 8 hours. It comes in many different colors and patterns from plain silver to crazy hippie looks, so there’s one for every taste for sure. We love this mug and bring it wherever we go, even when we grab a cup of coffee or tea at Starbucks or other chains where we even get a discount for bringing our own cup! Reducing single-use paper cups and plastic trash is a good thing and helps the environment for sure!
These sheets by Whisper Organics are the coziest sheets and pillow cases I have ever slept in! Even better, they are manufactured with 100% organic cotton that is fully GOTS Certified (Global Organic Textile Standard), non-toxic and chemical-free. They are made of great quality, don’t shrink in the wash. and are durable and soft all at the same time. They come in different earth-tone colors, we love the grey version as it is visually a bit less sensitive to dust and dirt in comparison to white since van life and dirt go together like apples and piecrust!
Living in a Van includes bringing a lot of dust and dirt into the Van and living space just from getting in- and out so often, especially when spending time out in nature. This little handy broom will help to keep the Van clean. Since floorspace and storage space in a Van is usually very limited, this little broom is the perfect size, it’s small enough to be easily stored while big enough to get the job done. It can be used indoors and outdoors and easily reaches small corners and tight spaces. This brush is made by Redecker from Sorghum Rice Straw which does not absorb water and can be used for sweeping dust, dirt, wet leaves, snow or moist surface areas as well. A great handy tool for sure!
This is one of our favorite Eco-Friendly Van Life and Camping items. The system is super easy, just fill the bag with water, lay it out in the sun and wait a couple of hours for a beautiful hot shower! Nothing better than getting a nice cleansing open-air shower after a long hike, adventure or workout outdoors!
We love these little lights, they are perfect for Vanlife and great for outdoor and indoor use. These solar powered lights are a simple solution with great design. The light made by Mpowerd is inflatable and easy to store, shatterproof, waterproof and comes in different light variations from warm eggshell to bright white as well as in different colors. It is powered by the sun and charge takes about 8h of direct sunlight, it also can be charged under cloudy skies or incandescent light if needed. Once charged fully, it will stay lit for about 6-12h. We put it on our dashboard during the day and use it at night. A must have for any adventure traveler, camper or Vanlifer.
This pure-castille soap by Dr. Bronner’s is a great gift for anyone. It is made with organic ingredients and essential oils and is 100% biodegradable. It is versatile and can be used for showering, washing hair, dishes, clothes, surfaces and pretty much anything else. This one is made with organic orange, lemon and lime oils and the aroma is soothing, refreshing and invigorating all at the same time. This soap is certified organic by the USDA National Organic Program and certified Vegan by Vegan Action. The packaging is made from 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic bottles.
A great alternative to the public laundromat for those days when you need to wash a small load of clothes while traveling. This bag is lightweight and has a special inner surface that works like a washboard while using only little water. Simply fill with clothes, water and a dash of biodegradable soap, close, and deflate the bag, then rub clothes against the washboard for 30 seconds to 3 minutes. A great way to wash your clothes on the go without the use of electricity while saving water!
Super light, easy to store and versatile in use. These little reusable food-storage bags are a great alternative to single-use plastic ziplocs or other plastic bags. They are durable, easily washable and perfectly cut for a standard-sized sandwich. We use them almost every day to bring food on our adventures and fill them with fruit, nuts, trailmix, veggie sticks, bread, cookies and other snacks.
Reusable water bottles are a must have in any household, but especially in the Eco-Friendly Van-Home. There are plenty of different brands out there of course, however, we have come to love this 20 oz bottle in particular due to its great quality. It holds beverages cold for 12h and hot liquids stay hot for up to 10 hours. We especially love this eco-friendly brand for their philosophy and sustainability and because for every item sold, Tree Tribe is planting 10 new trees. Yes that’s right, not just 1 tree, but 10 trees! What a wonderful concept! Of course the bottles are made of high quality food-grade stainless steel with a silicone/bamboo lid which is a leak-proof construction. The bottle comes with a lifetime warranty, if it ever would break it will be replaced by Tree Tribe at no cost! Check out their site for more colors and designs and other eco-friendly gear.
These Dude Wipes are definitely not just for dudes! These wipes are awesome, 100% biodegradable, unscented, gentle with naturally soothing aloe vera and vitamin E to protect sensitive skin. Great to stay clean during travel, when using public toilets or even when using a portable camping toilet. These wipes are septic and sewer safe, flushable or even better to be disposed in a biodegradable garbage bag.
This is a fantastic way for any female adventurer to pee out in the wild with more comfort. It is also a handy tool that allows the female person to easily pee into a bottle during those desperate nights when parking somewhere in a city without having a bathroom available. This practical little funnel made by GoGirl is super elastic and soft to the touch which makes it comfortable to use for any body shape and form and is designed with a splash-guard that makes it easy to prevent splashes or spills. It is reusable, made of silicone and is 100% latex free, moisture resistant, antimicrobial and made in the USA. It folds into a small tube or bag and is a great companion for any trip or adventure!
Van Life includes spending a lot of time outdoors and sun protection is a must to keep our skin healthy!
This mineral sunscreen by Alba Botanica is made with botanical ingredients like ginkgo biloba leaf extract and aloe leaf juice, is coral reef friendly and biodegradable, 100% vegetarian ingredients without any oxybenzone, octinoxate or synthetic fragrances, made without animal testing. It provides broad spectrum sun protection, is water resistant for up to 80 minutes and is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. We love that it does not leave any trace on the face, is non-greasy, moisturizing and fragrance free.
Such a great concept: out of old wetsuits make new yoga mats! This one is the smaller form and can be used as a floor mat, meditation mat, door mat, changing floor mat or just to sit on the beach or in the grass and enjoy the views! The company SUGA makes these beautiful yoga and floor mats in the USA entirely from recycled material. They come in standard yoga mat size and thickness, and also in travel size and floor mat size. Several recycling centers are spread across California and British Columbia where you can bring your old wetsuits. A great idea that we like to support!
This Atlas includes updated road maps of all 50 US States, Canada, and Mexico. But wait, there is more!
This road atlas includes details for America’s 24 most favorite National Parks and 100 top adventure destinations. A great road atlas for the adventure seeker, off-roader and Vanlifer alike.
Although printed paper is not the most eco-friendly option, we did include this item on our list because of its great value, plus it supports the National Geographic organization which in itself is helping the environment through education and financial support of different environmental projects.
This pass is the annual ticket for access to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites including our beautiful National Parks, National Monuments, National Recreation Areas, Bureau of Land Management, National Forests etc. The pass also gives discounted access to participating campgrounds including US Army Corps of Engineers etc. A must have for any National Park and National Monument Lover! The annual pass costs $80 and will provide access for everyone driving/riding in the same vehicle.
Other Great Van Life Gift Ideas
A Membership for Pilot Travel Center aka Flying J. This is a great gift as this membership gives access to savings on gas and travel center purchases, as well as clean hot showers, laundry, refillable and discounted coffee and even urgent care on the road
A Membership to Boondockers Welcome, a worldwide program that allows Vanlifers and RVers to sleep overnight on private property of participating hosts which is especially great for those Cities and States where living in a vehicle is not quite legal or where overnight parking options are limited
Local Roots NYC is a sustainable farm-to-table service who provides farm-fresh organic food to New York City residents. Customers can order online and pick either a one-time order or sign-up for a weekly subscription and add-on options and then either pick it up at a central location or get it delivered to their home.
The company works with local NYC area farmers who are beyond organic, use regenerative farming practices that protect soil, water, and surrounding ecosystems and provide humane care to their animals who are able to roam and live a hormone- and antibiotic free life.
By choosing a sustainable and local farm-to-table service, clients of Local Roots NYC participate in sustainable living practices by buying food with minimal packaging providing less waste, reducing carbon footprint due to short mileage for food transport, and providing family farms the long-term commitment they need to invest in regenerative methods.The food is harvested at peak-flavor just hours before delivery ensuring the freshest products with maximal nutritional value. The concept is similar to a NYC CSA share or farmer’s market delivery service but with more product options to choose from. Local Roots NYC also provides its customers with weekly recipes according to the weekly produce and seasonal products that the clients are getting.
Local Roots NYC Founder and Director Wen-Jay Ying has worked in the field of agriculture and sustainability for many years before starting Local Roots NYC at the age of 26. She was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by Mayor Bloomberg for neighborhood development through her work at Local Roots NYC.
We were honored to be invited to interview Wen-Jay Ying and learn from her about the Local Roots NYC program and services, sustainable agriculture and sustainable living.
Omega Institute for Holistic Studies is a non-profit educational, retreat center located in Rhinebeck, New York and houses the Omega Center for Sustainable Living. We had the honor to visit the Omega campus and speak to Chrissa Santoro, the Director of External Communications and talk about the many eco-friendly initiatives and holistic programs that Omega offers.
The interview was held at The Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL) which was opened in 2009 and was the first building ever to achieve both LEED® Platinum and Living Building Challenge™ certification—the highest environmental performance standards available.
The OCSL is an environmental education center and hosts a greenhouse and state-of-the art Eco-Machine™, a natural water reclamation facility that has reclaimed 45M gallons of wastewater during the last 10 years since it was opened. The Eco-Machine™ uses plants, bacteria, algae, snails, and fungi to turn Omega’s wastewater into clean water which is then used to restore the aquifer.
The majority of the building is built with reclaimed wood, and a small amount of the wood is sourced from FSC Certified Forests. The building uses geothermal technology for heating and cooling and utilizes 211 solar panels to generate 134.2 kw/day.
The center is designed to generate more electricity than it uses and in the last 10 years it saved a total of 867K pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.
Omega’s campus has numerous additional eco-friendly initiatives to prevent waste and reduce its environmental impact that range from recycling, composting, conservation of resources, supporting sustainable agriculture and local businesses by offering farm-to-table meals that are locally sourced and mostly organically grown and powering 100% of campus electricity through the purchase of wind and solar power.
Besides the OCSL, Omega provides over 350 educational workshops and events annually that range from: body, mind, and spirit to creative expression, to leadership and work, health and healing, relationships and family, and sustainable living. Omega’s commitment to creating a climate for positive change extends beyond workshops and R&R retreats, through other key initiatives and programs including the Omega Women’s Leadership Center, work with Veterans that offers programs and scholarships for Veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries, Yoga Service which brings yoga practice to underserved populations such as prisons, senior homes, and schools with at-risk youth, as well as programs that bring mindfulness practice to educational institutions and healthcare providers.
To learn more about the Omega Institute of Holistic Studies and the Omega Center for Sustainable Living please visit their website: https://www.eomega.org