Philippa, can you tell us more about the concept of Parkup Pickup? Is it a long term project or is it only linked with Plastic Free July?
How many people are involved with Parkup Pickup at the moment and what is your ambition with the movement?
We have only just launched the ParkupPickup initiative this week so it is still small, but growing fast. It’s just myself doing the marketing with advice from my husband, Callum, who is a freelance digital marketer. With over 150 interactions since yesterday, including #keepbritaintidy & truck drivers, I’m hoping it will grow rapidly within the vanlife & motorhoming community and with it, the reputation that those of us who live full time in a vehicle keep places tidy.
What has been your experience with litter as campers, motorhomers, RVers and vanlifers?
As with every community, there are people who think about others and those who only think of themselves. Unfortunately, littering affects us all and the nature that we love so much. I can’t get my head around why anyone would think it is acceptable to leave their used toilet paper, cigarette ends or any other rubbish anywhere else but in a bin. There are even those who empty their toilet cassettes in bushes and at the side of the road. Can you imagine that?! Hopefully this campaign will help people find a sense of pride in the areas they use which in turn will encourage them to keep those places clean.
Where are you based at the moment? How did COVID-19 influence your choice of holiday destinations?
We are currently pet sitting in Belgium, including 2 dogs & 3 cats so your biodegradable dog poo bags are important to us. We spent 9 weeks of lockdown in Spain then another 4 at a friend’s house in northern France. Coronavirus has changed a lot of things for us; it meant that we moved into a studio flat in Spain, instead of living in the motorhome. We have to keep an eye on reports of outbreaks and second waves as we plan our next moves and obviously the different rules for masks & movements as we go through different countries.
Staying in a van can be logistically difficult, which is why many resort to single-use plastic cutlery, cups etc. What is your approach?
I was already involved in our local zero waste community in Jersey before we went travelling. Part of our daily lives was trying to live sustainably; thinking about what we use, how we use it and if we really need it. A large part of that was reducing our use of single-use plastics. Moving into the motorhome just highlighted how little we actually need to live happily. Nearly everything that we own fits in the motorhome, apart from a few boxes stored at my in-laws. One of the most important roles I have is in the kitchen. Home cooking and your choice of kitchen resources are a really easy way of reducing your waste. We use wax wraps, bamboo plates & cups, lots of tubs & jars for storage of leftovers, we take reusable cutlery & water bottles out with us when we are sightseeing or hiking. We have 2 e-bikes which have been one of our best purchases. I keep cotton shopping bags & net vegetable bags for when we need groceries & I waste nothing! No food is thrown out. I put recipes and tips on my Instagram @philyabelly
What was your experience with the accessibility of litter bags in the holiday parks?
We don’t really use ‘holiday parks’ but at campsites & camper stops it is important to note who recycles what as that changes depending on which country you are in, even which district/area within the same country. It’s our rubbish and it’s up to us to dispose of it responsibly.
Would you say that campers are actively encouraged to maintain the cleanliness of the site or is it omitted?