Roaming Green Update08 Aug 2010, by Uncategorized in
Here is a little Roam Green update on the trip so far. As expected, our little Puntos have been performing admirably in the efficiency department. After strapping some skid plates to them in Serbia, they sound like little race cars, but we have been getting between 36 and 50 mpg depending the conditions. With just over 3200 miles now traveled, we are averaging 42 mpg for the whole trip in each car! That is 76 gallons of gas consumed per car, about 8 fill ups so far. A few things we could do to improve our efficiency: carry less weight, and drive slower. Unfortunately these are pretty necessary evils on the rally. We have to carry our camping equipment and the pace of the rally is pushing our speed. Although, on all of these roads if we slowed down (and actually went the speed limit), we’d be by far the slowest vehicle on the road… other than horse carts. Thanks to TerraPass, the emissions we do have are offset by carbon reducing programs and research that they fund.
We have also been using the SteriPen UV purifier to fill up our water bottles whenever possible. However with the heat we are all consuming more water, and just keeping it cold is challenging. So we are trying to re-fill our bottles with the bottled water when we need to and leaving the waste plastic bottles at the point of purchase for better disposal or recycling than wherever we end up camping for the night.
Now for the bad news: Turkey was pretty dirty. Many European cities are polluted, but Istanbul was the haziest we’ve seen. After crossing the border into Turkey we saw fields of something being burned, and across the whole countryside we saw burning of garbage at landfills. Just A Steppe Away even saw garbage being pushed into the Black Sea! Seeing this kind of environmental destruction along the way is disheartening. Hopefully Turkey will realize the value of its natural beauty to preserve for its future citizens and travelers.