About Us: Our Ethical Beliefs

Everything we do has an ethical impact. But that doesn’t mean the impact has to be negative!

To us, being ethical means being both environmentally and socially conscious. It means always making decisions with our planet, and other people in mind.

“Sustainability” is often bandied around nowadays. However, sustaining something means keeping it the same. And at Vandercamp Adventures, we don’t just want things to stay the same… we want to help make them better!

Boycotting Amazon

We don’t buy from Amazon, have an affiliate programme with them, or advertise any products from their website. Amazon is about as far as you can get from being an ethical company! We’ve boycotted them because:

*Although we both have a Kindle, we use other websites to buy and borrow books.

  • Despite pledges from Amazon to reduce its environmental impact, a 2020 report disclosed that Amazon’s carbon footprint was 15% higher than the previous year. Read more here.
  • Amazon throws away millions of unwanted products. In just ONE factory in the UK, 130,000 items (including TVs, laptops, playstations) were labelled “destroy” in a single week. Find out more.
  • Jeff Bezos has recently pledged $10 billion to tackle global climate change, but Amazon’s own carbon footprint continues to climb. Also, Bezos’ net worth is $209 billion, and his personal fortune increased by $86 billion during the Pandemic (since January 2020), so $10 billion isn’t a big deal to him.

Companies We Use/Support For Tools

  • Screwfix: Although a large company, they are committed to creating a sustainable future. Additionally, in 2013 they set up the Screwfix Foundation, funding national and local projects to improve properties and community facilities for those most in need in the UK.
  • Toolstation: Tool station, like Screwfix, is a national company with hundred of stores around the UK. But they work in partnership with charities including Macmillion Cancer Support and Youth Build, a charity that promotes engagement with young people to combat social exclusion.
  • Toolstop: Toolstop has grown from a single store, which opened in the 60’s. But, despite now being a larger company their mission statement is still the same as it was back then: to serve their customers better than anyone else can.

Although Toolstop don’t have an environmental mission statement, buying from independent retailers is socially more ethical than buying from giants!

Companies We Use/Support For Camper Essentials

  • Jackson Leisure: Jackson Leisure is an independent camping supplies business. Their mission statement is to bring their customers the best service and product support available.
  • Leisure Shop Direct: Leisure Shop Direct is another independent campervan and motorhome supplies business, run by a team of avid caravanners and motor home owners. This team brings its customers expert advice on all your campervan and caravanning needs.
  • Propex: Propex Leisure Supplies have been specialist suppliers to the caravan and motorhome industry for over 25 years. We used them for our campervan heating system and their customer support was second to none!

Buy Second Hand

Whenever possible, we rescue and use free stuff, that would otherwise be thrown away. Alternatively, we buy or aquire things second hand, in charity shops, on Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace.

We feel it’s far more environmentally ethical to use what’s already around, rather than buying new. The majority of stuff in Vandercamp was either rescued, gifted to us or bought second hand.

Although this sometimes means we’ve not used the most “eco-friendly products” in our van build, we’ve saved a lot of stuff from going to landfills.

Buy From Independent/Responsible Companies

When we buy something new, we use independent companies and businesses with an open policy about their sustainability goals and their steps to achieve them. 

Our Vegan Lifestyle

Nemi has been vegan for 8 years, and Jolly for 2.

Some of the reasons we’re vegan:

  • The animals! As far as we’re concerned, you can’t claim to love animals and then eat them, or eat/use anything that comes from them.
  • Combatting world hunger: 36% of the calories from crops are used to feed animals (that will then be eaten or used for food) rather than feed humans. Read more here.

But we know that just being vegan isn’t an environmental carte blanche!

We Also Avoid

  • Products in plastic packaging
  • Fruit and veg flown in from other countries
  • Products containing palm oil. However, on occasion we’ll buy something with palm oil, but we only buy sustainable palm. But “Sustainable” palm also has its issues! Some RSPO certified companies are actually at the forefront of deforestation. On the other hand, completely boycotting palm oil isn’t the answer, as palm has such a high yield that it’s very efficient land use.

Read more about palm oil here.

Palm oil is a total minefield, due to a lack of transparency. Here’s a great post about the pros and cons of palm oil.

  • Relying on supermarkets. Once a month, we stock up on canned goods from supermarkets. We then (wherever we can) use zero-waste shops for dry goods, beans and lentils. We then use independent groceries or markets for our weekly fresh stuff.

Leave It Better

Many vanlifers adopt the “Leave No Trace” mantra while camping. However, we prefer to Leave It Better. Rather than just making sure that we don’t leave litter, we take other people’s too.

When we arrive at a park up for the night, we spend 5-10 mins picking up anything that’s already there, and when we’re out walking we take a compostable bag to rescue any trash we find along the way.

What We’ll Do In The Future

There are still a million different ways we live a more ethical lifestyle. Our goals for the next few months include:

  • Finding a carbon offset company that really invests in positive change for our world (and doesn’t just squander the money!)
  • Our website host isn’t open about its environmental impact, so once our subscription has ended, we’ll be looking to change to a more environmentally friendly provider.

How you can help:

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Find out more about us