In this post in the Van Life Q&A, a user asks:
What to do with trash?
Are you compacting it? And thinking about how you toss it in the bag vs just tossing it in and letting it take up more volume than it needs to, like most people are used to?
Also look at the packaging before buying stuff. Ex, a plastic milk bottle takes up more space than the paper kind, both in a small fridge and when compacted because it doesn’t fold flat so it creates a bunch of air space in the bag that’s wasted space.
Burning paper products is one thing (although burning anything that is printed and waxed or otherwise coated isn’t great either) but burning/melting plastics or styrofoam for example isn’t something most of us want happening, especially on public lands.
Have a bit of an open mind and read this and the pages linked at the bottom.
While lots of people do burn stuff, that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing and harmless.
Or legal in many places. Its just hard to enforce.
Burning trash puts it into the air, disperses it and then it travels all over to land on whatever and further spreads with rain.
Burning fields, brush, wood, etc is one thing compared to trash.
It’s this kind of stuff happening on public lands that contributes to the negative opinions toward groups like van dwellers. “They’re dirty, they leave trash, they don’t care about the environment, they don’t follow the laws” etc.
I’m not meaning this as a lecture, but hoping you’ll consider the why behind these comments and downvotes and realize how just because we are used to doing something doesn’t mean it’s good or harmless and that there isn’t a better way.