Time to hit the road and drive to your next getaway? Road trips are a long, but fun and inexpensive way to hit up a favorite destination. But before you pack and jump in your car to head off, think about ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint and adopt some eco-friendly ideas into your journey.
You don’t have to drive an electric or hybrid car or make huge sacrifices to be eco-friendly.
How To Make Your Road Trip More Eco-friendly
Go easy on the packing
The first step to having a more eco-friendly road trip is ensuring your car is filled with people, not luggage. Before you even leave, make sure you plan out what you’re going to pack and avoid tempting but wasteful extras. Weighing your car down can actually make your vehicle less fuel-efficient. Store your luggage in your car rather than on the roof, as storing it on your roof can reduce fuel efficiency by up to 25%. If you are traveling with a bigger group of people, opt to take a larger car that can fit more people rather than taking two cars. Get more ideas on here.
Before you hit the road
Have you checked that everything at home is turned off, unplugged, and not left on standby? It can be little things, like leaving your television on standby or appliances plugged into the wall. Ensuring you’ve checked everything at home will ensure that you’re being eco-friendly even when you’re not at home.
Pack your own reusable items
Reusable containers, bags, and bottles are a bit more of an upfront investment, but they’re worth it. If you’re eating out during your road trip and have containers, you can even ask the workers to store it in your reusable container rather than the plastic or Styrofoam boxes that are usually provided. You should also bring your own reusable shopping bags for any shopping pit stops you make, which we all know often happens during a road trip!
Biodegradable coffee pods
Depending on how long your road trip is, you may find yourself staying in multiple hotels or motels. Most accommodations now provide coffee pod machines, but of course, the majority of these use aluminum pods, which take around 500 years to break down in landfills. Bring along some biodegradable coffee pods instead, that only take two years to break down. An excellent option for this is Urban Brew Coffee Pods, which are compatible with Nespresso, Caffitaly, and K-Fee coffee pod machines. Nespresso Compatible pods are perfect for this.
Choose where you eat carefully
After spending a long time in the car, you’ll probably want to sit down for a nice meal. When deciding where to dine, opt-out of stopping at fast-food chains that have a tremendous carbon footprint. Try looking for a small, local restaurant and eat in rather than taking away. You won’t want to use paper/plastic plates and cutlery, so be sure to find a restaurant that only uses real plates and cutlery. You could even prepare your own meals at home before heading off on your trip and store them in a cooler bag.
Find the fastest route
Of course, the road trip itself can be fun, but it’s not fun when you’re lost, or you’re adding extra time onto your trip. Be sure to figure out the fastest route before hitting the road and use a map or GPS system on your journey. This is obvious, but the shorter distance you drive, the less fuel and harmful emissions you will produce.
Open up the windows
Most road trips happen in summer, right? You’ll probably want to reach for the air conditioner button, but you should try to avoid it and instead park in the shade and wind down the windows to stay cool. If you are road tripping in winter, be sure to stay rugged up and avoid using the heating unless you absolutely need to.
Use your legs
You don’t need to spend your whole road trip in the car. If there’s a place you want to explore, park further away from it and turn it into a hike to get there. This is not only better for the environment, but it’s great to get out the car, stretch and breathe in fresh again – and your legs and you may even end up finding some hidden gems that you would have missed if you were in the car!