Are you looking for ideas to get out of the house after worrying way too much about everything from the everyday stress of work to daily household chores? Finally, couples, families, solo tourists, and everyone else can pile into cars, campers, and start a road trip.
With all of the reasonably-priced souvenirs collected in small-town stores and never-ending photographs of fishing, hiking, barbecuing – not to mention all the happy recollections – there is one more souvenir we all own when returning from the journey: carbon footprint.
Of course, no person wants to think about the reality that their long-awaited annual trip harms the environment, but it does. Even though using a vehicle has negligible environmental effects compared to taking a flight, it still leaves behind some carbon footprint. It’s not only the fuel emissions — there’s all the waste that’s generated from traveling on the road for weeks.
With a bit of advanced planning, there are various ways for an extraordinary trip to be as sustainable as it is enjoyable. So let’s check out some of the eco-friendly approaches to planning a sustainable, green road trip.
However, before we do, a word of advice: make sure your comprehensive car insurance is current and ready to protect you in case of an accident, theft, or a weather event causing damage to your car (or you causing damage to someone else’s!). Then just hit the road and enjoy the serenity.
- Pack light
Weighing down the car with lots of unnecessary luggage will make its performance less efficient. For example, the vehicle will end up losing fuel efficiency, resulting in more stops than necessary at a service station. It also puts more pressure on the tires, suspension, and so on. The solution is to pack only the necessary things, which reduces fuel-based emissions and some of the effort on packing luggage.
- Use durable drinking bottles
This could appear to be a no-brainer. However, you’d be amazed to see how frequently small changes can make a big difference. Using durable/reusable bottles eliminates the purpose of stopping and buying single-use plastic bottles. Also, it’s healthier for you. Plastic water bottles left in the heat can release harmful toxins into the water. So make sure that you pack durable bottles instead of plastic ones.
- Use speed management
Make your fuel last longer by using the cruise control while on the highway, keeping a regular, constant speed. Or if you don’t have cruise control, make sure you accelerate and brake as smoothly as possible. Fewer fuel fill-ups are directly related to less harmful elements being released through emission.
- Carry reusable bags for waste disposal
As travelers, we must make sure that the surrounding environment is as unaffected as possible by our actions. One of the biggest issues created by travelers for the environment is the excessive use of non-disposable plastic bags. We can easily replace these with reusable bags, or paper bags for that matter. The waste generated throughout the journey can be easily kept in a recyclable bag (e.g. paper or compostable) then disposed of in a public bin.
These actions are small yet significant ways to reduce the carbon footprint left behind due to traveling. So make sure next time you plan for any trip, try to make it as sustainable as possible. Make a plan for the trip in advance, eat local and more raw foods with less packaging, carry fruits and nuts with yourself in washable containers, recycle and be accountable with your trash. All these will make a massive difference to the surrounding environment and beyond.