It's time to pack your car, gather a few friends, put your favorite tunes on and road trip to your favorite summer destinations. Whether you're visiting national parks, checking out foodie destinations or looking for the most scenic routes in the U.S., road trips provide you with flexibility and affordability, and leave lots of room for adventure and spontaneity.
If you're looking for a green way to travel this summer, road trips are considered less harmful for the environment compared to flying to your destination. Below are tips to ensure your summer road trip is eco-friendly and sustainable.
If you're renting a vehicle or have a few vehicle options to choose from among you and your friends, choose the hybrid. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a hybrid electric vehicle reduces your emissions by up to 51%, making it the most efficient vehicle option for your road trip.
Take it a step further and choose a rental car company based on their carbon offset program. Certain companies will even match your offset purchase dollar for dollar, keeping your conscience clear on the road.
Keep Up With Car Maintenance
Replace your car's air filter, get your oil changed and consider replacing your tires to avoid higher costs and unnecessary discomfort on the road.
If you're curious, calculate your car's carbon footprint before hitting the road.
Plan an Efficient Route
Before getting on the road, plot your route ahead of time to find the quickest and most efficient path. Avoiding the temptation to just hop in your car and drive will save you time, fuel money and reduce your carbon footprint. Use a road trip planner to schedule your stops, discover attractions and book accommodations, in addition to finding the most efficient route.
While traveling between destinations, utilize your cruise control feature. It will use your car's gas more efficiently by giving you better control over your speed. Avoid accelerating and decelerating as much as possible.
Choose Snacks Wisely
If you purchase locally grown and organic produce and products at home, why should that change while you're on the road? Pack your non-perishable items such as trail mix, granola, peanut butter, protein bars and crackers from home in reusable containers that you can refill along the way from grocery stores or super markets.
If you normally shop at your local farmers' market, discover local markets while you're on the road. Not only will it be fun experiencing local food from new regions across the U.S., you'll make sustainable and healthy choices for you and the environment.
When you're looking to eat at a cafe or restaurant, find locations that provide free-range, gluten-free, grass-fed, drug-free, local, organic, sustainable and/or vegan- and vegetarian-friendly options to indulge in.