Green Tips for Summer Road Trips

road-trip-signAre you one of the estimated 41.9 million Americans who will travel 50 miles or more this summer? Are you on your way to that family reunion or summer wedding? Do you need a short vacation without all the hassle? Then a road trip is probably on your to-do list. Despite the low costs of fuel this summer, you road trip adventure can be even more eco friendly and less stressful if you consider the following tips.

Is your car road ready? Have you tuned the car recently or are you planning to rent another vehicle? Whatever choice you make, be sure that tires are properly inflated and air filters are clean to maximize fuel efficiency. Websites like this one can help you estimate the costs for that road trip.

How will you get there? Route planning is essential to a successful and stress-free trip. Choose the fastest route to your destination and account for rush hour traffic which adds more time to your trip and wastes fuel contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. If you’re using an alternative fuel car, be sure to locate and account for time at charging stations.

Pack efficiently
Do you really need those four pairs of shoes? Before you pack the car, be sure to eliminate anything you won’t need on your trip. Extra weight decreases the car’s fuel efficiency and roof racks, though useful, reduces the car’s aerodynamics.

Drive smart
Your driving technique can make a big difference so be sure to stick to the speed limit and use your car’s cruise control feature. Both of these will help you use gas more efficiently and reduce stress.

App the ante
Use your digital technology options to help you find restaurants, reasonable gas prices, music, and capture memories. Apps like TripIt, Along the Way, Gasbuddy, Spotify, and AAA Mobile will make managing your road trip pretty easy. Don’t forget to download a weather app too!

Smart snacks
Eating healthy on the go is always a challenge but since you’re traveling by car, it’s easy to pack a cooler with a variety of options. Water, juice, fruits and vegetables are easily stored in a cooler and when combined with pre-packed snacks like nuts and trail mix, it’s easy to stay on track. Check out these Extension resources for examples.

Entertainment
Digital entertainment is sustainable and when complemented with recycled paper and crayons will help to reduce your impact on the environment and de-clutter your cramped travelling space.

So if you’re one of the many millions planning a road trip, travel safely and remember it’s easy to be green.

Resources:

American Automobile Association (AAA)

Healthy Snacking