As the unofficial start of the summer season begins Memorial Day weekend, it is likely you have already begun making plans for family vacations and summer travel. The days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are generally considered to be some of the busiest travel days of the year. Kids are off from school, parents and other adults are anxious to take some well-deserved time off and even though gas prices are once again on the rise (at least here in California), a little rest and relaxation is high of most people’s list of priorities.
Highways and roads can get congested, but planning ahead can help make your summer travels less stressful and more biofriendly. No need to cause unnecessary harm to the environment, particularly when you can lower your vehicle emissions, lessen your environmental impact and save some of your hard-earned “green” by taking a few simple steps.
Traveling by car? Be sure to perform routine maintenance before you go.
Conducting vehicle maintenance on a routine basis can help prevent breakdowns and other vehicle-related problems on the road. Routine maintenance has been known to improve gas mileage by as much as 40 percent, according to fueleconomy.gov. Making sure your tires are properly inflated is another key way to improve gas mileage, as gas mileage is lowered 0.3% percent for every one psi drop in pressure. Using the manufacturer-recommended grade of motor oil, replacing clogged filters and topping off fluids can help lower emissions and improve overall vehicle performance. Even electric and hybrid vehicles can benefit from basic maintenance.
When traveling long distances, opt for greener methods of transportation.
No matter where your summer travels take you, we recommend you opt for greener methods of transportation. Take a CNG-powered bus, use the metro, take a train, or find an airline that is using biofuels and implementing other green initiatives. You can also leave your gas-guzzling vehicle at home and rent an electric or hybrid vehicle instead.
Give your vehicle the eco-boost it needs by using a proven liquid fuel enhancer.
If your travels do not involve one of the aforementioned green methods of transportation, you can give your vehicle an eco-boost by using a proven liquid fuel enhancer, like Biofriendly Corporation’s Green Plus® for gasoline or diesel. Rigorous testing in government-certified labs has shown that with an average gasoline usage of 10 to 15 gallons a week, Green Plus is proven to:
- Reduce emissions by as much as 45%,
- Improve engine power by up to 11%, and
- Increase fuel economy by around 9%.
Green Plus for diesel is proven to reduce diesel emissions by up to 53%, improve engine power by as much as 11%, and increase fuel economy by 6%.
Pack smart by packing light.
How much luggage you bring will have an impact on your environmental footprint. You can be more biofriendly by packing light. If you do not need an item, do not bring it. This does not mean forgo necessities, simply be smart about what you pack. If you do your packing ahead of time, you will be less likely to over pack.
Research hotels ahead time to find the greenest hotel near your intended destination.
While many hotels are anxious to tout their green and environmental initiatives, not all hotels may be as biofriendly as they would like to you to believe. Green hotels will have many of the following characteristics and qualities:
- The use of renewable energy sources
- Low energy-consumption through eco-friendly lighting, automatic timers, programmable thermostats, and more
- Employs the use of sustainably-sourced, recycled or organic materials
- Systems in place for recycling, composting and minimizing waste
- Opts for organic, locally-grown foods and may even have its own vegetable or herb garden
- Eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaning and laundry materials
- Water-saving toilets, reuses grey water and enforces water-conservation
- Drought-resistant and native plants throughout the property
- Vehicle-charging stations, bicycle parking, bicycle rental, electric or hybrid shuttle services to encourage the use of green transportation
- Located in a city with a high walkability score
If you can’t find a green hotel, how about going camping instead? As long as you leave no trace you were there, camping can be an extremely enjoyable and biofriendly, summer activity.
Make and/or bring your own healthy snacks.
You can save a lot of green, and maintain a healthy diet, by opting to make and bring your own non-GMO, organic, good-for-you snacks. Rather than stocking up on junk food or eating out while en route to your intended destination, bring the food and snacks you and your family love most. Remember to use reusable containers too!
Plan your route ahead of time and program it into your GPS.
Those of you who have a GPS in your vehicle can save a lot of time, money, heartache and stress if you plan your route ahead of time and program it into your GPS. Most systems will have alerts letting you know where you can expect traffic to get bad, as a result of an accident, road closure or other incident. Avoiding these areas, by making an unscheduled stop or choosing a different route, can cut down on idle time. This means your vehicle will spend less time spewing harmful emissions into the air. It will also save on gas and money.
Wherever your plans and travels may take you this summer, these tips can help make your trip a biofriendly one!
Summer road image by Antoine Gady via Flickr Creative Commons license.