open road

Greening Your Road Trip: 5 Tips to Make Road Travel More Sustainable

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I love to plan road trips. However, since the birth of my son, who is an asthmatic patient, I have not been on a road trip, mostly because his allergies are at peak in summers. The increasing carbon emissions and various forms of pollution further intensify the issue. 

I, therefore, decided to take a road trip during the winter when his allergies are relatively low. However, the problem of pollution remained. On that day, I added a new goal to my road trips to make them green. In this way, I was able to take my son on a road trip while also playing my part as a responsible citizen. 

I started by using biodegradable products, practiced staying in a slow lane for fewer emissions, and wore clothes 2-3 times before washing for water-saving. These few small acts of being green gave me inner satisfaction and peace. 

Then I finally decided to plan a completely green road trip with friends, and it turned out successful. From that day, I’ve been advising everyone to go green on road trips. Here are a few tips that can help make your road trips more sustainable: 

1. Stick to Reusable 

Though it may sound difficult, it is not impossible. Sticking to reusable products is not just cost-efficient, but it cuts down your waste drastically. It will also reduce the number of items you need to pack. You do, however, need to plan ahead. If you do so, you will be able to shop accordingly. Here is a list of some must-have reusable items for a road trip: 

  • Reusable Coffee/Tea Mugs 

Buy some reusable coffee mugs so every person can have at least one mug. No need to take extra mugs as you are going green, so cutting down waste is imperative. These mugs will also save you money at gas stations. Many gas stations let you save on the coffee bill if you have your own mug. 

  • Reusable Steel Food Container 

Unless you are camping, you are likely going to eat out often on a road trip. Instead of taking your food in a food container offered by the restaurant, take your reusable container with you. This is not only good for you, but it lets others see a good way of cutting waste. 

  • Reusable Grocery Bags and Utensils 

Reusable grocery bags may not be a new idea but still, keep it in mind when you’re traveling. Similarly, go for reusable utensils like a bamboo or steel fork, spoon, chopsticks, and even straws. 

2. Go for a Refillable Propane Tank 

If your plan is to camp out while on your road trip, do not make a mistake by opting for gas-filled canisters. Though they are reusable, you can only cook for a day or two with them. Propane Tanks, along with a Coleman stove, is a more eco-friendly option. 

Be sure to buy an adapter hose as well. It won’t cost much, and you will be able to connect the stove directly with the tank. In comparison to the disposable canisters, you will find filling these tanks cheaper and more convenient. Classic Propane, LX 2 Burner Eureka Spire, and Chef Everest are some good options in the latest Coleman stoves. 

3. Buy Biodegradable Soaps

Once you have enjoyed your meals, the next task is to wash your dishes and to do so using a good biodegradable soap. Never allow your dishes to stay dirty. You could end up with a big mess along with a stinky smell in your car if the dishes were to fall while driving. You could also attract unwanted insects. Cleaning your car will take additional time you probably don’t want to spend. So, wash the dishes right away.

Be sure you have a reusable washbasin too. You could also use reusable storage boxes for washing the dishes. Never rinse your dishes directly in seawater though. Doing so can cause serious harm to the marine environment. After you wash your dishes, pour the water in an already dug hole. If you do not have one, don’t throw the water near any waterways. Dump it at least 200 feet away. 

The same holds true for washing yourself. Use biodegradable soaps, minimize water usage and be sure not to dump your grey water near any waterways.

4. Recycle 

Don’t stop recycling just because you are on a road trip. In most areas, you can easily search online to find a nearby recycling spot.

If you find it difficult to get to a recycle spot every day, keep your recyclable items with you to drop off on alternate days. If you cannot find any recycling locations nearby, do not throw your items away, bring your recyclables home with you to recycle as you normally would. All food waste and other trash should also be removed from your camping or rest spot.

Keep a few additional things in mind when you are planning to recycle on your road trip: 

  • Put the cap back on all bottles
  • Rinse the goods with water ahead of time
  • Plan your trip with just recycled goods 

5. Follow the Ethics of Road Camping 

Even if you are following all the above tips, the ethics of road camping are essential. Be sure you leave no trace anywhere. We often have no clue how our leftover things can damage the environment, as well as the animals who may call the area home. Therefore, knowing some key rules of road camping and outdoor ethics is essential. Some of them include: 

  • Refrain from building campfires outside the ring. Also, the space from any waterway should at least be 50 feet. 
  • Do not leave any trash. Even a single apple core can adversely affect our environment. If you find some trash already thrown by others, pick it up right away. Save the earth!
  • Be diligent and careful with everything; even a dog poop cannot be left. 
  • Leave what you find.
  • Respect wildlife.

Most importantly, make sure you are camping in the right place. The place should be specifically designated for camping. If you choose to go camping in the wild, maybe to save the budget, backpack in to your location. Don’t use a vehicle.

Wrapping It Up 

In short, keeping your road trip sustainable is not difficult. However, a proper plan is imperative to stay green. Make sure to fill your bag with all reusable items. Consider a propane tank for cooking and never compromise on recycling. Lastly, following all outdoor ethics is essential to make your green road trip a big success!

Author Bio: Myrah Abrar is a computer science graduate with a passion for web development and digital marketing. She writes eco-friendly blog articles for Carpet Cleaning.

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