Heading out on the road where adventure awaits? It’s great to get away in the summertime, but it’s not exactly so great to feel like you have to throw your eco-conscious lifestyle out the window just to have some fun away from home.
Believe it or not, there are lots of little things you can do to make your trip as eco-friendly as possible. It may take a little extra time and planning, but if you’re someone who genuinely loves and respects the planet as much as the next yogi, then it’s definitely worth it.
Here are a few things to consider thinking about before heading out on your next summer adventure.
Get a tune-up. A road trip is a good excuse to do some much needed maintenance on your car. Dirty air filters and tires that could use some extra air will make all the difference.
Pack light. When it comes to loading up your car with lots of heavy luggage, gear, and equipment, weight definitely matters. Even an extra 20 pounds can be enough to affect fuel efficiency.
Plan your route. You may be spending a lot of time on the road, but you can cut that time down just by picking the quickest route, planning for traffic or construction, and identifying good pitstop locations ahead of time before you need them.
Being in Nature
Forget the gadgets. Camping, cottaging, and other summer trips give you the opportunity to enjoy nature as much as possible. If you absolutely must bring your smartphone for emergency reasons, keep it turned off as often as possible when you don’t need it.
Be mindful of your campfire. We all have to abide by the rules when there are fire bans or restrictions. If it’s A-OK to start a fire, make sure to keep it contained in a pit away from other objects and avoid throwing anything manmade in there to burn it.
Use biodegradable products. Whether you’re rinsing dishes or washing yourself off in the lake, make sure you choose eco-friendly soaps and other liquid products that are ideally unscented and labeled as biodegradable to avoid putting chemicals into the environment.
Buy local. Rather than lugging along all your food and all of its wasteful packaging, plan to check out the local farmers market or grocery stores when you arrive at your destination. You’ll get fresh farm produce and other food products that are ready to eat.
Bring reusable dishes. It’s always tempting to use paper plates and cutlery when traveling anywhere especially where there isn’t a sink or dishwasher, but the big downside is a lot of extra waste. Instead, invest in some eco-friendly picnic gear that you can use over and over again.
Create a meal plan. Avoid wasting food (and money) by taking the extra time to plan what you’re going to eat for all your meals, whether you’re cooking for yourself or eating out. Bring along some healthy snacks like homemade trail mix or fresh fruit to have in between meals.
If you can take the time to stop, breathe, and just be present when you’re out in nature (or simply doing anything at all on your trip), you’ll be instantly reminded why it’s so important to stick to the above tips. Going green is as easy as increasing your awareness of your connection with the environment around you.