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Road Trip

June 9, 2011

By Jennifer Chaky

It’s Road trip season! I’m a greenie, but I do love my road trips. Here’s how I keep my travels as eco-friendly as possible:

1. Take the most fuel-efficient vehicle available, and pack it full of passengers (maybe even rent an electric or hybrid car if you don’t own one. You can even save money factoring in the gas savings.) Make sure those tires are inflated properly and drive prudently to save on fuel. And never idle when stopped for more than 3 minutes!

2. Use those baby shades to keep the car cool for everyone (they aren’t just for babies!)

3. Pack a cooler with ice and large bottles filled with tap water. Bring along a filter pitcher or filtered water bottle to fill up from water fountains in rest stops along the way.

4. Prepare your own convenience foods instead of buying overly packaged junk. Make healthy sandwiches and fill containers with snacks like crackers, nuts, trail mix, and other foods bought in big bags or in bulk.

5. If your road trip is long, find stops along the way where there are grocery stores and farmers’ markets instead of gas station convenience stores and fast food restaurants. You can replenish your cooler with healthy foods just as easily.

6. Don’t use disposable one-time items like cameras, utensils, coffee cups, and straws. Challenge yourself to see how many reusable things you can bring from home and bring back with you to use again, instead of tossing out.

6. Use rechargeable batteries in video cameras, flashlights, radios, and any other electronics you bring. Don’t forget the charger for either the car or the hotel or other overnight destination.

7. Plan your trip efficiently so you can stay at hotels close to your daily destinations. Map out your trip to keep driving to a minimum.

8. When at rest stops, go easy on the paper towels. For some reason when people are away from home they become paper towel obsessed and take 3 to 4 sheets to dry their fingertips. I’ve seen this a zillion times and it’s incredibly wasteful. Dare I say it? Drip dry if you can, or at least just use one paper towel!

There is no reason why we can’t keep our green practices on the road. Enjoy the great outdoors this summer without trashing them!

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