Monday, May 07, 2012
Tips for Eco-friendly Travel this Summer
As the weather gets nicer, more and more people decide to hit the road for a family vacation. According to the National Household Travel Survey put out by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the average long distance summer trip is 284 miles one-way. Most of those trips are in a personal vehicle like a car rather than a bus, train, or airplane.
Whether you are staying close to home or traveling cross-country, there are a number of things you can do to stay eco-friendly on your next road trip.
1. Pack a cooler and picnic basket: A great way to eat healthy and reduce your carbon footprint when it comes to eating on the road is to pack your own food. Stock your cooler full of healthy snacks, homemade sandwiches, and drinks. Bring a blanket in case you can't find a picnic table!
2. Skip the disposable beverage containers: Instead of buying sodas or bottled water at each convenience store you stop at, bring along several stainless steel bottles and pack them in your cooler. It can be hard to find recycling bins along your route and those disposable containers may just end up in the trash.
3. Think before you pack: The more weight your vehicle is carrying, the fewer miles per gallon you will get. Don't bring tons of stuff you aren't going to need!
4. Plan your trip carefully: You can use any of the travel websites and traffic apps to pick the fastest route with the least amount of traffic. This along with traveling on the highway whenever possible will help save on gas, too.
5. Try camping instead of checking into a motel: Camping is a very cheap way to save money on your travel and it can also be a green choice as well. Just throw a tent and sleeping bag in the trunk and you are all set for a quiet evening in the woods. Check out KOA for campground suggestions!
6. Do your car maintenance ahead of time: Make sure you get an oil change and check the air pressure of your tires before you head out on your trip.
7. Choose an eco-friendly destination: Don't have a particular place you need to go but want to hit the road and relax? Ecotourism is becoming more and more popular! Check out the International Ecotourism Society for more information.
Where are you heading on your vacation this summer? How do you and your family stay eco-friendly while traveling?