Sustainability is about ecology, economy and equity.- Ralph Bicknese

The Eco-Friendly Road Trip

road tripThere’s nothing like the feeling of adventure that comes with leaving home and setting off to explore different parts of the world. Similar to what nature can do, road trips have a way of reopening our minds and putting things in perspective, ridding us of the entrapped sensation that can come with doing the same things and being in the same places every day. Summer, of course, is a prime season for (drug-free) tripping, especially for us students. And given the theme of this blog, you can probably guess where I’m going with this. If you want to hit the road in the most ecologically friendly way possible, there are a few things to take into consideration.

Check your outlets before leaving

Appliances and chargers are easy to forget about, but you can save electricity by remembering to unplug them before going away for a few days.

Pack Light

Try not to take any excess weight with you on your trip; pack light and make sure there isn’t anything in the car you won’t be needing. This will allow your fuel to go further, saving you money and reducing your carbon footprint (or rather, wheelprint. Yes, I thought of that all by myself).

Be a Picky Eater

This can be a fun one. Finding local, hole-in-the-wall places to eat when road tripping often means discovering some delicious food and trying something new, not to mention cutting down on the waste produced by fast food packaging. Unfortunately being a college student means that fast-fooding on the road might be necessary in order to keep costs down, but if you can afford it, it’ll probably be worth it to seek out a small restaurant for a meal here and there. For shorter trips, taking food from home is also an excellent option if you bring along a cooler bag.

Minimize the AC

By far my worst favorite eco-friendly tip, but alas, one that can make quite a difference in the amount of fuel you use. As someone who loathes the heat, I know as well as anyone that sometimes an open window just can’t get the job done. To help you keep the windows open and the AC off, try taking along some sports drinks in a cooler to stay hydrated, and seek out shady parking spots wherever available.

Walk Wherever Possible

Exploring places on foot is always more fun anyway, making for a more intimate, first-hand experience with your surroundings. When you can, get out of the car and put your nomad hat on.

Drive a Prius

Unless you can afford one, I’m only joking. Maybe in our eco-friendly dreams.

Where have you gone this summer? Planning any trips? Tell us below if you feel so compelled.

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