The months between Memorial Day and Labor Day have got to be my favorite by far. Nothing like long days, in-season fruits and veggies, and road trips! But for all my eco-conscious folk, here are some tips on vacationing responsibly on the open road this summer.
If you don’t drive a Tesla (bats eyes at innovative car company that just announced a vegan SUV), how you drive and when you drive is actually important. Try to avoid routes and times of day that will put you in stop-and-go traffic. It’s bad for your car, your pocket, and the environment. If you’re making a quick stop, turn off the engine. Also, check your tires before you set out on your trip.. Under-inflated and misaligned tires will cost you more at the gas pump.
Reusables Reusables Reusables
It’s so convenient to toss out plastic utensils when we are done with them and to be able to pull up to a Starbucks window en route. But since we all know that convenience has a price, bring don’t buy. On our most recent trip, we travelled with not only reusable coffee mugs, but also mason jars for homemade kombucha in re-purposed wine bottles. While it may require more planning on the front-end, it saved us a lot of money and prevented our usual waste. We also brought a lot of food from home so we wouldn’t have to buy food on the road that is usually unhealthy and wrapped in plastic or worse.
So camping is not your thing. I don’t blame you. But thank goodness we have more options today than sleeping in a tent or shacking up with friends or distant relatives if we want to travel eco-consciously - not to mention budget friendly. With apps like AirBnB and GlampingHub you can live lavishly and eco-friendly in the nicest and even the most obscure places around the country (internationally as well). Another option is to check out the area’s hostels. While not as glamorous as the former, you can often meet some pretty incredible and like-minded nomads or at least gather enough fodder for the next campfire stories.
Take a hike, go bike-riding, peruse monuments and festivals, or spend your day on the beach - all amazing and mostly free experiences that have no cost on the environment - do remember to leave it how you found it. I make it a point to check out the happenings before I come to a city and also see what free adventures I can get into like nature walks and beaches.
Think Like A Local
Don’t just think like a local, think like a eco-conscious local. Shop at the Farmers Markets, eat at restaurants that source local, buy in-season. Not only is it more eco-conscious, it can be fun to peruse the local culture and fare. Support the local community with your dollar AND by reducing your carbon footprint.
Would love to know your own tips and tricks for a more sustainable road trip or vacation. Please share any that you have in the comment section. And until next time, enjoy the open road!