When it comes to road trips, it’s often said that the destination is the road itself, yet somehow there is more talk about the preparation and less about what you should be doing along the trip. Here’s a list of earth-friendly road trip tips that will reduce your environmental footprint, wherever the road takes you:
Burdening your car with extra 20 kilos of luggage on top of your companions will make it even less fuel-efficient. Make sure you and everyone else pack only what they need and get rid of the extra stuff you keep stored in your trunk. If you can, avoid using the rooftop cargo box, because although it comes handy when the luggage space is full, it reduces the efficiency of your car by 25%.
Plan your route
It’s hard to resist the urge of jumping into the car and speeding away, but try to resist the temptation and plot your route ahead of time. By using a map, or even better, a GPS system or an app, you can find the quickest route and save fuel. It’s simple, the shorter you travel, the less fuel you’ll use and the less emissions you’ll produce. You can do it even if you set off – plan the route in stages and once you establish where you’re going, calculate the quickest way to get there.
Tune up your car
Did you know that a dirty air filter can reduce your car’s fuel efficacy by 20 percent? Tyres that aren’t fully inflated aren’t just dangerous to drive on, but also drop your miles-per-gallon. Before packing the bags, see what you can do to lighten it up, and reduce fuel consumption, perhaps even taking it to the garage for a maintenance check. But, is your car up for the challenge? If roadtripping is in your blood, maybe it’s time for a new thoroughbred tourer. The golden age of V8 grand tourer coupes is long gone, and now a whole new breed of compact SUV cars with fuel-efficient EcoBoost engines is taking their place as dedicated roadtrippers. Check out here for all the features and advanced road technology that makes these cars a top choice for vacationing.
Stop idling and cruise
Not many drivers know that idling can use a quarter to half a gallon of fuel per hour. Many of us are still thinking that idling is better than turning the engine off, as it creates a surge of emission at ignition, but today, with cars becoming more and more efficient, it’s not the case anymore. Although speeding will shorten your trip, as the emissions and fuel economy are concerned, maintaining a steady speed during your highway time is definitely better, so make sure you use your car’s cruise control feature as long as you can.
If you consider roadtripping in a group, keep in mind that often, a bigger car that seats more people might be better than taking two or more efficient ones. Check the annual carbon footprint of your vehicle using one of many online carbon footprint calculators and decide which one to leave in the garage. You can even rent a people carrier or a passenger van and drive it yourself, never worrying about the space.
While on the road
Far from it that your transportation is the only thing that concerns your carbon footprint. Reduce your impact by eating and buying local produce, visiting local farmer’s markets and asking about local restaurants. Stay clear from supermarket chains and franchised eateries, and not only will you benefit the local economy and community, but you’re guaranteed to find local hidden gastronomic gems as you do.
A road trip can be a perfect way of reconnecting with old friends, making new ones, or simply having great family adventures while cruising steadily to a favorite destination. However, being green on the road goes beyond driving a fuel-efficient car. These examples are only the core of many simple ways you can green-up your next road trip without sacrificing neighed comfort nor joy.
About the Author: Derek Lotts is a Sydney-based writer and researcher, a regular contributor at Smooth Decorator blog. He writes about décor, gardening, recycling, ecology and business. He thinks all of these topics fall under the self-improvement category. He believes in the power of sharing ideas and communicating via the internet to achieve betterment.