10 Tips to Green your Summer Roadtrip

Posted on July 2, 2016

Summer’s upon us and so is the urge to get away from the city and explore new places. There’s always less impact on the environment the closer to home you stay, but there are still things you can do to be green on the go.  Here are 10 tips for greening your summer road trip:

1.    Take care of your ride and bring along bikes: A well-maintained vehicle is a greener vehicle; so make sure to get your car tuned up before any long journey. And why not invest in a bike rack, so you can bring along your best two-wheeled friend? That way when you stop somewhere you wish to explore you can hop on your bike and see things up close, get in some exercise and reduce your overall trip emissions!

2.    Drive efficiently: There’s lots you can do while driving to increase fuel efficiency, including not storing anything on the roof (it can increase fuel usage by 20% on the highway), removing any unnecessary items from your car, and avoiding idling. There are even green driving techniques and you can take an online eco-driving course!

3.    Air Conditioning: If it’s not too hot a day, try to keep cool by leaving the windows down instead of turning on the air-conditioning.

4. Find a green place to sleep: There are lots of ways to find eco-friendly accommodations on the road. Check out these great basics on how to camp green or find an environmentally conscious hotel. If you’re more into hostels, Hostelling International Canada has an environmental mandate and a long list of members! Headed to BC?  Check out BC's Best BNB’s for a list of eco-friendly Bed and Breakfasts.

5. Plan low impact activities: When planning an activity, consider its impact on the local or global environment. You could head out on a hiking trail, canoe or kayak, or google the local attractions. Canada Wilderness has some great ideas for eco-tourism all around the country and Mother Earth Living has listed the top 10 eco-destinations in North America.

6. Keep entertainment green: Turn off electronics in the car and go old school instead with cards and social driving games.

7. Eat local food: One of the best thing about a vacation is the food! And when you are` road tripping in the summer, there are plenty of local produce stands to pick up locally grown berries, peaches, and other fruits of the season. Don't waste this opportunity to support our local farmers and enjoy some healthy fresh road trip snacks...so much better and tastier than those convenience store purchases. Or if more sit down dining is your thing, check out the Leaf Me guide for a list of sustainable restaurants in Canada.

8. Keeping hydrated: It's super important to keep hydrated during the hot summer but consider avoiding those plastic water bottle purchases when filling up for gas. Instead bring a few filled re-usable water bottles in a small cooler (filled with ice!) in the car. You can fill up with tap water at most gas stations and avoid those disposable plastic empties!

9. Save your waste: It can be easy to throw out all the junk that has built up in your car when you stop at a gas station. But by setting up a couple bins or boxes in your car before you head out for your recyclables, you can avoid the landfill trap and continue to recycle even on the road. If your trip is longer than a couple of days, check out a local municipality's website for their recycling options when you're in town.

10. Staying close to home: While it can be tempting to see all of Canada (because we live in a super beautiful country!) have you seen all the beauty of Alberta? From dinosaurs to hoodoos, glacial lakes, mountains, and outstanding provincial parks, there's a lot to see in our own province. And by staying closer to home, you'll spend less time getting there, use less gas, and more time enjoying all that Alberta has to offer (while supporting the local economy!) Check out Travel Alberta for great local destinations.

Road trips are great for appreciating our wonderful country, but we have you covered for enjoying Calgary too. Stay tuned for our July blogs all about having green summer fun in #yyc!