7 Ways to Green Your Summer Road Trip Experience

Posted on August 2, 2015

Summer is definitely the time to hit the open road and do some exploring of those places beyond what we know. We don’t doubt you’re already environmentally conscious, but we also know sometimes it can be difficult to continue being green outside a normal routine. That’s why we’re here to offer some ways you can green your road trip this summer:

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. Find a green place to sleep: There are lots of ways to find eco-friendly accommodations on the road. Check out these great posts 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.

3. Plan low impact activities: When planning an activity, consider its impact on the local or global environment.  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.

4. Eat local food: One of the best thing about a vacation is the food! And when you are 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.

5. 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!

6. 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.

7. 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. Check out Travel Alberta for great local destinations.

All in all road trips help you to appreciate your own country. We encourage you to think about what makes the places you visit unique, and what cool things they may be doing to be green. We know you’ll have some great conversations in between destinations. Safe & happy travels!