Green Your Road Trips This Year

Summer and fall are prime seasons for hitting the open road and exploring the sights across the country. Whether it’s a family vacation, a romantic getaway or just a fun time with friends, high gas prices and auto emissions are a financial and environmental factor. Before you jump in your car and go where the GPS takes you, consider these eco-friendly road trip best practices for a greener getaway:

Rent an Eco-Friendly Car

Do you own an old clunker that gets low gas mileage and maybe needs some fine tuning? Don’t take it on your road trip. Rent an eco-friendly car instead. Cars like the Chevy shutterstock_111822386Cruze or the 2014 Toyota Prius 5 that get 46 to 48 miles per gallon save money and the environment at the same time, greening your road trip and letting you drive in style. Most car rental agencies have fuel-efficient vehicles, and Hertz has a whole lineup in its Green Traveler Collection.

Practice Green Driving Habits

Pay attention to how you’re driving and get better gas mileage on your road trip. The U.S. Department of Energy reports aggressive driving — including speeding, stomping on the brakes instead of leaving time to stop with slower deceleration, and hitting the gas — can lower your gas mileage significantly.

Speeding costs drivers more than just the cost of a speeding ticket. The DOE estimates that for each five miles per hour you drive over 50 mph, it costs an additional $0.24 per gallon for fuel. Idling is a habit to eliminate, not only to save gas, but to reduce unnecessary emissions when the vehicle isn’t moving.

Pay attention to your tires when you’re planning your road trip, too. If you’re going to put new tires on before a long trip, check out eco-friendly tires made with synthetic rubber or low rolling resistance tires to reduce gas mileage and emissions at TireBuyer.

Stay Green

Hitting the open road is fun, but unless it’s a local day trip, you’ll have to pull over for sleep at some point. Add green stays to your itinerary and spend your money at hotels and accommodations committed to reducing their carbon footprints and other eco-friendly business practices.

Stay at hotels like the Hamilton Park Hotel in Florham Park, New Jersey, which helps employees ride share for commutes to work, reuses soap, and uses energy efficient lighting, or Tarrytown House Estate in New York which practices water conservation and paper recycling. Look for those with eco-responsible programs like Kimpton Hotels’ Earthcare, incorporating eco-friendly cleaning products, water conservation, and eco-friendly office supplies.

Green Road Tripping Apps

Want to make your road trip greener? Try out some apps to make it easier. If you like to meet new people and use technology to make things happen, Zimride lets you map out your road trip carpooling with others going the same way and connect on social media. If you have or rent an electric vehicle, Plugshare helps you map your trip so you’re always near an EV charging station. ZeroWasteHome Bulk helps you pack your cooler with foods that aren’t covered in disposable plastic packaging, and find places to buy bulk foods along the way so you don’t have to contribute to the 31 percent of municipal solid waste generated by food packaging.

Pay attention to how you’re driving and get better gas mileage on your road trip. The U.S. Department of Energy reports aggressive driving — including speeding, stomping on the brakes instead of leaving time to stop with slower deceleration, and hitting the gas — can lower your gas mileage significantly.

Speeding costs drivers more than just the cost of a speeding ticket. The DOE estimates that for each five miles per hour you drive over 50 mph, it costs an additional $0.24 per gallon for fuel. Idling is a habit to eliminate, not only to save gas, but to reduce unnecessary emissions when the vehicle isn’t moving.

Pay attention to your tires when you’re planning your road trip, too. If you’re going to put new tires on before a long trip, check out eco-friendly tires made with synthetic rubber or low rolling resistance tires to reduce gas mileage and emissions at TireBuyer.

Stay Green

Hitting the open road is fun, but unless it’s a local day trip, you’ll have to pull over for sleep at some point. Add green stays to your itinerary and spend your money at hotels and accommodations committed to reducing their carbon footprints and other eco-friendly business practices.

Stay at hotels like the Hamilton Park Hotel in Florham Park, New Jersey, which helps employees ride share for commutes to work, reuses soap, and uses energy efficient lighting, or Tarrytown House Estate in New York which practices water conservation and paper recycling. Look for those with eco-responsible programs like Kimpton Hotels’ Earthcare, incorporating eco-friendly cleaning products, water conservation, and eco-friendly office supplies.

Green Road Tripping Apps

Want to make your road trip greener? Try out some apps to make it easier. If you like to meet new people and use technology to make things happen, Zimride lets you map out your road trip carpooling with others going the same way and connect on social media. If you have or rent an electric vehicle, Plugshare helps you map your trip so you’re always near an EV charging station. ZeroWasteHome Bulk helps you pack your cooler with foods that aren’t covered in disposable plastic packaging, and find places to buy bulk foods along the way so you don’t have to contribute to the 31 percent of municipal solid waste generated by food packaging.

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