Video: 8 tips for a more sustainable road trip

From reducing your vehicle emissions to opting for plant-based meals, here’s how you can take a road trip with sustainability in mind

Looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint before your next road trip? Here are several easy ways you can be more environmentally friendly while on the road.

1. Choose the right car. Whether you’re driving your own vehicle or renting, hybrid and electric vehicles can help you significantly reduce emissions and save money on fuel. While EVs cut your carbon emissions entirely, hybrids can reduce emissions by up to 34 percent.

2. Calculate fuel costs. Use digital tools like Roadtrippers to plan your road trip and calculate your fuel cost estimates. This way, you can have a better understanding of your fuel consumption and gas mileage—and you can find unique stops and attractions along the way.

3. Eat plant-based meals. Opt for plant-based meals during your travels instead of dairy and meat. Even a few plant-based meals a week can have a positive impact on fighting greenhouse gas emissions.

4. Use less plastic when buying ice. Instead of filling your coolers with ice from a plastic bag, use reusable water bottles or silicone bags to fill your cooler with ice from gas stations or restaurants. Or, you can ditch the ice altogether with an electric cooler.

5. Ditch disposables. Pack reusable items like straws, water bottles, utensils, dishes, and storage containers to help reduce the amount of non-recyclable items you use during your journey.

6. Buy snacks in bulk. Bring your own snacks in reusable containers and bags instead of buying single-purchase items along the way. From trail mix to snack bars, you can avoid throwing away significant amounts of plastic by buying your favorite road trip foods in bulk.

7. Support local businesses. You can contribute to economically sustainable travel by supporting local businesses during your trip. When possible, choose locally-owned restaurants, lodging, and shops to support the local economy.

8. Offset your emissions. Once you’re home, you can use websites like Native to calculate your trip’s carbon footprint, and then choose a way to offset your emissions, like planting trees or alternative energy and carbon capturing donations.