Travel Tips For A Zero Waste Road Trip
Having a zero waste and plastic-free routine at home is one thing, but making it work whilst on holidays (and away from home) is quite another. There’s dealing with new places and situations; having limited options to buy anything in bulk or recycle; and being without many of the tools that make zero waste living possible at home – and they all create challenges for keeping waste down.
If you’re planning a road trip or holiday/ vacation and you want to keep the waste down (which of course you do!), this one is for you.
Try to do as much of this using online resources as you can. Download maps with your planned route, bookmark rest stops and points of interest, and make notes in an app. Borrow instead of buy travel guides either from your family or friends. Ask those who have gone on a similar trip to you.
If you’re on the road for longer than a couple of hours you’re probably going to want more than just snacks. There’s a couple of options: cook an extra portion of the dinner you had the night before and pack it in a lunch box - just remember to pack cutlery too; or plan a stop along the way at a restaurant where you can eat in and sidestep the disposables.
Snacks are easy. Grab whatever fruit and veggies you already have, chop them up, and store in a jar to eat on the road. Same goes with pantry favorites, think nuts, dried fruit, toasted and/or seasoned seeds; even homemade hummus, peanut butter, and bread. Just make sure everything is stored well and won’t go off in a stuffy car or public transport.
Fill up a water bottle or two for the trip and refill them. If you’re likely to want a hot drink on your road trip, pack a reusable cup.
Even if you’re just packing snacks and food that don’t require cutlery, pack it anyway. Cutlery is so useful on road trips and you’ll be grateful you packed it. Don’t overlook cloth napkins and food containers either. It’s so much easier, and takes up no room at all, to pack your own cutlery and napkins for road trips.
Whatever waste you cause on your road trip, keep ahold of it until you find a recycling bin. If you end up with organic waste, keep food scraps in an airtight container - the tin you ate your lunch out of or a spare empty jar will do - you can add these scraps to your compost heap or food waste bin when you get to your destination. You’ll need a sturdy, airtight container for this.
Limiting unnecessary travel is the best option but it’s often not possible so the next best thing is to purchase carbon offsets to make your road trip more eco-friendly. You can balance the negative effects of your travel plans by calculating the cost of your carbon emissions and paying the monetary equivalent.