LOS ALAMITOS, CA — When you’re at home, recycling is just a part of life. But what happens when you’re on the road this summer?
According to AAA, millions of Americans take to the open road for that blissful family vacation. But how do you stay “green” when you’re road tripping? With all of distractions, it can be challenging to maintain an eco-friendly routine on the road. Waste Management has identified seven ways you can green your road trip this summer.
“Proper planning and a well-maintained vehicle are essential for a fun, safe and eco-friendly road trip,” said Frank Guercio, director of fleet for Waste Management of Southern California. “Safety is paramount to all of us and we ensure our trucks are safe and properly maintained before we drive out to the neighborhoods we service. So, we’ve gathered a few of our best strategies to help keep you safe and secure on your next getaway.”
- Get your car serviced: A well maintained vehicle is a greener vehicle, so make sure to get your car tuned up before any long road trip. Regular maintenance such as tune-ups, oil changes, battery checks, and tire rotations can help prevent breakdowns. If you haven’t had your vehicle serviced in a while be sure to schedule a preventive maintenance checkup before you set out on your travels.
- Rent a hybrid: If you plan to rent a car to save wear and tear on your own vehicle, consider a hybrid. Hybrids can travel up to three times as far as a standard sedan on a single tank of gas.
- Map out your route. Be strategic about planning your routes well in advance. Plan for interstate changes, rest stops and avoid wrong turns all of which can save fuel. If your car isn’t equipped with GPS, consider an investment in a portable system so you can check for real time traffic updates to avoid idling in traffic as well as anticipate road closures or detours.
- Pack smart: Loading up the car with too much stuff could reduce fuel efficiency. Extra pounds of luggage means extra gallons of gas. Additionally, heavy loads on the roof can make the vehicle more difficult to steer in emergencies and also increase the risk of a rollover. If you don’t use it, consider removing the roof rack to improve fuel economy even more.
- Don’t speed. Following the speed limit is not only critical for safety, but also better for overall fuel efficiency. Traveling above 60 miles per hour, as well as the sudden starts and stops associated with aggressive driving, increase the risks of accidents and can significantly reduce gas mileage.
- Prepare a movable feast. Grabbing fast food on the go or buying junk food at the gas station takes a toll on the planet’s resources with all of paper and plastic wrappings and packaging. Prepare your favorite foods to eat along the way or in picnic areas. The food will be fresher, healthier and should save you money. When you are road tripping, you are sure to drive by farm stands where you can pick up fresh and local fruits and vegetables too. Be sure and pack your food in reusable containers and take along reusable utensils. Most importantly, invest in a quality water bottle for each person on the trip to refill and stay hydrated.
- Recycle on the go. It can be convenient to throw out all the waste that has built up in your car when you stop at a gas station. However, it is smarter to plan ahead for ways to dispose of your trash and recyclables. Before you start the engine, set up some bins, boxes or used grocery bags under the seat to collect paper, plastic and glass, so you can continue to think green and recycle even on the road.
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