10 Interesting Ways To Have A Plastic-free Road Trip

by Shalini Mimani

The world talk today is all about plastic and its harmful effects, especially on our oceans. I am sure many of you must be garnering environmental friendly thoughts and hence trying to adopt a zero-waste and plastic-free routine at home. Well, that’s something and the thought itself is pretty commendable. However, what about the times when you are traveling? Have you ever given a thought to having an eco-friendly road trip?

Ah, the thought itself is cumbersome and sounds daunting, right? Then again, while you are traveling, there’s dealing with new places and situations too. Does it mean that the whole idea of an eco-friendly road trip is a farce?

To be completely honest, no-waste and plastic-free travel are manageable just as easily. The thought sure is daunting, the execution is not. All it takes is meticulous planning and being aware of your surroundings.

So let’s get going and acquaint you with 10 ways to have a plastic-free road trip.

1. Food

Everybody likes snacking while you are on the go. It’s like the body is on high alert for all its sugar and salt cravings. The obvious choice, snacks from 24X7 shops, fast food joints and any other food counter in sight. While the food may taste delicious, it is bad for health, your travel budget and even the environment.

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Contrary to this, you can pack snacks to last you for the entire trip or at least for the majority of the trip. Snacks such as home-made wraps, grapes, apples, strawberries, bananas, bread, nuts, granola bars and so on all make a filling snack. Get creative guys!

If the temperature is hot or humid, you can consider keeping these items in a cooler to keep it fresh and last longer.

eco-friendly road trip

Image source: wikimedia


2. Water jar

Every water bottle that we purchase on our journey is a terrible blow to the environment. And let’s not forget that all those tiny water bottles when accounted for, cost a lot too.

You might be wondering what could the feasible solution to this problem, right?

Carry multi-use bottles along with a water jar. Store the water jar in the trunk of your car and keep refilling your bottles as and when required. A sure shot way to adhere to an eco-friendly road trip, huh!

eco-friendly road trip

Image source : wikimedia

3. Reusable tools

A few simple items such as bamboo eating utensils, glass containers, and a cloth napkin can help you eliminate the need for wasteful items, like plastic ware, paper napkins, and styrofoam containers. After all, it’s the little things that add up in the no-waste battle.

You might not realize but these few simple measures can help you reduce waste, enjoy healthy food away from home and save money along the way!

eco-friendly road trip

Image source: Wikimedia

4. Coffee

Road trips and coffee surely move in tandem. However, nothing spoils the fun of a road trip than that low quality, mud tasting like coffee available all along the highway.

Styrofoam cups are no fun either. French press coffee mug and some ground coffee is surely the answer to a no waste road trip. Just add some hot water (which is fairly available all through the roadside joints) and you are good to go.

eco-friendly road trip

Image source : Wikimedia

5. Toiletries

While you are traveling, carrying those big giant bottles of shampoos, creams, and other toiletries is no fun. We tend to buy smaller travel size bottles and dispose of the bottles when we are through with the contents. Well, this is definitely not in sync with what we would call an eco-friendly road trip.

Alternatively, buy reusable travel size bottles and fill them up with your large bottles at home, every time you are on the go. The reusable bottles will eliminate plastic use to a large extent.

eco-friendly road trip

Image source : Wikimedia

6. Hot meals

Snacks and munchies will not satiate your hunger forever while you are on a road trip. Your body is sure to crave for some delicious warm food. Your first and instinctive choice would be to stop at a fast-food joint and take a dig on those burgers, fries with a mouth full of soda. However, fast food joints are one of the greatest sources of producing plastic waste. The plastic straws, soda cup cap and all that extra packaging in plastic sachets add to the mess.

On the contrary, try eating at real restaurants or roadside joints that serve food on real re-usable utensils. You will surely eliminate a lot of unnecessary wastage. Even if you have to eat at a fast-food joint, try and do without the straws and other plastic junk. Do your bit to ensure an eco-friendly road trip.

eco-friendly road trip

Image source : wikimedia

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7. Compost

While you are on a mission of a ‘no waste’ road trip, just being diligent in terms of stocking up on food or making use of reusable containers and tumblers is just not enough. What do you do with all the fruit feel, leftovers and other waste items that you generate during the trip?

In reality, lugging around all those fruit peels and leftovers can prove to be a real problem. Then again, if you are on a road trip for many days on a stretch, the leftovers would rot and have the whole car stinking real soon. However, the solution is not all that difficult. Store those fruit peels and leftovers in an air-tight container and keep it in the cooler. The air-tight container and the cooler would help the stench from spreading to the car. Once home, you can use it all as a compost in your backyard. Simple tips for no waste travel, right?

8. Cloth napkins

While traveling, paper napkins are your easiest choice, right?

And why not, you can just use it to clean the mess and dispose of it right in the nearest bin.

Well, it does seem like the most feasible solution but unconsciously we are creating tons of waste. Instead, start using cloth napkins. Cloth napkins are reusable and do not create any waste, thus ensuring you have the perfect eco-friendly road trip.

eco-friendly road trip

Image source : Flickr

9. Plan ahead

Traveling is always not fun. If you are trying to stick to no waste travel, you just set the bar higher for yourself. However, all of this can be solved by planning ahead of the trip. Plan and figure out rest stops where you can wash your reusable containers and tumblers to keep them clean and stench free. Figure out vegetable markets or grocery stores along the way so that you can stock up your car again. Spot areas or stops where you can wash your cloth napkins so that they are good to use for the rest of the trip.

10. Use technology to your advantage

Planning ahead is always not possible. Moreover, road trips are full of unforeseen circumstances and detours. However, these detours need not necessarily stand as a barrier between you and an eco-friendly road trip. When the unexpected happens, use technology and your smartphones to look for alternatives. A proper restaurant instead of a fast-food joint, a vegetable market instead of stocking up with all the plastic waste generating packed food!

Well, we guess that these tips would surely help shift your mindset and motivate you to accomplish and successfully embark on an eco-friendly road trip. After all, it is not as difficult as it seems. It requires a tad bit of preparation and planning on your part! If you need help with planning a trip to any of these places, feel free to reach out to us on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram. We will help you #MarkAndEmbark on a journey of a lifetime.

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