Top 5 Green Road Trip Tips


Written by Claire Moshenberg

Summer is here, and for a lot of families that means it’s time to hit the road for a family road trip. Make sure you and your family stay healthy by taking your nontoxic habits with you when you travel. With a few small tweaks, you can make your road trip safer and more eco-friendly, without missing out on any of the fun. Safe travels!

Fuel efficiency: Greener Penny advises that you keep your car in tune, tires correctly inflated, and change the oil regularly in the interest of increased fuel efficiency. For the most fuel efficiency, make sure your oxygen sensor is working and keep your air filter clean. And try to pack as lightly as possible: The less you pack, the less weight you put on your vehicle, and the less fuel you have to use. Here’s an easy tip to lighten your luggage:  The Go Green Blog recommends paying attention to what shoes you pack. Shoes add a lot of weight to bags, so aim for less shoes, and make the shoes you pack lightweight.


First photo: JoelnSouthernCA/flickr; second photo: itselea/flickr

Sunscreen: Even though you’re not technically outside, you still need to stay on top of your sunscreen use when you’re in the car. Make sure you’re regularly applying sunscreen, and that you’re picking the safest nontoxic sunscreen for your trip. Safe Mama has an easy sunscreen cheat sheet that lays out what to avoid when choosing a sunscreen. The Environmental Working Group has an entire updated guide to choosing safer sunscreens, including a handy free app for iPhone users. For more tips on how to choose the safest sunscreen, check out the Tips Tuesday guide to sunscreen, “Navigating a Sunscreen Wonderland.”


Photo: the(?)/flickr

Safer Hydration: Say no to bottled water!  It adds up financially, and it adds up in our landfills: Those convenient plastic bottles create 1.5 million tons of plastic every year. Also, the plastic may leech endocrine disruptors, which are linked to early puberty, infertility, and obesity. The Daily Green recommends choosing an aluminum bottle with a water-based, non-toxic lining, and avoiding low-grade stainless steel bottles, which can leach metals.


Photo: Robert Couse-Baker/flickr

Hand sanitizer: Hand sanitizers can be really helpful when it comes to keeping hands clean, and everyone healthy, on the road. This guide from Healthy Child, Healthy World will help you read labels, buy non-toxic alternatives, and even make your own hand gel. Look up hand sanitizers on the Skin Deep Database to find the healthiest, least toxic option for you.


Photo: gratha/flickr

Open a window: When you’re in heavy traffic, Healthy Child Healthy World recommends cracking your window slightly to reduce carbon monoxide buildup inside your car. If you’re driving all day, make sure to get some fresh air by either opening the windows for part of your trip, or planning brief breaks outdoors throughout the ride.

This post was originally published by MomsRising.


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Photo: tony_the_bald_eagle/flickr

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Sarah M.
Sarah M.3 years ago


Loretto B.
Loretto B.3 years ago

Great post!

Lucian I.
Lucian I.3 years ago

I don't see why you should put sunscreen when you're in the car. UV light cannot go thorough glas. That's why you can never get a tan through a glass pane.

Edo F.
Edo F.3 years ago

These are more like health tips, not Eco friendly tips. All of these things should be applied to everyday life, and certainly not just restricted to longer road trips. I was expecting things more like, don't take your petrol guzzling suv, buy a hybrid. Plan the most efficient route. Really, how is using sanitizing cream environmentally friendly? It's a chemical.

pandora Greenwitch
Hannah Short3 years ago

as much as i agree with those tips and Ashley's additions, its not green tips like i was hoping for. I am taking a two week trip around my state to all the haunted sites this November and i was hoping for some eco friendly driving tips

Christeen Anderson

Thanks for the tips. I do those things on a regular basis.

Sheri P.
Sheri P.3 years ago

good tips, thanks!

Ben B.
Ben B.3 years ago

good deal

Ben B.
Ben B.3 years ago

good deal

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola3 years ago

Great article thanks for sharing