A lot of folks pile in their cars this time of year and head to the beach, to visit friends and family, go on vacation or sometimes just to take a day trip to a special event. We hope you are getting into the greenest car possible, but if you gather friends and family so that at least the car is full of fun, we hope to help you make the best of any kind of road trip.
As you may know, I’ve been competing in the Toyota MPGe Challenge for the past 30 days for charity. My chosen charity of course was Eleventh Hour Rescue, because they are the folks that saved my Grace from a kill shelter down in Texas. (Read my post about why we should adopt a rescue animal or at least support the shelters that are rescuing them!).
I’ve been car-less since Sandy and I’ve had the opportunity to do extensive drive-reviews of a few EVs and plugin hybrids and I’m still not sure which car I should get! I kind of like not having a car and living in a town where I can walk to a lot of stuff, but ultimately, this Green Diva will have to suck it up and buy a car, and I want one that keeps me as far from the gas pump for as long as possible! I get a thrill from the fact that I have been driving this Toyota Prius Plugin for 30 days and still have a half a tank of gas — yup, not one trip to the gas station!
So, wasn’t I excited to have John Voelcker, Sr. Editor of GreenCarReports.com in the studio with us this week! He’s our favorite Green Car Dude and is sooooo good at demystifying all the tech jargon and helping us understand how to sort out the EVs from the hybrids or simply how to drive a regular car more efficiently.
Please listen to our fun conversation with John Voelcker and learn some surprising things about compliance cars (including what IS a compliance car!), and what is new with EV technology — and what car recommendations he makes for me!
8 tips for healthy, fun, & successful road tripping!
At our last production meeting, we decided to come up with some fun ways of having a healthier more successful road trip. So, we asked ourselves, what do Green Divas and Green Dudes do to make longer car rides with friends and family more fun and less toxic? Here are a few of the answers we came up with:
1. The right car for the ride - Obviously, using the most fuel efficient vehicle you have access to is a good start — and you don’t have to go out and buy an expensive hybrid or EV. Just make sure the one you have is tuned up well and the tires are inflated properly and drive as efficiently as you can. Great article on tips for driving more efficiently.
2. NON-ELECTRONIC entertainment – My kids never played video games or watched videos on our road trips. We liked to sing a lot, but we also played some of these fun classic car games that don’t involve ANY electronics — just each other and the environment around you. We loved picking out unusual colored cars and counting them, or finding as many different states’ license plates as possible, and we STILL always punch each other (lightly hopefully) in the arm when we see a VW bug (must be a classic one — new ones don’t count) and scream, “punch buggy! no punch-backs!” here’s a site that lists a few of the classic road-trip games.
3. Keep hydrated WITHOUT PLASTIC BOTTLED WATER! - We are really encouraging folks to buy as fewplastic bottles of water as possible. We have a myriad of great glass and stainless steel containers that we fill up, but we also have a few with built-in filters that allow us to refill from ANY tap and feel pretty good about the quality of the water. Here’s one stainless steel, filtered water bottle we found on BuyGreen.com.
4. Eat healthy – Don’t succumb to the junk food found so abundantly in rest stops and gas stations along the way! Green Diva Gina did a wonderful Green Diva Foodie-Phile post with 6 ideas for easy health snacks on the road and also included a great list of the top 10 common food chains found along highways ranked according to health. You might be surprised! Also, get her recipe for seriously scrumptious granola, which is one of the snacks to bring along. Yes, that is Piglet enjoying the granola during the show! Listen to the short podcast about this from this week’s show and get even more ideas!
5. Take nature breaks - obviously you will have to make a few pit stops to use the restrooms, but why not give yourself enough time to go off the highway a bit and find a nice place to stretch your legs and sit by a tree and have a picnic or a snack break?
6. Non-Toxic car air quality – We were stunned to find out just how toxic many of these cute little hanging car air fresheners can be! Green Diva Mizar did a very funny post with simple DIY ideas for non-toxic car air fresheners.
Listen to this short, but very funny podcast about keeping the air in the car smelling fresh!
7. Safety first - Please always put safety first and try to be a considerate driver. Nothing ruins a family car ride more than the driver freaking out because of traffic or driving like a crazy person in a competitive drag race.
8. Keep a sense of humor - Try to stay chill, have some laughs on your road trip, and enjoy the journey!