How to have a zero waste road trip

If you're heading out on the road these holidays, be sure to take your environmental values with you by following these handy tips:

1. Be food prepared

Road trip food, typically stuff like chips, burgers and lollies, comes with a whole lot of packaging.

So rather than heading to fast food joints and petrol stations to satisfy your cravings, consider low-waste alternatives (that are also probably better for your health, too!).

Start by knowing what you like to eat, be it vegemite sandwiches or homemade fruitcake.

Stock up on the most zero waste food as possible by making food ahead of time. Put together some reusable containers with cut up fruit, sandwiches, trail mix, muffins etc. Chuck in some cloth napkins, reusable cutlery, perhaps an ice brick or two, and you're set!

And if you DO need to get takeaway food, be sure to use your own containers and cutlery where possible (Keep Cups for coffee are perfect!).

2. Bring the necessary items

Cut down the need for new purchases by planning ahead: Bring containers, eating utensils, small towels for napkins and car spills, reusable bags, reusable water bottles, thermos for coffee and tea, and cleaning supplies. Make sure everything is reusable and washable!

The best way to make sure you have everything you need is making a list ahead of time. If on your trip you realise you'v missed something, learn from this experience and add it to your list for the next trip. Share this information with family and friends to spread the environmental thinking!

3. Carmpost! (composting in your car)

Find a large sealable bucket or bin for all your food scraps to ensure they don't end up in landfill! Put the bucket inside a cooler or something else equally sealable and drape a towel over the top, which keeps the bin from stinking or fogging up the car. If you're only on a short trip, compost these scraps at home. Alternatively, look out for opportunities where they could be useful, such as a farm or community centre. Be creative!

4. Take stock

Each night, take stock of anything that needs to be tidied. Sort through your recycling, clean any containers, or freeze any ice packs. Make sure the car is clean and prepared for the next day!

5. Technology is good

Use your trusty smart phone to plan your stops ahead and be prepared! Locally owned cafes or specialty markets will most likely be able to take the time and care that zero waste requires, as opposed to the chain restaurants on the highways.

6. Offset

For the CO2 that your car undeniably produces, offset your travels! Check out offsetting options here

Have a safe and enjoyable road trip!

[Images: Shutterstock]

READ THIS NEXT: Germany's zero-waste supermarket and why we love it

Have you said no to single-use items in your life? Do you have any tips for others starting the journey? Let us know in the comments section below.

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