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Zero Waste Travel Tips from Wellness Travelled: Road Trip Edition

This is a guest post written by Christine and Sarah MacLean, Founders of Wellness Travelled

Since fewer people are flying due to COVID, more people are taking to the roads to get away. Unfortunately, similar to plane travel, waste accumulated from a road trip can pile up quickly.

However, with these 6 easy zero waste travel tips, we guarantee you will reduce the amount of waste you produce on the road and at your accommodation.

Zero Waste Road Trip Travel Tip 1: PACK A TRAVEL MUG


It’s hard to drive long distances without a cup of coffee or hot tea. The extra caffeine can help with those early morning or late day drives. It’s not uncommon to stop for coffee on a road trip - and this is where the waste comes in: disposable cups and lids.


Bring your own travel mug and fill it up at your pit stop. Or, better yet, bring your own home brew. Bonus: pack some sugar and plant milk too!

Zero Waste Road Trip Travel Tip 2: PACK YOUR OWN SNACKS


Perhaps one of the most wasteful parts of a road trip occurs during fast food restaurant stops. From the plastic straws to the sauce packets to the burger wrappers, it’s almost impossible not to generate garbage at a fast food restaurant. Studies in the US found that fast food restaurants are the primary identifiable source of urban litter, with the exception of cigarette butts.


Pack snacks, or a full meal for longer trips, and store them in reusable containers. Our personal favourites: nuts, trail mix, fruit, veggies and dip, or a simple sandwich. If you pack something that needs utensils - bring those as well.

Zero Waste Road Trip Travel Tip 3: PACK REUSABLE BAGS


How many times have you been on vacation and needed to re-stock on groceries or made an impulse purchase at a local store? Packing reusables bags is not always top of mind when packing for a vacation, but we often find ourselves needing them.


Keep a reusable bag handy in your day bag/backpack/purse/etc. We permanently keep them in the trunk of our car because we don’t always trust our memory.

Zero Waste Road Trip Travel Tip 4: PACK A TON OF WATER!


When you’re on the road, the only water available at pit stops is almost always bottled. It’s often the same at hotels and airbnb’s, unless you luck out with eco-friendly accommodations.


Bring your own reusable water bottle for the road. Not sure if your accommodation has clean drinking water? Pack a few extra bottles or bring your own water jug.

Zero Waste Road Trip Travel Tip 5: BYOT (bring your own toiletries)


Hotels and accommodations provide guests with single-use plastic bottles for shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc. These products are extremely wasteful on a mass scale.


There are a ton of reusable bottles on the market to take travel-sized amounts of your favourite products. You might also enjoy soap bars and shampoo bars, which are great because you never have to worry about them spilling all over your toiletry bag ;)

Make your toiletry bag more green by investing in compostable floss, reusable cotton pads, biodegradable products, and reusable silicone tubes for liquid items like toothpaste.

Zero Waste Road Trip Travel Tip 6: CARBON OFFSET


One thing that is hard to avoid when travelling is a carbon footprint from the transportation.


There are a few options to reduce your carbon footprint:

  • Carbon offset your trip. Track your mileage as best as possible by taking a photo of your odometer at the beginning of your trip. Don’t know where to offset? We like Gold Standard for Global Goals because they re-invest in clean energy projects vs. tree planting.

  • Carpooling also helps to reduce your carbon footprint by keeping more cars off the road.

  • Consider taking fewer but longer trips vs. short frequent to cut back on your mileage.

  • Once you arrive to your destination, considering walking or biking to your daily activities.

If you implement these tips we can guarantee you won’t come home with cup holders filled with trash the next time you hit the road for a local holiday!

Did we miss a tip that you personally love to reduce your impact while on the road? Let us know by tagging us on Instagram! Be sure to tag both @wellnesstravelled and @zero.waste.collective!

About Christine and Sarah

Christine and Sarah are content creators, business partners, sisters, best friends, and the ultimate travel buddies. Our mission with @wellnesstravelled and is to empower people to make informed and conscious choices when travelling that are kind to themselves, the locals, and the planet. They also have a passion for helping other conscious content creators grow their online social media with

Loved this blog post? You may also like the one about sustainable van life!

For more tips on going zero waste, read the book and head to zero waste 101!


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