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How To Minimize Waste While on the Road


If you’re a van lifer or weekend road tripper, you’re probably used to a car full of wrappers, cups, and odds and ends from your last meal. Managing waste can help you tidy your space and help the environment. Lighten your environmental impact while you travel with these tips to reduce waste on the road.

Forego Single-Use Products

One of the biggest contributors to waste is single-use products. Plastic cutlery, coffee cups, straws, water bottles, and other drink containers are major culprits. You can easily purchase reusable items to replace single-use ones – outdoor stores offer compact versions as well if you’re worried about saving space. If you stop by a coffee shop or restaurant, use your own thermos or water bottle for drinks, and ask them to leave out the straws and to-go utensils from your order.

Plan Ahead

Road food and gas station snacks are another major source of waste. It takes forethought, but skip the unhealthy packaged foods and plan for healthy, waste-free food. Pack a cooler or use your van fridge to stock up on carrot sticks and hummus, sandwich fixings, fresh fruit, and pre-planned meals. You can use mason jars or tupperware to store your food to eliminate food waste.

When you do want to go out to eat on the road, opt for a sit-down restaurant. You can check restaurants out on your smartphone or tablet to find a nice spot to enjoy an easy meal that uses washable plates and utensils.


At some point, you can’t stop some waste from accumulating in your rig. Even if you’re eating out of your own fridge you’ll end up with some food scraps or empty packaging. Where you can’t totally eliminate, recycle. Glass bottles, aluminum cans, and cardboard can all be recycled. As for food scraps, have a sealed container to use as a compost pile. You can save the compost for when you return home and use it in your garden or look up a compost drop-off nearby.

Reusable Bottles

If you’re traveling in your van, RV, or car, you have more options than flying. Instead of purchasing small travel bottles for your toiletries, use refillable shampoo and soap bottles. You can also buy refillable hand and dish soap dispensers as well.

Give Back

If you plan to be on the road for an extended period of time, consider a plan to give back to the environment in some way. Volunteer a portion of your time, budget, or social posts to give back.

Partner With StorQuest

StorQuest is committed to giving back and preserving the world we love exploring. Which is why for every new storage unit rented, we plant one tree. Find out more about our efforts and how you can help at StorQuest For A Cause.

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