With summer, comes the longest days of the year – these extended periods of sunshine are the green light for many to hit the highway for a road trip! As you plan for those extended miles ahead, it’s also a chance to explore opportunities to reduce your carbon footprint along the way. Below are some tips to help get the wheels in motion.


1. Prepare Your Route Ahead of Time – Before hitting the road, make sure you have a game plan set by mapping out your route and stops along the way. Determining the route ahead of time helps to avoid unnecessary miles and by accordance, can help reduce your emissions and fuel. Additionally, determining the shortest route first and consequently, avoiding idling if you were to get lost or stuck in traffic, not only helps save time and gas money, but also unnecessary emissions.  

2. Switch to a Carbon Neutral Motor Oil – While measures to avoid and reduce emissions offer the best way to tackle emissions in the long term, one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint as a motorist is switching to a carbon neutral motor oil. Adjusting your motor oil selection to reduce your carbon footprint doesn’t require adjusting any driving habits. When you choose Pennzoil Carbon Neutral1 motor oils, you can now make a difference and reduce your emissions2 too. The select line of carbon neutral motor oils is our zero grade (SAE 0W-XX) motor oils within the Pennzoil Platinum line of full synthetics. To determine if one of our carbon neutral motor oils is an appropriate product for your vehicle, check out our oil selector tool here. Additionally, with select Pennzoil Full Synthetic 0W motor oils, you can reduce your CO2 footprint as they help provide better fuel economy and improved fuel efficiency3. 0W motor oils also provide outstanding performance in extreme temperatures and are designed to handle the high stresses of summer driving. 

3. Reusable Supplies – It’s important to start your road trip equipped with all the necessary supplies like food, water and other travel necessities. Bringing supplies such as reusable water bottles, travel bags, utensils and more can help reduce waste and saves space (Think of one refillable water bottle versus a standard 36-pack case of plastic 12oz bottles!). Additionally, certain refillable water bottles can be purchased with built-in filters, allowing for easy access to drinkable water on the go. 

4. Sustainable Snacks – Road tripping requires a lot of prep, including meal planning! Bringing snacks in bulk or without packaging is a great way to reduce waste compared to individually packaged items. Additionally, proactively planning meals and bringing the proper amount of food avoids unnecessary food waste and saves money. Stay on the lookout for local produce while traveling! Supporting local businesses on the road by buying local goods can help reduce carbon emissions caused by transporting goods. And as a plus, you’ll be supporting a local economy. 

5. Reduce, Reuse, and now, Recycle! – Plan ahead by designating a trash bag and a recycling bag to be used on the road. It’s easy to skip out on recycling on the go since recycling bins may be difficult to find. However, keeping those recyclables in a waste bag and waiting to find a recycling bin can make a big difference by reducing landfill buildup and saving resources. 

As car lovers and road warriors, we always look forward to road trip season! And as you get ready for your summer road plans, we appreciate your mindfulness in finding ways to help reduce your carbon footprint along your journey.



1 CO2 compensation is not a substitute for switching to lower emission energy solutions or reducing the use of fossil fuels. Carbon credits are purchased and retired to compensate the calculated lifecycle CO2e emissions of the product. Although these carbon credits have been generated in accordance with international carbon standards, the compensation may not be exact.
2 Based on Sequence VI fuel economy test using SAE 0W-20.
3 Based on Sequence VI fuel economy test using SAE 0W-20.