Are you looking to be a more sustainable tourist? You aren’t alone. One recent poll found that 87% of people want to be eco-friendlier when traveling.
New York City, the city that never sleeps, has plenty to offer to any visitor. However, as we all become more conscious of our impact on the environment, it’s important to consider how we can travel more sustainably. Here are some tips on how to enjoy everything the Big Apple has to offer while minimizing your carbon footprint while traveling.
Making Your Way Around the City
Public transportation is the lifeblood of New York City, making it a dream destination for eco-conscious travelers. Not only does using public transport significantly reduce your carbon emissions, but it’s also an excellent way to immerse yourself in the local culture. Therefore, it is a great eco-friendly transportation option.
A bonus is that public transport is significantly cheaper than renting a car or taking a taxi. Consider getting a New York Pass which provides unlimited rides on buses and subway lines and includes access to various attractions in the city.
Opt for Green Accommodation
The growing trend of eco-tourism has encouraged many hotels in New York City to adopt sustainable practices. These can range from using energy-efficient lighting and heating, recycling programs, and using locally-sourced and organic produce in their kitchens. Examples of green hotels include 1 Hotel Central Park and the Crosby Street Hotel, both of which have been recognised for their sustainability efforts.
Visit Green Spaces
New York City isn’t just skyscrapers and concrete; it also boasts numerous beautiful parks and green spaces. Central Park is the most famous, but there’s also the High Line, an elevated park built on a former railway line, and Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. These spaces provide a green refuge in the heart of the city, and they’re completely free to visit.
While New York is known as a shopping mecca, there are plenty of opportunities to shop sustainably. From thrift stores and vintage boutiques in the East Village to farmers’ markets offering locally-grown produce, there are many ways to shop responsibly. Furthermore, consider carrying a reusable shopping bag to avoid plastic bag usage.
Choose Sustainable Dining
New York City’s food scene is diverse and vibrant, and many restaurants are committed to sustainable practices. Look for restaurants that source ingredients locally, use organic produce, or serve plant-based meals. ABC Kitchen in Manhattan, for example, focuses on locally-sourced, sustainable, and organic produce and has won awards for its eco-friendly approach.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Just as at home, make sure to follow the mantra of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ while you’re in New York. Many cafes offer discounts if you bring your own cup, and you can refill your water bottle at numerous locations throughout the city. Furthermore, make sure to sort your rubbish correctly, as New York has an extensive recycling program.
Support Local Businesses
By supporting local businesses, you’re not only contributing to the local economy but also reducing your carbon footprint, as local products don’t have to travel as far. Whether it’s buying a souvenir from a local artisan or trying out a locally-owned restaurant, your choices can make a difference.
Making eco-friendly choices doesn’t mean sacrificing a fantastic trip. In fact, these choices often lead to more memorable experiences as they allow you to connect with the local community and the environment. So next time you visit the Big Apple, try implementing some of these practices to ensure your trip is as green as possible.
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