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Plan a Sustainable Family Trip to Paris

by Barbara Rogers

May 17, 2024

© Ekaterinabelova | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / Europe

Paris has made a major commitment to becoming sustainable, and your family can be part of the effort by planning travels there that are friendly to the environment.


More than 800,000 square feet of solar panels already cover Paris rooftops, and by 2030, they will be on 20 percent of the city’s roofs. New bike/pedestrian paths are connecting landmarks and bike lanes have been added to streets; The Paris Climate Plan aims to make it a 100 percent bikeable city, increasing pedestrian access and reducing pressure from automobiles.


The goal is to reduce carbon emissions by 100 percent by 2050, reducing the carbon footprint by 80 percent. Here’s how you can help.


Take the Metro or a Bus
Right from the start, hop on the RER B line, a direct rail link between Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport and central locations including Châtelet-Les-Halles, Saint-Michel-Notre-Dame and Gare du Nord. A free shuttle connects the stations with the airport terminals. Trains depart every 15 minutes and take 35–50 minutes. Once in the city, 16 metro lines, 5 RER lines, and 13 tramway and bus lines will take you close to most attractions and are easy to use.


Choose a Sustainable Hotel in the City Center or Close to a Metro Station
When choosing a hotel, check for certification or membership in charters that indicate its commitment to sustainable practices. Green Key, European eco-label, Green Globe, EarthCheck or ISO 14001 certification are all good indicators of a hotel’s commitment to reducing water and energy use, recycling waste and short supply-chain sourcing. A central location avoids having to use taxis.


Walk or Cycle
To fully appreciate what makes Paris special, walk along its streets, alongside the Seine and through its parks. Follow some of the bike routes to explore different neighborhoods. You’ll be kind to the environment and feel more a part of the Parisian vibe. It also gives kids a chance to burn off some excess energy.


Eat Local
Look for local restaurants serving dishes made from locally sourced seasonal ingredients. This not only reduces transport-related CO2 emissions by shortening the supply chain, but it also supports local farmers and food producers. Look for the label “Des produits d’ici, cuisinés ici” (locally sourced products cooked here).


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