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Sustainability Tips for Getting Around New York City

by Eugenia Lazaris

Feb 27, 2023

© Anekoho | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / North America

New York City may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think about sustainable travel destinations for family travelers. The towering congestion of buildings, bustling crowds and nonstop traffic may make a sustainable vacation sound like an impossibility, but thanks to the city’s commitment to a sustainable future, a green vacation is not only a reality, but also a fun way to experience this fabulous city.


Begin by taking advantage of the city’s incredibly efficient public transportation system. Not only does mass transit, such as travel by subway, cut back on carbon emissions, it also makes getting around the city easy without having to fight traffic and look for parking. Take this to the next level by traveling on foot or by bike, which lets you not only teach sustainability to the kids but is also a great way to see some of the city’s sites. With more than 1,000 miles of bike lanes crisscrossing the city, it is possible to go just about anywhere without renting a car.


New York City made a serious commitment to reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions, and the results can be seen throughout the city. Farm-to-table restaurants can be found across the city, and eating at them promotes sustainability efforts; these restaurants utilize produce grown in many of the city’s rooftop gardens, many of which can be visited to learn about what it takes to sustain a hungry city.


Be sure to plan plenty of eco-friendly activities during your stay, such as visiting some of the city’s nearly 2,000 parks. These spots give you a break from the hectic pace of city life and show just how dedicated the city is to sustainability by repurposing unused spaces into outdoor havens, such as High Line Park in the Meatpacking District. This pocket of greenery, built on the site of an out-of-use elevated railway, is now one of the city’s most popular parks thanks to its unique architectural features and beautiful views of the city.


Last but not least, during your visit, be sure to recycle your waste whenever possible. The city’s streets offer plenty of clearly labeled recycling bins, making it easy to separate your waste into the proper containers and promote eco-friendly, responsible travel. With just a little planning and effort, your trip to New York can uncover a city consisting of much more than high rises and traffic; it is a beautiful city with plenty of outdoor space and a commitment to building a cleaner, greener future.


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