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Sustainable City Guide: NYC

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Why travel sustainably? The short answer is that it is an overall better experience for travelers and locals alike. Sustainable tourism is the type of travel that benefits the local economy, preserves the culture and promotes environmental stewardship. It ultimately leads to more genuine experiences and ensures that most magical features of a destination stay magical for future generations to come. Traveling mindfully doesn’t mean that you can only go camping, there are numerous tiers – it’s just about supporting the right businesses with your money.

Eat

  • The Fat Radish – located in the Lower East Side, this restaurant prides itself in sourcing seasonal, local and sustainable ingredients from partnered farms. It’s farm-to-table at its best.
  • Olmstead – this neighborhood restaurant in the heart of Prospect Heights is another farm-to-table restaurant. They source their ingredients right from their own backyard!
  • Superiority Burger – this isn’t just any burger joint, their entire menu is vegetarian (with vegan options). Reduce your carbon footprint for a meal by trying out what many locals dub as the ‘best veggie patty’ in the city.

Play

  • NYC Urban Adventures tours – as part of the Intrepid Group, urban adventures is a global leader in delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel. The tours range from tasting your way through immigrant history in NYC to an insider look into Industry City, the powerhouse behind products made locally.
  • Go to a lesser-known museum – skip the overcrowded MET and MoMA in favor of something a little more off-the-beaten-path. There are many to choose from, including the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Spaces in the Lower East Side. They offer a sustainable walk through the community gardens and unique, remodeled spaces in the area.
  • Explore the parks – not Central Park, head to the other fabulous parks this city has to offer including the Highline, Prospect Park, Fort Tryon Park and more.

Stay

  • 1 Hotels – with two locations in the city, you can opt for Manhattan or Brooklyn. The luxury hotel is commended for making sustainability sexy – with green grow walls and sleek design – but their environmental initiatives go beyond aesthetics. Their entire business is focused on it.
  • Hosteling International USA – for those looking to spend a little less, this is the spot. Sustainability is part of the HI USA mission, taking environmental stewardship into the forefront of all decision making. Initiatives include (but aren’t limited to) water conservation programs and renewable energy.