Boston is one of the greenest cities in North America, thanks to its active and young population, particularly sensitive towards the environment and a new eco way of living. Boston is also rich of history, as one of its nicknames, The Athens of America, proves. The glory and fame of Boston is mainly due to an impressive architecture, world-renowned academic institutions and cultural revolutions. Boston hasn't lost the grip on its past and now is a forward-thinking city, perfect for a green traveler seeking culture, responsible tourism, eco-friendly accommodation and organic and vegetarian food. Basically, Boston seems to be built up on these expectations and the following eco-guide is meant to highlight them.
Moving around in Boston
Boston is also called 'America's Walking City' because almost every place in the metro area can be reached by foot; if the journey seems to be too exhausting or time is limited, public transportations are efficient and safe and allow visitors to forget about cars. A Day/week pass is available , starting from 9$ and allowing unlimited travel on Subway, Local Bus, Inner Harbor Ferry, and Commuter Rail Zone 1A.
You can easily walk around and don't mind to get lost, because a smartphone and a wi fi connection are enough to put you back on your path: HopStop is the solution. This website calculates directions to anywhere in Boston, using any kind of transportation.
To get more help and make your visit to Boston an intense experience, pick up a copy of the 'Car-free in Boston' guide.
City discovery and ecotours
Boston is such an easy city to walk and bike around, that eco tours and activities are well spread up. Boston By Foot organizes guided walking tours, through historical buildings, museums and monuments.
Urban Advent Tours is a good way to explore the city while riding a bike.
Passionate about canoeing, kayaking or skiing? Boston is a perfect place for these activities. Paddle Boston offers the opportunity to see Boston and Cambridge from another perspective, from the Charles River. Ski Boston is a parallel, winter opportunity, with the cross-country Weston Ski Track and guided trails.
From April to October whale watching off the coast of Boston is a great wilderness experience not to be missed.
Green accommodation in Boston
The Boston described so far is creating the best expectations for an eco-minded traveler; eco tours, bike friendly, wilderness, culture. And what about accommodation? Is it environmentally conscious? Yes, indeed. Boston boasts 28 green-certified hotels for any taste and need.
Starting from budget ones, Hostelling International Boston Downtown is an eco-friendly hostel, perfect for socializing, staying in the town centre and meeting the sustainable requirements. This structure provides recycling stations, recyclable carpet and energy efficient electric appliances and lighting.
The Colonnade Hotel has been awarded in 2011 for the best green practices by the Boston Business Journal.
Nine Zero is a more upscale hotel which combines luxury and sustainability. Its commitment to the environment consists in the participation in Kimpton Hotels' nationwide EarthCare program, providing green amenities and food, such as organic snacks and tea or coffee, eco-friendly products for cleaning, in-room recycling bins and so on.
Organic food and vegetarian dining
Boston features a great number of vegetarian and organic restaurant, and 29 of them are green-certified. One of the most popular choice, considered among the best in the Boston area, is the Life Alive. They offer vegan and organic food and are usually crowded.
Veggie Planet and Oleana Restaurant are also strongly suggested, as they use organic ingredients only. Veggie Planet expresses its social consciousness by donating the 2% of its activity profit and the 100% of its t-shirts merchandising to a non-profit organization to help the homeless.
The icing on the cake is the abundance of organic food stores in Boston: the highest rated are Whole Foods Market at 181, Cambridge Street, Boston Organics in Charlestown and Trader Joe's in Brookline.
Choosing to be green in Boston is very easy and ecotourism options are available to match different requirements.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/b-tal/