New York city tours need to be green in order to reduce the damage done by emissions; ecotourism can help to raise awareness about the environmental issues that cities such as New York face .
Green travel isn't the first thing that springs to mind when considering a New York city tour, but now more than ever, it's vital that ecotourism is borne in mind when planning a trip to the Big Apple. Ecotourists should follow certain principles when planning both their holiday and New York city tours which strive to conserve the environment and improve the lives of local people. This is perhaps even more important in a city such as New York, which has many attractive features as an eco-friendly destination.
New York city tours and getting around
One of the best things about New York for the green traveller is the extensive mass transit system. This consists of the metro, or subway, and the bus system; both of these can be ridden inexpensively by purchasing a Metro Card for $2.50 per trip or $29.00 for seven days.
Alternatively, if you are considering undertaking a New York city tour without the help of a guide, why not invest in a New York City Pass which includes admission to over 70 top tourist attractions in the price. Passes start from $80 and discounts are available online.
Of course you don't have to go it alone and taking a New York city tour with a guide has many benefits. Explore the history of Harlem and pay a visit to the famous African Market, or immerse yourself in the rich cultural diversity and heritage of Greenwich Village, home to many famous artists, authors and musicians. For a thoroughly educational New York city tour why not take a Heritage Tour and explore the bustling markets, bakeries and world-famous Chinatown, the largest anywhere in the USA.
New York city tours have something to suit the tastes of every ecotourist and as such, the committed green traveller will never be short of something to see and do.
If you want to venture further afield than a New York city tour, Hines Tours offer a number of nature-friendly and historic tours which pick up passengers at a designated point in the city. These are ideal for ecotourists who are planning a longer trip to New York.
Food in the Big Apple
The New York city tours mentioned above provide ample opportunities for the ecotourist to sample authentic local cuisine and mix with New Yorkers in their home environment. On the Harlem New York city tour, guests can visit a restaurant which is committed to 'giving back' to the local community and soul food can be found in abundance in the kitchens of Lenox Avenue.
Gustorganics is a green certified restaurant located on 14th Avenue, New York and certified by the Green Restaurant Association, a US non-profit organisation which provides eateries with the means to become more environmentally responsible. Restaurants are rating on a points system based upon how kind their kitchen practices are to the environment and the sustainability of the food they use. Whilst Gustorganics are the only 4 star-rated place in town, there are plenty of other 2 and 3 star options to choose from, such as Candle 79, a vegan restaurant at Lexington Avenue or Otto, a pizzeria on Fifth Avenue. For a comprehensive list of restaurants and their practices, see the Dine Green website.
Alternatively, there are plenty of markets to be found, such as those mentioned in the New York city tours, La Marqueta is located in East Harlem and has been updated by the city council to encourage small, ethnic, home-based businesses to move into affordable professional kitchens. Chelsea Market on 9th Avenue has a plethora of eateries and food such as The Green Table, a sustainable restaurant and wine bar who do a great line in desserts.
Ideal ecotourist hotels in New York
70 Park Avenue is a beautiful and luxurious hotel committed to eco-friendly activities; a participant in Kimpton Hotels' Earth Care Program, they provide a range of services such as in-room recycling, organic snacks, towel and linen reuse and low-flow facilities.
The Green Hotels Association provides a complete list of their association members on their website, ten of these are hotels in New York. For a full and comprehensive list of green hotels in New York, see the Environmentally Friendly Hotels website.
New York City tours via bicycle
The Big A has a huge amount to interest the dedicated ecotourist, there are a number of protected areas dotted around the state and the Long Island Center for Conservation is worth a visit. The centre was designed with conservation in mind using alternative energy sources wherever possible to convert a 130-year-old farmhouse into offices. The gardens on the east side of the development have an interesting organic native plant garden which has been grown in order to provide natural landscaping for the centre.
Famous sites such as Central Parc are also home to cycle hire, enabling visitors to explore the park using eco-friendly methods and providing the means to embark on a New York city tour of your own making.
New York city tours with a guide, on the subway, buses or bicycle are an ideal way to explore the hidden aspects to the city that otherwise wouldn't be found, as they fall outside of the traditional tourist attractions.