Portland is one of the many North American cities with a remarkable ecological appeal; an eco-minded traveler will find his perfect city tour while walking or biking through the city and surroundings, even when joining a green shuttle service from the airport. Portland, also known as the City of Roses, is today a metropolis integrated with the environment. It doesn't deal with issues such as air and water pollution, waste or traffic jams. Sustainability is the core of Portland green policy and it can be easily seen from the impressive recycling rate of about 70%, while the national rate is 32%. A green visit to Portland will take you to discover parks, gardens and the beauty of Northwest Oregon.
Moving around in Portland
Transportation and sustainability are words that perfectly matches in Portland. Public service helps on keeping high the city green reputation, thanks to the smooth operational and features like the automated voice telling when the bus is due to arrive, based on the Gps tracks.
The city council has been taking action against pollution and traffic congestion since the '90s, when it approved a plan to promote cycling activities. Bikes and foot are the most ecologic, sustainable and healthiest way to move around Portland; footpaths and bike lanes are almost everywhere and drivers are very respectful of bicyclists.
But Portland public transport eco-friendly attitude doesn't stop at the city limits. Connections to and from the airport are provided by, among other companies, GreenTrans, which offer low emissions taxis and shuttle vans. The service is 24h.
Eco tours and green activities
Portlanders use to walk and bike to visit their green city, so the presence of walking and cycling tour is obvious.
Portland Walking Tours could be the right choice for many travelers, because it has a good reputation and has won more than one tour and environment related award. The walk is flat and lasts around 2 hours and a half, which makes it suitable for any fit level.
For a more particular tour, there is an interesting offer from Ecotours of Oregon, the Portland's Microbrewery Tour, that is very informative (and tasty!) about the microbrewery process. It is a night tour (from 6.30 to 10.30 flexible) and gives the opportunity to live the entertaining side of Portland.
Portland Bike Tours and Pedal Bike Tours are considered the best in town and let see a lot of Portland green features.
If you ever come to Portland from May to October, you'd better not miss the amazing wilderness experience of the Gray Whales moving from California to the Central Oregon Coast. He tour is seasonal and is operated by Tours of Oregon.
As not all the companies meet the security criteria, only the ones listed on City website can be considered legal. Please check here before.
Portland not only offers a great number of eco-friendly accommodation, but also features one of the best in the world.
We are talking about the green Portland Hawthorne Hostel, located in the same Hawthorne district. As they claim, it is more than a cheap sleep. The project is based on a low maintenance and self sustaining vision. There's so much to say about their green policy that is better to have a look here. Free breakfast and 5$ discount per night for bike travelers are to be mentioned too.
Eco luxury is attractive is now a new trend; if you are looking for it in Portland, a good option could be the Hotel Vintage Plaza, awarded from 2008 to 2011 with the RecycleWorks and other prizes.
Any kind of comfort combined with Earth respect.
Photo Credit: Ian Sane