How to Spend an Eco-Friendly Weekend in New York

After the year we’ve all hand, so many crave the feel and the buzz of a bustling city such as New York, its endless museums, galleries, theaters, eateries, and parks at your fingertips, ready to once again be on your bucket list! However, new times call for new measures, and that means that you’ll need to think about certain, still relevant restrictions and regulations that will help you enjoy the city a little bit more while staying safe. Many of New York’s finest attractions are opening up once more, but you’ll need to wear a mask, book your visit in advance, and the like.

Add to that, isn’t this the perfect moment to reduce your carbon footprint during your trip and make sure that you’re not harming the planet while you’re enjoying this metropolis? Fortunately, as busy and fast-paced as the city is, New York also offers a slew of sustainable options to help its green-minded visitors to stay true to their values. Here are a few ways you can do that while exploring this magnificent city and make a difference along the way!

Find eco-friendly accommodation options

Eco-friendly and sustainable travel is all the rage in New York, and it has been for years now as the city has felt the weight of the booming tourism. As tourism rises in the city and as the destination becomes more accessible to people around the world, the rising carbon emissions and pollution of all kinds are unavoidable. This is why green accommodation in particular has started to flourish here.

Currently, New York is teeming with eco-conscious and fully green accommodation options scattered across the map. The top eco-friendly hotels, for example, such as the Kimpton Muse or the 1 Hotel Central Park, adhere to strict sustainability rules and have rigorous green goals for the near future. In New York, you will find green accommodation boasting everything from recycling and reusing policies to water and conservation features, rooftop gardens, and everything made from recycled materials.

Get moving in green ways around the city

When it comes to exploring the vastness of New York in two days, you might find yourself a bit short on options at first. Now, one of the worst things you can do is rent a car here or try to Uber everywhere, because New York is not the most driver-friendly place on earth. You should, however, find transportation options that allow you to cut your carbon emissions completely.

For years now, online bike rental in New York has been on the rise as one of the most efficient ways to get around while aiding the preservation of the environment. It’s easy to simply rent your bike online and have it wait for you at one of the prominent locations around the city so that you can get around in an efficient and eco-friendly way. If you want to go from one borough to the next, just take your bike onto public transport to avoid having to rent a car.

Outdoor activities for carbon neutrality

When you’re out there exploring the city in a carbon-neutral way, just know that there are many eco-friendly activities you can partake in. From the New York Botanical Garden to the Greenmarket on Union Square, there’s no shortage of green things to see and do here.

Visit the Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm where you can sample some amazing, healthy, and delicious foods, and even partake in some Monday Night Yoga sessions, and much more. If you’re up for some unforgettable eco-friendly dining, head over to La Botaniste at 833 Lexington Avenue where you’ll find plant-based, organic food along with a truly exquisite wine selection.

Say no to plastic when eating out

If you’re a foodie traveler, there’s no denying that New York is the place to visit. There is so much amazing and delicious food to taste here, and you can bet that a single weekend is not enough to experience all the diverse cuisine that New York has to offer.

However, as an eco-conscious traveler, you will find that many of the restaurants, food trucks, and eateries in general still predominantly use plastic, disposable paper cups and plates, and the like. Sure, you can recycle these, but you really want to focus on the sustainable eateries that don’t use plastic. Fortunately, you will find many eco-friendly restaurants in NYC scattered across the map, so make sure to tag them in your Google Maps itinerary before you get to New York!

Buy locally made and sourced items

Sustainable fashion has been booming around the world in recent years, and it’s very popular in NYC as well. If you’re looking to refresh your wardrobe during your weekend in New York, then be sure to skip the popular brands known for worker exploitation and wastefulness, and choose locally made and sourced items instead.

You can find local artists and designers in their studios and quaint little shops scattered across the city, and especially in currently thriving hipster neighborhoods like Brooklyn. Be sure to support sustainable local fashion and design by shopping where the locals are.

New York is one of the greatest cities on Earth, and a single weekend is definitely not enough to see and do it all. That said, you can have a truly unforgettable weekend in NYC as an eco-conscious traveler, just make sure to make these tips a part of your New York escapade.


About the author: Lilly Miller is a freelance writer, who focuses on interior design, well-being and sustainable living. She loves to experiment on daring new home decor trends and write about it as a regular contributor to Smooth Decorator. Settled in Sydney for the time being, Lilly shares home with two loving dogs and a gecko named Rodney. You can find her hanging out on Twitter.