Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Green Travel | Boston, MA


I place a lot of Eco Cajun's focus on a green life at home, because that’s simply where each of us can make the biggest impact on our footprint. But it’s important to look beyond home sometimes. Anytime I travel, I inevitably take notes on what other cities or areas are doing in terms of recycling, conservation, alternative transportation and public outreach.



My past two major vacations, San Francisco and Hawaii, were both incredible places to see green initiatives in action. From San Francisco’s plastic bag ban to Oahu’s focus on keeping the water clean and litter-free, I was inspired by the larger actions that make these places environmentally friendly.

I recently visited Boston, one of my favorite cities in the country. While it was slightly too early for the fall foliage, I still relished in the cooler weather and the excuse to wear a pair of boots. (It’s STILL too warm in Louisiana for boots!) 



Lafayette built its first parklet downtown this past May, and it’s still providing residents a pleasant outdoor break spot. One of the first sights I spotted in Cambridge, near Harvard’s campus, was a parklet that seems to have been there for many months. If only there were people using it! And I'm still trying to figure out the No Trespassing sign.


Public recycling bins are much more plentiful in Boston and Cambridge. Now, knowing whether the contents inside are sorted correctly is beyond me. But having the ability to recycle while out and about is a step in the right direction!


Boston is home to Hubway, a bike sharing system with tons of stations. I didn’t get a chance to use a Hubway bike unfortunately, but at least my Fitbit recorded a bazillion steps (true number) in a few days! Bike sharing systems are a great way to encourage alternative transportation without having to lug your own bike around. If you need to get somewhere quickly, hop on a bike and pedal, without needing a cab.


On one of the afternoons in the city, we encountered the Mayor’s Cup cycling race. I thought I could cruise, but suffice it to say, I am nowhere near a professional cyclist! We got to watch a huge mass of cyclists zoom by, taking curves like a boss.


A trip to Boston isn’t complete without a visit to the Greenway. Once the city completed the Big Dig and moved its highways to underground tunnels, the Greenway was constructed where the highways once were. It’s a beautiful strip of green space running from the North End, past the Wharf District, past the South Station and ending in Chinatown. There are different parks and attractions, including farmer’s markets and a carousel! I love the Greenway because it’s a real-world working example of bringing functional green space to a city and adding to the beauty. Of course, moving major highways underground is no easy, fast or cheap feat to achieve green space, but Boston saw the value in the project, and now we get to reap the rewards!


Til next time, Boston.

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