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21 May 2013
The concept of environmental consciousness is transforming holiday destinations around the world, as more and more tourists make it clear that they want to remain "green" even as they travel. A case in point is the "green bicycle" scheme recently adopted in New York City. Ostensibly organised in order to help local residents get around town without burning fossil fuels, it is also expected to become a popular amenity for visitors staying at New York Hotels.
The city already features dedicated bike lanes and in fact has constructed more than 200 miles of such lanes over the last three years. A significant bike friendly infrastructure has been added to all five of the boroughs that make up the city.
Along with the bike lanes, the Department of Transportation has also installed thousands of bicycle racks and 24 sheltered structures for bike parking. "Green" holidays in New York can only improve over time, with the Department committed to doubling bicycle use by 2015 and trebling it by 2020.
Best of all perhaps, is that the bikeshare scheme set to begin this summer in the Big Apple will provide 10,000 bicycles free of charge for rentals that last up to 45-minutes. With hundreds of these rental stations scattered throughout the city, the tourists can easily cycle to many of the attractions that led them to book flights to New York in the first place.
In establishing these initiatives to assist the city to have a smaller carbon footprint on the planet, New York is following in the footsteps of some of the greatest tourist destinations in the world.
The capital of the United Kingdom is committed to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by an astounding 60% over the next 20-years, making it one of the least polluting cities on the planet. Tourists flock to London to see the sights, including the Houses of Parliament and the Tower of London, will enjoy a “green” emphasis almost everywhere they go. They will find Fairtrade coffee being sold in Trafalgar Square and drink in recycled bottles being sold at many other tourist locations.
This beautiful city in the Southern Hemisphere is world-famous for its environmental initiatives. Lighting there depends on eco-conscious fluorescents rather than energy-wasting incandescent bulbs, and the "Green Square" urban renewal project uses a variety of planet-saving technologies. These include the purification of storm water for domestic plumbing use and the low-carbon generation of electrical power. Tourists sailing in the harbour or visiting the Sydney Opera House can be pleased that their holiday is not just providing them with the memories of a lifetime, but is also helping to support some of the most innovative "green" thinking in the world.
The largest city in Colombia, Bogota has gone "green" under the guidance of mayor Enrique Penalosa. Not only has he recreated pedestrian sidewalks and revitalized the public transport system; he has also overseen the construction of more than a thousand different oases of green space inside the city limits.
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