Health + Fitness

New Orleans Au Naturel: How to Travel Green in the Crescent City

Pedicabs in the French Quarter (Photo: Joshua Brasted)

Combined with general green travel habits, you can enjoy the greenest stay in New Orleans by finding the most sustainable and eco-friendly hotels, restaurants, attractions and modes of transportation. Here are a few tips you can learn from eco-conscious locals and businesses.

Try Some Southern Green Hospitality

Sleep soundly with eco-friendly accommodations that take care of the planet while you rest off your days and nights of New Orleans fun. JW Marriott New Orleans uses biodegradable housekeeping products, and recycles everything from cooking oil to batteries and computer equipment, while offering “Green Meeting” accommodations, including 100 percent recycled notepads and pens made from recycled materials.

Eat Your Greens

Whether you’re looking for vegan-friendly restaurants, organic fare, or local and farm-to-table ingredients, New Orleans has an array of green eating options. City Greens grows many of its ingredients on its own farm, so everything your fork touches is fresh, sustainable and homegrown. Superfood Bar works in tandem with local farmers and businesses to source only the highest-quality local, organic ingredients for its smoothies (Avocolada, Shhh), organic juices (Hangover Cure, Ambrosia) and dishes (Kimchi Salad, PLT with black bean patty and chipotle sunflower mayo). For more than just a green menu, Seed provides a sustainable dining experience complete with recycled menus, composting and solar panel energy sources to complement its local, organic or all natural ingredients.

Where Eco is the Attraction

For a taste of green nightlife, Eiffel Society maintains its own organic urban garden, where the venue sources fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs used in its dishes and cocktails. At the Audubon Zoo, the Conservation Station has two roles: teaching visitors about sustainable practices, such as drip irrigation, water purification and composting, as well as providing fruits, vegetables, herbs, seeds and worms to feed the animals. If you want to do a little shopping, Branch Out is the city’s first green shopping experience, where fashion meets eco-friendliness through sustainable clothing and accessories.

Get There the Green Way

It’s fitting that some of the greenest public transportation is green itself. Up and down St. Charles and Carrollton Avenues, you can find the forest green streetcars ferrying locals and visitors from Uptown to downtown, through the French Quarter and then connecting to the Canal St. streetcar and its red cars to travel through Mid-City to City Park. Streetcars don’t emit the greenhouse gases that taxis and buses do, which makes them one of the best modes of green transportation. However, the greenest ways to get around the city are still walking and bicycling, including biking yourself and taking pedicabs in the French Quarter. Plus, with more bicycle lanes and bike racks set up throughout the city, you can live like a local and pedal yourself around New Orleans as well. If you do need to take a cab, Nawlins Cab offers a fleet comprised mostly of eco-friendly hybrid Priuses.