Delicious cuisine, remarkable history, and sustainable tourism? Yes, Paris has progressed in leaps and bounds by providing more environmentally friendly and responsible alternatives to visiting the beautiful city at the heart of Europe.
There are many ways to enjoy Paris sustainably, from flying water taxis to eco-friendly couture and sustainable holiday seasons. There is a rising movement in the French capital to strengthen the city’s green credentials, with a rising number of environmentally friendly eating venues, sustainable intercity transportation, and eco-conscious stores, activities, and hotels.
Before getting started on a sustainable tourist guide, let’s know about Paris and its significant travel destinations first.
Paris is France’s largest, most famous, and most populous city. It has long been a significant financial, diplomatic, business, design, science, and cultural centre in Europe. Paris is located in northern central France, amid a north-bowing curve of the river Seine, whose summit includes two islands, the Île Saint-Louis and the larger Île de la Cité, which form the city’s oldest part. The city is stretched out on both river banks above sea level.
There are a few notable hills in Paris, the highest of which is Montmartre at 130 meters. Except for the remote parks of Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes, Paris occupies an oval of roughly 87 km2 in the area, encircled by the 35 km long Seine River.
Because of the world’s changing climate, we must be more accountable for our acts and analyze our impact on the environment. It is necessary to travel in an environmentally friendly manner, not to harm residents or the natural environment.
These are among the essential guidelines for vacationers who want to travel properly. Here’s how to get started.
Making Green Choices in Paris
1. Transportation Choice
Travelling around from one place to another will take up a considerable portion of your trip. This necessitates the use of a suitable form of transportation. A suitable means of transportation does not necessarily imply that it is the most environmentally beneficial. This means you’ll have to choose something comfortable and environmentally friendly.
As a developed country and a popular tourist destination, Paris has a sophisticated public transportation system. While you will have access to private automobiles and taxis, you should be aware that they contribute to increased traffic congestion and pollution and emit dangerous gases into the atmosphere.
So, consider walking, cycling, electronic, and public transit as choices.
Related Reading: Where to volunteer in Paris
2. Trying local foods and cuisines
Many people want to be safe and choose international food chains, which contribute to a culture that generates millions of tonnes of garbage and negatively influences small local businesses. Rather than merely adhering to global inexpensive food restaurants that contribute to the massive amount of garbage produced on the earth, it would be beneficial to choose modest and local solutions.
It will be almost criminal not to taste them, especially in a city like Paris, known for its adorable small cafes and romantic bakeries. It will benefit the economy and be a more environmentally responsible option.
3. Do not dump waste
As an environmentally conscious traveller, you should be green as much as possible in the city to arouse individual sightseers and locals. When visiting any tourist destinations, particularly city parks, make sure you don’t throw any food coverings and, if you find any garbage, pick it up and drop it in the trash can. It may appear to be a minor pastime. Still, it has a considerable impact on those watching, especially the children at the recreation centre, who learn and imitate the behaviour of others.
Related Reading: How to make your travels plastic-free
4. Shop locally
Always shop locally to promote local artisans and craftspeople. You may come across little businesses and food vendors on practically every city’s road throughout your visit. Buy items and handcraft from these businesses if you wish to have an incredible experience in the city. It will help you save money, and you will also be helping a lot of local people who rely on their small enterprises to make a living.
5. Choose a green lodging option
Opt for a green hostel as far as possible but if a green hotel is not available, choose an apartment or hostel over other lodging options. Most five-star hotels and resorts produce tons of waste every day, including 79,000 tonnes of food waste (9 percent of total food waste in the industry). They do not follow sustainable business practices.
You will be able to minimize your carbon footprint by choosing to use no plastic and produce minimal garbage, among other things. This will help you reduce your carbon footprint and significantly contribute to environmental improvement.
Related Reading: The top 10 eco-friendly hotels in Paris
Pollution and Air Quality: Act Responsibly
Paris is the second most polluted city in France and has struggled with air pollution for quite some time; the AQI index still ranks it mildly. On most days, the air quality is not too poor, but it remains a source of concern, and the European Court of Justice even criticized the city in 2019 for its weak action against NO2 air pollution produced by motor traffic.
The local government has taken several initiatives to address the issue, including pedestrianizing the streets and building completely protected bike lanes. You can contribute to environmental protection by riding about the city rather than driving and contributing to air pollution.
Being Respectful the Cultural Diversity
Paris was the world’s largest Catholic city at the turn of the twentieth century. According to IFOP, a French general evaluation research organization, 61 percent of residents in the Paris Region (Île-de-France) are Roman Catholic. In a similar survey, 7% of respondents identified as Muslims, 4% as Protestants, 2% as Jews, and 25% as unaffiliated.
This demonstrates that the society is multicultural, which is what distinguishes it. This city’s rich history draws visitors from all over the world.
You will be able to tour some of the most important historical sites and hear various anecdotes. You are welcome to inquire about their fascinating culture, but do not be disrespectful or dismissive of their traditions and beliefs.
You will not have any problems with the locals if you do not indulge in destructive activities. They only hope for reciprocal respect from visitors.
Another essential characteristic of French culture is that they prefer to keep religion and official concerns separate. It is forbidden to wear anything that reflects a religion, such as a headscarf worn by Muslims in public areas such as schools.
This may be a source of anxiety for many travellers who do not want to modify how they dress in their daily lives only to visit a country. It would be best to think about this before you go so that you aren’t insulted by what the French expect of you, and they aren’t offended when you don’t satisfy those expectations.
Try the below sustainable and cultural experiences in Paris
Related Reading: Eco-friendly activities to try in Paris
Getting Up and About
The metro is the best and most convenient mode of transportation for getting to this metropolis. It is inexpensive, and you may see and visit all of the city’s lovely sights. Paris is France’s capital, and we won’t be able to see and experience all of the sights because the city is so huge and the metro is the only method to get about.
However, because we observe a lot of cabs on the road and trams in this city, we have alternative options. When it comes to train questions, the city is well connected. However, we should avoid a few sites near Marx Dormoy, Porte de la Chapelle, La Chapelle, Porte de Clignancourt, and Porte de la Villette at night because they are pickpockets hotspots.
In this city, you may walk, and the roads and pavements are all clean. There is no need to use the bus, tram, or metro to get to any of the surrounding stores.
However, walking is not an option while visiting some locations. Although we may go for an evening walk in this city and feel safe, CCTV cameras are installed across the city to safeguard us from robbery or crime. Walking in the city is safe. However, there are certain congested areas, such as street Bangkok, a local food market where you may sample a variety of street foods.
Taking a bicycle is one of the cheapest modes of transportation in Paris. We observe several bicycle-only protected lanes, which we may utilize and enjoy by renting a bicycle from Velib. Different sorts of sharing bicycle firms are distributed across the city, or we can ride our bicycles and enjoy the ride by visiting other parts of Paris. The best bicycle routes in Paris are from Stalingrad to the Bois de Vincennes, Place de la République, and the Seine.
To wrap up
Changing our travel habits to be more eco-friendly and sustainable does not have to be expensive and burdensome. Travel excels at bringing civilizations closer together. All we need to focus on is making a concerted effort to travel ethically.
Let’s think about how we can help the local community as tourists. Consider your actions and whether they may have an unintended effect on wildlife or the environment. We can evolve as better humans considering our environmental impact. Being acquainted with the problem and making a conscious attempt to improve is the first step.
When done correctly and sustainably, travel can genuinely empower marginalized populations, expand opportunities, protect cultural heritage, assist in regenerating fragile ecosystems, and ensure that there is always a world worth exploring. We hope this travel guide to the world’s tourism capital, Paris, will contribute to creating a greener impact on travel habits.
Travelling to Paris?
About the author: Suraksha Pal is an Industrial Engineer currently pursuing a master’s degree in Renewable Energy Engineering at the Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk Campus. She has a keen interest in Renewable Energy and is passionate about sustainable development. She loves to express her views on these subjects through articles and blogs.