There are a number of things you can do to help limit your carbon footprint when traveling to and around Houston. Here are a few suggestions:
Offset the carbon emissions produced by your flight.
When renting a car, choose the smallest vehicle that can comfortably accommodate your group. Don't be tempted by those "free upgrades" which will probably just cost you more in gas anyway. And, if possible, rent a hybrid vehicle.
Whenever possible, use public transportation instead of a taxis or rental cars. Better yet, walk or bike.
When making your plans to visit Houston, consider staying as close as possible to the things you want to see and do. Coming in for a convention at the George R. Brown Convention Center? There are more than a dozen hotels within walking distance of the center Downtown. Want to visit the Museum District while you're here? Stay at a hotel that's convenient to the MetroRail, which runs right through the District. You can have a very green experience in Houston, if you plan ahead. Here are a few eco-friendly ways to see the city:
Go on a Segway tour of Downtown or Buffalo Bayou.
Check out a bike through the city's low cost B-Cycle program.
Rent an electric bike at Revolution E-Bikes in Montrose and go cruising.
Take the free GreenLink shuttle around downtown Monday through Friday, 6:30am-6:30pm.
Going out for a night on the town? Take The Wave, Houston's fun jitney shuttle service.
Explore Downtown, Washington Avenue and Midtown on a Rev Eco-Shuttle.
See everywhere from Downtown to Reliant Stadium on Houston's light rail system, MetroRail.
MORE ON METRO
In recent years, The Metro Transit Authority has expanded its efforts to help make Houston public transportation more eco-friendly by rolling out dozens of diesel-hybrid buses, launching the METRORail and expanding its Park and Ride program. The city’s 7.5-mile electrically powered light rail not only promotes activity along the popular Main Street corridor, but decreases the amount of pollution; both air and noise. Each rail car has a seating and standing capacity of 200 people. The line currently runs between Downtown and Reliant Park. The next phase, now under construction, will bring light rail to new neighborhoods around the city, making it even easier to get around Houston using public transportation.
ELECTRIC-VEHICLES ROLL IN
The city of Houston has also taken tremendous strides in the last few years to make the streets more friendly to electric-powered vehicles and hybrids. The Mayor's Office has led this initiative, along with several community partners, installing charging stations throughout the city and encouraging businesses to do the same where possible. For a map of vehicle charging stations around town, Houston Corporate Housing salutes the city of Houston for promoting and funding the green transportation and hope this vibe will continue and spread to other authorities.