How to Have an Environmentally Friendly Visit to Detroit
Story By: Sarah Bence | Photos By: Photos Courtesy of: Beacon Park, Detroit Hives, Superpedestrian, Eastern Market, Detroit Vegan Soul, Detroit Zoo, El Moore Lodge, James Brown/Free Face, and QLine
Calling all eco-focused travelers! Detroit is the perfect place to have a unique city experience while minding your carbon footprint and environmental impact.
From community gardens to mindful dining, transportation and exploration, here is your purpose driven travel guide.
Watching your carbon footprint while you visit Detroit? More and more people are looking for sustainable ways to travel, and luckily there are options in Detroit if you’re trying to be environmentally responsible.
Delta airlines: If you’re arriving into Detroit by air, consider flying with Delta into Detroit Metro Airport (DTW). Delta made a commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, and has been carbon neutral since March 2020, setting it apart as one of the more environmentally friendly airlines.
Qline: When in Detroit, consider traveling by Qline rather than car, taxi, or uber. The Qline is a 3.3 mile streetcar that runs through the downtown corridor. Even better news? Expect free rides on the Qline through the end of 2022.
Bike or scooter: Another way to cut your emissions is to travel Detroit by bike or scooter. Superpedestrian is 100% carbon neutral and offers LINK scooters around the city. Bike rental companies include MoGo, a nonprofit bikeshare with 75 stations and 625 bikes across Detroit, or Wheelhouse Detroit, which offers both bike rentals and guided tours of the city.
The El Moore Lodge: The El Moore Lodge is the obvious choice when it comes to an environmentally friendly place to lay your head in Detroit. This sustainable boutique hotel concept uses geothermal heating and cooling, solar panels, high efficiency windows, energy recovery units, rain water harvesting, composting, on site gardens, and so much more.
MGM Grand Detroit: The MGM Grand Detroit is an upscale hotel, spa, and casino, that also happens to have made an environmental commitment – placing it as one of Detroit’s more environmentally friendly hotels. Included in the commitment is a large urban farm and greenhouse, certification as a Green Lodging Michigan Leader, an extensive recycling program, and more.
ACTIVITIES & BUSINESSES…
Walking: Of course the most environmentally friendly way to see Detroit is on foot. Take in the city by window shopping down Woodward Avenue, strolling along the Riverwalk, exploring the Dequindre Cut Greenway, or the paths of Belle Isle.
Farmers Markets: Support local Michigan farmers and makers at markets around the city. Eastern Market, the largest outdoor farmer’s market in the United States, is a must visit. Seasons Market, a newly opened market shop on Second Avenue, features a “farmers stand” section full of in-season Michigan produce. Another option is Fisheye Farms, a small urban farm that holds a farmstand on Fridays June through October.
Detroit Zoo: The Detroit Zoo is a perfect day out, and fitting for any environmentally conscious itinerary. The zoo has rescued and rehabilitated hundreds of animals over the years. Additionally, they have a “greenprint” which is their plan for improving sustainability. Actions the zoo has taken include building an anaerobic digestor for animal manure, electric and solar powered equipment, green roofs, a rain garden, and more.
Detroit Vegan Soul: Plant based food is obviously better for the environment, and Detroit Vegan Soul was the first 100% plant based restaurant in Detroit and remains beloved. It frequently features on PETA’s lists of best vegan restaurants in the world.
Seva: Seva is a vegetarian restaurant with plenty of vegan options that also deserves a spot on your itinerary.
Coriander Kitchen and Farm: Looking for a farm to table feast? Head to Coriander Kitchen and Farm, open Thursday to Sunday, and serving seasonal food fresh from their very own farm – and biodynamic wines!
Saffron De Twah: Saffron De Twah is an award winning, eco-friendly, farm-to-table restaurant that serves modern Moroccan food.