Step off the plane and breathe easy in Miami -- the Miami International Airport works with janitorial vendors who use predominately green cleaning supplies, including certified chemicals, tools, and processes that take health and environmental concerns into account. Several Miami hot spots are also down with saving the planet, from organic and sustainable eateries to hotels. Then there's the extensive public transit -- and wonderful weather for walking. Read on for specifics and learn more about Miami's ongoing green initiatives in TreeHugger's Miami archives.
1. Ride Public Transportation from the Airport: Metrobus, Metrorail, and Metromover
Kick off your carbon footprint-reducing campaign at the airport and take a bus or a train to your destination. The Miami-Dade Transit Department provides daily service to thousands of customers directly from the airport to all over Miami-Dade County via Metrobus, Metrorail, and Metromover, the "downtown-specific" fixed-rail system service. Metromover provides transportation to popular locations in the Downtown Miami and Brickell areas. Or, hop in a van from SuperShuttle, which goes to locations throughout the city.
To get around the city itself, Miami-Dade Transit offers more than 100 bus routes and 22 miles of rapid transit, so you can easily travel from as far south as Marathon Key to just north of the Miami-Dade/Broward County line. Transferring to the Tri-Rail allows you to extend your trip to Palm Beach County.
2. Grab a Healthy Meal at Michael's Genuine Food and Drink Restaurant
With all the hard bodies cruising the strip, it's no surprise that healthy, fresh food is easy to come by. For moderately priced meals, check out Michael's Genuine Food and Drink, a laid-back bistro emphasizing local and organic ingredients, with organic beer options too.
3. Dine Cheap at Julio's Natural Foods Restaurant
For an inexpensive lunch, head to Julio's Natural Foods Restaurant, which offers 100 percent fresh squeezed juices, smoothies, and sandwiches with tons of vegetarian options.
4. Check Out These Fine Organic Restaurants
If only organic will do for you, drop in Here Comes the Sun, which serves "haute" organic salads and fresh California cafe fare to a lively Miami Beach crowd. Delicious Organics is heavy on the organic produce and environmentally safe products. Gourmet Carrot is South Beach's raw-food hot-spot sporting trendy clientele and gourmet vegan meals. A Whole Foods Market conveniently situated in South Beach is an easy stop for quick, healthy options that you can rely on. 5. Or Try the Sustainable Seafood at Chef Allen's Restaurant For a more fine dining experience, try the catch of the day at Chef Allen's. The award-winning restaurant dishes up a variety of locally caught fish and seafood from sustainable fisheries. Chef Allen Susser was named the Best Chef of 2006 by The Miami New Times and has received a nod from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which named him an Ambassador of Sustainable Seafood. 6. Stay at a Green Hotel When you escape Miami's hot nightlife, get your beauty rest at a hotel dedicated to energy and water conservation. Comfort Suites Miami has low-flow showerheads and faucets, CFLs, and recycling bins in each room. Guests are also encouraged to keep sheet changes and towel washes to a minimum. Other moderately priced lodging options include the Westin Colonnade, Coral Gables, Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay, the Sonesta Bayfront Hotel Coconut Grove, and the Conrad Miami. Each has implemented a campaign to reduce water use, landscape with drought-resistant plants, change lighting or cooling systems to reduce electrical consumption, and recycle glass and paper. 7. Upgrade to Green Luxury: Stay at Four Seasons Hotel Miami or the InterContinental Miami Hotel If your expense account allows you to luxuriate in the splendor of eco posh-ness, head for the Four Seasons Hotel Miami which has been certified under the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Green Lodging program. The facility reduces water consumption using low-flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets, and conserves energy through energy-efficient appliances. Another plus, management purchases eco-friendly materials such as non-toxic cleaners and low-mercury light bulbs. The InterContinental Miami Hotel boasts a similar green philosophy and bears the same accolade. 8. Go Green Shopping, Miami Style Pound the pavement without being too much of a conspicuous consumer at eco-chic boutiques like Douglas Gardens Thrift Shop. Racks hold a select mix of designer threads and proceeds benefit the Miami Jewish Home & Hospital at Douglas Gardens. 9. Get an Organic Cut and Color at Machiko Salon Machiko Salon is ranked among the top places for a haircut and color in Miami -- and your head is in good hands. The salon only uses all-natural and organic products, so you can walk away with sun-kissed highlights without breathing in harmful chemicals. 10. Visit Everglades National Park Had enough of the beach? Just 25 miles outside of Miami, you'll find some of the most rare and endangered species in the world. Everglades National Park, the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, is home to 36 federally protected animals -- from the American crocodile to the Florida panther and the West Indian manatee. The 1,509,000-acre stretch of land is recognized as a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, and Wetland of International Importance. Opportunities abound for camping, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, and low-powered motor boating. Like this? Check out more of Planet Green's Green City Guides.