Last week offMetro (oM) is a project that offers sustainable getaways around major cities - and they just officially launched their second site for San Francisco (the first was offManhattan). The website promotes a green lifestyle by highlighting inspiring day trips and weekend jaunts that are easily accessible via alternative modes of transportation - by bike, subway, train, boat, or ride share.
The website was originally inspired by two young, adventurous souls who had moved to the city and were looking for affordable, car-free adventures that would get them into the outdoors. Finding that there was no centralized resource dedicated to such hobbies, Lauren Matison and Vincent Crossley launched oM. Matison explains:
We started a blog as a hobby in 2007, which documented our local trips by train, bike, and bus, and within six months, we had created this eco-conscious getaway guide that was inspiring thousands of New Yorkers every month. As our site grew, we decided to punch the “green” angle up a notch by incorporating reviews of farm-to-table restaurants and eco hotels to make leading a green lifestyle even easier and more enjoyable for an active, urban dwelling audience.
A host of on-the-ground contributors make up the oM team. Each scours their city and surrounding area, often by bike, to discover hidden gems to share with readers. Leisure activities, restaurants, accommodations and nearby eco wineries are just some of the many delights to learn about. An events calendar also makes it easy for people to engage with sustainability focused events on an almost daily basis.
By far, one of the most useful tools the website has developed for both the New York and San Francisco sites is the Transportation Guide. Each functions a little differently but users can search by destination or mode of transportation. For instance, in the NY guide users can choose between destinations from the Hamptons to Raleigh and see the best way to get there via public transportation. There’s even a guide to renting hybrid cars in Manhattan and an “NYC Airport Transportation Guide!” For the more visually-oriented, “The Big Map” offers interactive points on a map that can be clicked to learn what exciting things exist in each location.
While the local city sites have plenty of close and multi-day options for escaping their respective cities, the Around the World site is a valuable resource for those looking for sustainable travel options in more far-off locations. For instance, “A Green Tour of Paris” offers readers ideas for where to rent bikes, which parks to visit, how to maneuver on the metro and a list of hotels dedicated to clean environmental practices. Other articles cover lesser known travel options in places such as Banff, Thailand, Bermuda and many more.
As the push for public transportation increases, oM is a great resource to figure out how to best use existing resources to feel truly independent while having the smallest environmental impact. For those from the cities oM is already covering, feel free to contribute your best-kept sustainable secrets via their Contact page. If oM has not yet made it to your city, be patient and keep checking back as the company continues to grow and evolves to be the leading sustainable travel resource for cities across the globe!