When you travel, everything that you do as an impact on the earth. Most of us don’t realize it but think about your daily routine. There are endless coffee cups, takeout containers, bags, ticket stubs, transportation tickets, etc.
These are two really great articles that help you minimize the amount of trash that you’re throwing away. Lily Rodgers wrote this article for Expedia Viewfinder where she lists step by step ideas to help you lessen your carbon footprint even before you set foot on your adventure. Bret Love from Green Global Travel wrote an epic guide on sustainable travel with 40 tips so you’ll definitely find something there that’ll work for you.
I wanted to write a guide on how to have a low-waste, eco-friendly day in St. Louis since I’m growing to really love this city and I’m learning that there are many options to make sure you have a positive impact on planet earth. I’ll include my favorite healthy food hot-spots and load of activities you can do with no garbage to throw away.
First, you’ll need to create a zero-waste kit. This is super easy to start and once you invest in all of these products (or use what you have at home already) you’ll always be prepared and live more towards a low-waste lifestyle.
In my zero-waste kit I have:
- Re-usable bags
- Mesh produce bags
- Water bottle
- Glass Mason jars
- Bamboo or metal silverware
- Coffee cup (if planning on getting coffee that day)
- Small Tupperware
- *Optional that I don’t currently have: stainless steel straw
- Cloth napkin (opt for a darker color since you will be using this maybe more than once)
Now, I don’t carry all of this stuff with me every single day. I work from home most of the time and I stay at home or at my local library but when I am planning on grocery shopping or running errands, I’ll usually bring this in the car with me.
Let’s imagine that you’re already in the city of St. Louis, you’re at a friend’s house, Airbnb, or you’ve used your resources (like my friend, Miss Filatelista) and found yourself a great hotel that offers recycling, composting, or other actions to make it an eco-certified accommodation option. Here’s how I would ideally start my day out.
1.Getting breakfast at Pura Vegan Cafe.
At Pura Vegan Cafe, you can bring your glass mason jar or ask the staff to make your smoothie in one of their glass jars. My absolute favorite and the one you should try is the Maca Cappuccino (if you like espresso). It’s a shot of espresso added to a smoothie made up of banana, almonds, nutmeg, cinnamon, maca, cacao, dates, and coconut water. Make sure that you ask for no napkin since you already have a one in your zero-waste kit. They also have amazing food options if you’re craving avocado toasts or breakfast bagel sandwiches.
2. Visiting the Missouri Botanical Garden
Next up is visiting a few natural spaces in St. Louis. I really love the Missouri Botanical Garden. On colder Saturday mornings, (from 7:00am-9:00am the garden is free for residents) I like to visit the Climatron which is a huge geodesic dome used as a conservatory. It feels like I’m back in Puerto Rico with the dense tropical air surrounding me and I feel warm. I never want to leave that place. The Missouri Botanical Garden also offer many different classes, workshops, and demonstrations on sustainability in their Earth Ways Center. It is so nice to support local businesses who are “committed to inspiring and educating our local region about the benefits of being good environmental stewards and establishing sustainable communities through conservation, ecological restoration and responsible use of natural resources” (as taken from the website). Book online and use the mobile ticket feature to ensure that no paper is wasted. If you are given a slip of paper for any reason during your visit, just ask if you can refuse it, or take it home and let it rot in your compost.
3. Marveling the recycling projects at The City Museum
Starting out as a shoe manufacturing factory and warehouse the creators at The City Museum know how cool it is to recycle. The mastermind behind the place is Bob Cassilly, a trained sculptor who has a passion for turning old industrial parts and materials into an eclectic mixture of a children’s playground and fun house for all ages (yes, adults too).
4. Grabbing lunch to go from Seedz Cafe
It’s a proven understood fact that eating a more plant based diet helps lower your negative impact on the planet. I won’t get into too much detail but if you’re curious, you should definitely watch the Netflix documentary called “Cowspiracy.” It opened my eyes so wide to the devastation that animal agriculture has on our planet. To give you just a couple facts,
“Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.” Cowspiracy
“Livestock is responsible for 65% of all human-related emissions of nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas with 296 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, and which stays in the atmosphere for 150 years.” –Cowspiracy
Anyway, one really great raw vegan restaurant/cafe in St. Louis is called Seedz Cafe. Grab your tupperware container from your zero-waste bag and ask for the Raw Pad Thai (which is crazy good) or try the Tempeh Ruben. Don’t forget that you also have your reusable utensils and cloth napkin so you won’t need to grab that. Take your water bottle in too so that they can fill that baby up!
5. Taking said lunch to Forest Park for a picnic
Once you grab your lunch, you should take the short walk to Forest Park. This park actually surpasses