Australia is full of restaurants and cafes that are doing their bit to minimise their environmental footprint with sustainable wining and dining. Here are our top 8 picks.
It’s a scary thought that as the world’s population grows and puts more pressure on our resources, the environment may not be able to keep up. It’s in our best interests to do what we can to inflict minimal harm on the world’s ecosystems. While ‘eco-friendly’ is becoming an overused marketing term, it also champions sound practices that we can all follow to help make a difference. Thinking globally and acting locally is a great way to start.
Alex Conomos shares with us 8 of the best eco-friendly dining spots in Australia, along with a few tips on how to change our food-related behaviour.
Small changes to food-related behaviour can greatly reduce your carbon footprint and improve your health and wellbeing. Here are some tips for shopping and cooking in a more eco-friendly way:
- Buy produce in season, it will be far better quality and tastier
- Buy local to minimise food miles (distance food has travelled from paddock to plate)
- Eat less processed foods which have used more energy and water in their production
- Reuse shopping bags; always keep a few canvas bags on standby in the car
- Reduce meat consumption (the meat industry is one of the most significant contributors to the world’s environmental problems)
- Select sustainably sourced fish
- Grow your own fruit and vegetables and keep chickens in your backyard
1. Mondo Organics, West End QLD
A pioneer on the organic scene, Mondo restaurant and cooking school is dedicated to sourcing the highest quality produce and shuns chemical pesticides, preservatives and genetically modified food. Grass fed beef from Tassie’s Cape Grim and Barambah organic milk are among the high quality ingredients used daily.
2. Billy Kwong, Sydney NSW
Kylie Kwong has become something of a poster girl for the eco movement because she practices what she preaches every day in her restaurant. Kylie’s cooking showcases locally grown, organic and biodynamic produce, with a spotlight on native Australian bush foods such as Warrigal greens and wallaby tail.
3. Purple Possum Café, St Marys TAS
With over 200 wholefoods in stock, this treasure trove of biodynamic foods (biodynamic refers to a style of organic farming) stocks everything from local honey to delicious organic veggie pies in the café. A whole wall is dedicated to bulk food bins, encouraging customers to bring in their own containers to be filled up.
4. The Raw Kitchen, Fremantle WA
Every aspect of this business has been scrutinised for its greater ecological impact. That means reusable stainless steel straws in your drink, a composting system, eco lighting and a menu designed around minimal food miles. Between the smoothie bar, yoga classes and raw workshops, you could spend all day in this restored 1920’s warehouse.
5. Sarah’s Sister’s Sustainable Café, Semaphore SA
It’s all about the three S’s – soul, serenity and sustainability. Delicious vegetarian (or even vegan) fare is the order of the day here and the sustainable attitude doesn’t stop with the food. The eclectic mix of restored and recycled furniture demonstrates the breadth of this team’s eco ethic.
6. Saffron, Parap NT
The team here does things a little differently. Using only sustainably sourced fish and predominantly local ingredients is a given, but they’ve upped the ante by using zero-waste technology and biodegradable tableware made from bamboo and sugarcane. The disposable tableware minimises pollution and also saves water and electricity use in the restaurant.
7. Yong Green Food, Melbourne VIC
'Uncooked cooking' is an artform here. From raw nachos to ‘rawsagne’ and raw pecan pie, Yong Green Food will make you rethink the idea of a raw diet. All food is prepared according to yin and yang principles to encourage balance in the body. They also donate 10 per cent of all profits to help support farmer-managed natural regeneration in East Africa.
8. V Spot Café, Civic ACT
This café is all heart. Apart from serving a range of vegetarian, vegan and raw foods which are organic, fair trade and eco-friendly, they also give back to the local community in more ways than one. The café acts as a collection ground for donations to shelters, offers ‘pay it forward’ coffees for those in need, and donates their tips to charity.