The Sustainable Traveler's Guide The Land Down Under!
It may be a 15-hour flight from Los Angeles, but with its picturesque harbor, famous Opera House, artisan coffee, and popular brunch culture, Sydney, Australia is an international city we love visiting. We especially enjoy all of the sustainable and local-conscious hotels, shops, and eateries popping up throughout the city!
So, whether you’re traveling with friends and family, your significant other, or off on a solo-getaway, Sydney is a laid-back city with something for everyone, including conscious travelers! Don't miss some of our favorite spots to stay, eat, and shop!
// Where To Stay //
The Old Clare Hotel
Why We Love It | Located in Chippendale, an area in central Sydney known for its converted warehouses, outdoor cafés, and refurbished art galleries, The Old Clare Hotel was once two heritage-listed buildings: the headquarters of Carlton & United Breweries and The Clare Hotel pub. After an impressive renovation—one that salvaged the architecture and many of the old buildings’ artifacts—the structure was revitalized, giving way to what is now a modern and eclectic 62-room boutique hotel. The Old Clare is perfect for conscious travelers in Sydney, as well as tourists looking for an accommodation with wellness options. Aside from the eco-conscious decor elements, such as the custom Rag and Bone Man lamps in every room and natural bath products by Triumph & Disaster, the hotel boasts a rooftop pool, yoga classes, onsite restaurants, babysitting services, and bikes for hire.
Where To Find It | 1 Kensington Street, Chippendale
Paramount House Hotel
Why We Love It | A new boutique hotel has popped up in the former headquarters of Paramount Picture Australia, and we could not be more excited to book our stay. Located in Surry Hills—a hood that the hotel describes as “the only Sydney neighborhood that so nicely balances both grit and polish”—The Paramount House Hotel is a wonderful marriage of old and new. To be a guest is to be a friend is the motto at The Paramount Hotel and, with cozy rugs, lively plants, and soft color palettes decorating the 29 rooms, the accommodation truly feels like home. Enjoy morning coffee in handcrafted ceramic mugs made by Brisbane artists (you can even purchase one in the gift store as a souvenir), as well as other delightful amenities, like fresh sheep milk cheese in the room fridges, and copies of The Gentlewoman stocked at the reception desk.
Where To Find It | 80 Commonwealth St, Sydney
// Where To Eat //
Why We Love It | A family business passionate about creating ethical and sustainable plates in a community-focused atmosphere, Cornersmith is a local eatery with three locations in Sydney. Diners can visit for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the staff also hosts sustainable cooking classes.
Moreover, Cornersmith specializes in fermenting and pickling foods (we’ve heard their pickles are delicious). After eating at one of the daytime cafés, stop by the shop in Marrickville for a jar of pickles and a few sustainable groceries. We also recommend taking home one of their famous cookbooks as a souvenir.
Where To Find It | 314 Illawarra Road Marrickville (café); 88 View Street Annandale (café); 441 Illawarra Road Marrickville (shop)
Why We Love It | A trip to Australia wouldn’t be complete without a cup of artisan coffee—or a few. And, while Melbourne may be the capital of coffee in this country, Sydney also has some fantastic roasting happening in the city. Take Single O, for example. We love this coffee shop for its ethical and sustainable model, as well as its futuristic milk-on-tap system. What’s more: the company uses solar power for roasting.
There are a few Single O cafés scattered throughout the city, but we recommend stopping by the flagship location in Surry Hills. This sunny location was founded in 2003 and is the perfect spot for a few cups of ethical coffee, as well as breakfast or lunch.
Where To Find It | 60-64 Reservoir Street Surry Hills; other locations
Why We Love It | For a memorable dinner out, Red Lantern on Riley Street is the most awarded Vietnamese restaurant in the world. With dishes prepared by the renowned Australian-Vietnamese chef, Luke Nguyen, dining at this restaurant on Riley Street is a must for conscious travelers.
Aside from the aromatic and delectable cuisine (gluten-free and vegetarian options available), as well as the organic and biodynamic wines, Red Lantern has been recognized for its forward-thinking and environmentally-conscious cooking techniques. As Australia is one of the driest places in the world, the restaurant has installed rain tanks and uses a water-free wok cooking system. Moreover, cooking oil is recycled for biofuel and produce on the menu is organic.
Where To Find It | 60 Riley Street, Darlinghurst
// Where To Shop //
Why We Love It | We are passionate about publishing guides that feature American-made products for when shopping in the USA, so we are thrilled to highlight Ur Place, a shop stocking a curation of Australian-made products for when you visit Sydney. Owned by Kathryn Whitwell, the store sells some of Australia’s best products, including handmade planter boxes and locally poured candles. Ur Place also sells fair trade items from around the globe, like artisan wall hangings and hand-woven rugs.
A delightful store just outside of central Sydney, visit for an Australian-made gift to take home.
Where To Find It | Shop 2, 728 Old Princes Highway, Sutherland
Why We Love It | Founded by two longtime friends, Loren and Kristie, over their love for the ocean and handcrafted things, Commune Bondi was born in 2016 and is one of Sydney’s most lovely sustainable shops. Located near Bondi Beach, the shop features local fashion labels, sustainable body sprays, handcrafted jewelry, and more—we especially love the hand-knitted sweaters from John Macarthur and The Salty Crown’s eco-friendly hats made from biodegradable and renewable wool. The perfect spot to purchase a unique souvenir, Commune Bondi is just a short walk from the sand.
Where To Find It | Shop 1, 96 Glenayr Avenue
The Standard Store
Why We Love It | The Standard Store in Sydney doesn’t only sell conscious fashion, the store itself is a model of sustainability. The boutique clothing company—started by a husband and wife team in 2011—has two locations in the city where high-end brands, sourced from around the world, are sold. It’s the newest shop though, located in Barangaroo South’s shopping district, that everyone is talking about. Why? Because the shop was designed using 100% local and sustainable materials. Stop by to browse the impressive fashion collection, as well as the fantastic interior details (like the local artisan-made lights and doorknobs).
Where To Find It | Shop 4, C2 Scotch Row, Barangaroo; 503 Crown Street, Surry Hills
Kayti Christian, a staff writer for The Good Trade, is a storyteller, creator, activist, and avid traveler hailing from Colorado, now living in London. With 30+ stamps in her passport, she is passionate about responsible tourism and is always looking for new ways to be a more conscious traveler. She is currently pursuing her MA in Creative Nonfiction Writing at City, University of London.