Melbourne is among the world's most sustainable destinations, where innovative businesses have discovered new ways to lower waste, reduce plastic use and give preloved goods a second life. Use our guide to curate your own low waste day out in Melbourne.
Environment and sustainability
Love the earth at CERES Community Environment Park, a 10-acre urban oasis with an organic farm, chickens, community gardens, bike repair and bee groups. Pick up provisions at the organic grocery, a zero-waste hub, and find new threads at the CERES makers and flea market.
Discover a new side of the city on a Wayward Wanders Urban Eco and Sustainability Tour. Discover community spaces and urban gardens, learn about eco-friendly urban design and see the positive influence of urban greening.
No-fuss food and wine
Melbourne's famed foodie scene is bursting with veg-forward options. Head to Lona Misa in South Yarra for Latin vegan and vegetarian fare, co-owned by superstar chef Shannon Martinez, whose chef's-hatted Collingwood restaurant Smith and Daughters attracts the cool vegan crowd. Fitzroy's Transformer serves sophisticated seasonal dining in a plant-filled space.
Support social enterprises that are using the power of food to do good. At Cromwell Streat and Sibling By Kinfolk, you're helping the local community while enjoying delicious food. Win, win.
A number of restaurants repurpose their food waste. Italian restaurant Ladro operates under a closed loop policy in Fitzroy, where organic waste is turned into garden fertiliser, which can be purchased by the bag or bucketload. At Prahran sister restaurant Ladro Tap, the focus is on reducing bottle and organic waste, with taps to dispense beer, wine and soft drink.
For a guilt-free tipple, join local wine lovers at Rewine, a low-waste, sustainable wine merchant with bars in the city, Fitzroy and Brunswick. Buy wines straight from the barrel, then return and refill your wine bottles for waste-free drinking.
Visit Urban Alley, a Docklands brewery with seriously green credentials. Urban Alley's entire brewing process is designed with low waste in mind, and it's the first brewery in Australia to use biodegradable E6PR rings made from spent grain on their six-packs.
Pop into Melbourne's cafes with a KeepCup (a sustainable Melbourne invention) or any other reusable cup, for a waste-free takeaway cup of Joe. You may even earn a discount on your cuppa.
Melbourne's historic Queen Victoria Market is leading the way in sustainability. The market has been plastic bag and straw free since 2019 and is aiming to produce zero carbon and send zero waste to landfill by 2027. BYO reusable bag when you shop for local produce and deli goods.
Shop at South Melbourne Market, which is powered entirely by renewable energy, and where an expansive sustainability program includes transforming green waste into compost and fertiliser that is then used by farms, parks and the local community.
Buy an eco-friendly gift for a friend, stock up on locally made make-up and bring your own containers to fill with environmentally-friendly cleaning products at Shop Neutral in Prahran Market.
Known for bright designs, local label Gorman upcycles fabric off-cuts and remnants into quilts and runs an alterations and repairs outlet above its Fitzroy store to bring garments back to life. Local designers Obus, Alpha60 and Kuwaii eschew fast fashion for quality, sustainable fabrics and timeless designs, and offer various recycling, repair and garment rental programs.
Melbourne loves its vintage shopping, from unique clothing to shoes and accessories. Shop secondhand designer fashion at Vault, Secondo in South Yarra and Bruce in Clifton Hill. Browse at Goodbyes in Collingwood, Brunswick and Prahran, and Mutual Muse in Northcote and Brunswick for a huge range of vintage clothing. Bring your own quality preloved garments in to sell, and pick up a new look from the racks.
Rummagers can head to Lost & Found Market to find treasure among clothing, furniture, homewares, art, records and bric-a-brac.
Discover Aboriginal Victoria
Learn about sustainability practices from Aboriginal Victorian people and the world's oldest continuous living culture. Discover the rich history of the First Peoples of south-east Australia at Koorie Heritage Trust, where you can browse one of the largest collections of Koorie art and artefacts on permanent display and catch an exhibition from local Aboriginal artists.
Learn about significant native plants and their uses, Aboriginal customs and ongoing connection to Country on an Aboriginal Heritage Walk through Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens. Then try incredible native flavours and traditional Torres Strait dishes at Big Esso by Mabu Mabu in Federation Square.
Spare the emissions on a trip down the Yarra River, with the help of GoBoat. These electric boats are made from recycled materials and can seat up to eight people. Be your own captain, and bring lunch and drinks in reusable containers to enjoy on the trip.
The city's many bike lanes make riding an easy and safe way to see Melbourne. Jump on a tour for a local's perspective, or hire a bike and cycle your way around town.
Melbourne's tram network is one of the biggest in the world, powered by a large-scale solar plant in regional Victoria. Trams within the city centre are free, and are an excellent way to lower your carbon footprint.
Combine a day at the seaside with a feel-good activity. Volunteer community groups collectively known as Beach Patrol meet one a month to spend a morning cleaning local beaches. Get involved by contacting your local group online.