Tuesday 16 August 2011

a green melbourne food fling

Like any good greenie I always travel with my KeepCup (and like any good fashionista I wear my new clothes as soon as I can).
In Fitzroy Gardens, KeepCup in hand
and wearing my new vintage dress.
Okay, I'll confess that my Melbourne food choices weren't all as green as my shopping choices.  In particular the decadent afternoon spent lingering over a cheese plate at the City Wine Shop definitely raised my food footprint; the EWG's Meat Eater's Guide to Climate Change and Health tells me that cheese ranks just below lamb and beef in terms of carbon footprint, and that cheese plate was the equivalent to driving about 4 miles. 

I think I more than made up for it by visiting CERES on Sunday afternoon, though.  CERES is an environmental education centre and urban farm in East Brunswick, and we ate at the delightful restaurant on site, The Merri Table & Bar.  The Merri is fully committed to sustainability from the seasonal local menu through to the way the restaurant is operated, serving delicious food in a naturally beautiful atmosphere.
Fresh herbs growing outside the restaurant.

Pumpkin gnocchi, pie and fresh coleslaw - amazing.
After stuffing ourselves at The Merri we spent time wandering around the rest of the park.  It's really hard to imagine that it used to be a municipal tip now that the site is filled with gardens, chooks, solar panels and a marketplace. Groups like Bike Shed, Community Gardens and Chook Group also reside on site making this place a real eco-wonderland. I walked around filled with delight as I saw people tending to plots of land, collecting free chook poo and parents showing their children around the sustainable park.  If I lived in Melbourne I'd be signing up to volunteer tomorrow.

Later on we popped by Little Creatures for a refreshing beverage.  I was delighted to see community bicycles (to take on a picnic, of course), fresh herbs growing in window boxes, menus printed on 100% recycled paper and an interior design that embraced reused furniture and dematerialisation. Not your average pub, that's for sure.

We passed a couple casual vegetarian restaurants walking around but weren't hungry at the time to stop in (there's just never enough time!).  If you're in Melbourne try out Vege2go, a Vegitalian place, or Yong Green Food, and let me know how they are.

I don't know if it's because I was specifically looking for green activities in Melbourne, but it certainly feels like it is more sustainable than Sydney.  From the frequency of the trams to the cycling culture and the abundance of green food and fashion, I definitely found it easier to be green in Melbourne than I ever have at home.  Hopefully the old Sydney-Melbourne rivalry can extend to sustainable living, otherwise I may have to move.

Thanks Melbourne for a wonderful weekend!

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