Five Sustainable Things to do in Paris

Eco and ethical destinations are en mode in travel and not necessarily synonomous with ‘off-the-beaten-track’. ‘Sustainable’ is now more oh-la-la than révolution and gone are the days that the words ‘green’ and ‘ethical’ in France were politically loaded terms in bohemian Paris.

With each trip to France I have watched Paris green a little bit more. So much so that ‘eco’, ‘bio’ and ‘sustainable’ are now bandied around in every product and service offering. In 2010, the French Government implemented France’s National Strategy for Sustainable Development, which now encompasses one of France’s most popular exports – tourism.

Eco-tourism in Paris is about treading lightly and sustainably visiting all the cultural, historic and natural treasures the city has to offer. So on my recent trip to Paris I sought out five must-do sights and activities for any discerning traveler with an environmental and social conscious:

1. Visit one of the city’s 400 public parks and gardens. The Jardins de Luxembourg in the 17th arrondissement are Paris’ oldest public gardens and a good place to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city streets.
2. Get on your bike. The City of Paris introduced a public bike hire system called Vélib’ in 2007. A Vélib’ bicycle can be rented short-term for around €1-4 per day and with over 20,000 bikes and 1,800 stations around Paris it’s a cheap and alternative way to see the city.
3. Shop ‘til you drop. Ethically of course. My favourite place to shop, le Marais, has now become a haven for all things eco, ethical, local and artisanal.
4. See the Mona Lisa. The Louvre, the gigantic museum that houses the Mona Lisa, signed a Sustainable Development Charter with a plan of action to reduce its carbon emissions. The Charter forms part of France National Strategy for Sustainable Development.
5. Chill out next to Paris’ living wall. The Musée du Quai Branly in the 7th arrondissement boasts an spectacular vertical garden with over 170 trees and 15,000 species of plants and flowers. While you’re there check out the museum, dedicated to arts, civilisations, and living culture.

The Best (and Greenest) Addresses
Shopping
Merci
111 Boulevard Beaumarchais – 75003 Paris – Phone +33 1 42 77 00 33
Metro : Saint Sébastien-Froissart

Zen Ethnic
Boutique Namaste
52 rue des Francs Bourgeois – 75003 Paris – Phone +33 1 42 777 635
Metro : Rambuteau / Hotel de Ville / Saint Paul.

Sleeping
Radisson Blu Champs-Élysées
78 bis av Marceau- 75008 Paris
http://www.champselysees.paris.radissonsas.com

Hôtel Gavarni
5 rue Gavarni – 75016 Paris
http://www.gavarni.com

Eating
Zuzu Petals
8 rue Marie & Louise – 75010 Paris
Metro: Goncort
http://www.zuzupetals.fr

Villa Spicy
8, avenue Franklin Roosevelt – 75008 Paris
Metro: Franklin D Roosevelt
http://www.spicyrestaurant.com

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  • Natasha Malinda from Melbourne, Australia
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