Since hosting the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2015, the city of Paris has committed to pursuing a plan for development centered around mitigating climate change and transforming the capital into a global leader in sustainability. While Paris is admired worldwide as the city of lights and of love, recent efforts to embed principles of sustainability in everyday life may lead to recognition of Paris as a prominent eco-tourism destination in the future.
The Parisian metropolis boasts iconic landmarks, museums, and a delicious food culture that intertwines with a lifestyle characterized by work-life balance. Exploring the city is both scenic and accessible, and has been made even easier amidst endeavors to reduce car traffic and encourage transportation by bike, public transit, and on foot. Since 2014, roughly 900 miles of bike lanes have been added to the city’s infrastructure, ‘urban forests’ have begun being planted with the goal of covering 50% of the city by 2030, and intentions to designate the first four arrondissements as car-free as early as next year have been confirmed.
Paris is recognized for a number of reasons worldwide: the Eiffel Tower, café culture, famous art and architecture, beautiful gardens, and sophisticated fashion, among others. However as a result of initiatives to combat the climate crisis Paris is gaining esteem for its energy-conserving accommodations, organically sourced restaurants, and sustainably-minded businesses. Paris has maintained its sense of history and tradition but is simultaneously innovating for a future that will be based on a greener world. Read through this guide for an introduction to Paris as a model city for eco-tourism!
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Offering 12 rooms with views of the historic Canal Saint-Martin, Le Citizen Hotel is designed with clean lines, natural wood, and an eco-friendly philosophy that informs the design and function of the hotel. A responsibility to the environment will be apparent in the details of your stay: faucets and shower fixtures conserve water, glass bottles replace bottled water and are refilled everyday, and iPads replace paper books and pamphlets to provide hotel information as well as newspapers, weather, and internet access. In addition, the entire hotel is designed with energy conservation in mind, as the building was newly renovated in 2010 to include a sustainable heating and cooling system and energy consumption monitors that reduce lighting in unoccupied rooms. For delicious and organic meals, look no further than the hotel’s restaurant, where 90% of products are locally sourced in France and perks include homemade jams, condiments, and breads. A bicycle station located 50 yards from the hotel makes environmentally friendly transportation around the city easy and accessible, and you will be sure to enjoy the hotel’s locations and amenities as a sustainable tourist.
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Solar Hotel prides itself on its status as the first green budget-hotel located in the heart of Paris. Solar Hotel is an enjoyable and economical choice, with a single rate offered for all rooms and the inclusion of breakfast, computers, internet, telephone, and free bicycles for guests. The hotel provides a complete French breakfast made with 100% organic products, including croissants from bakery “Moisan” and apple juice from Normandy, to be eaten in the garden or overlooking the garden from the lounge room on the ground floor. Solar Hotel facilitates recycling and sorting of waste, cleans with certified organic products, and provides information to guests on sustainable tourism in Paris.
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Hotel De La Porte Dorée believes that the hospitality industry must take responsibility for the planet’s survival and construct a guest experience that treats ecotourism as a necessity rather than a perk. As a result of this mindset and the manifestation of this ideology in its development plan, Hotel De La Porte Dorée was awarded the Green-Key “Eco-Label” presented to 1500 establishments in 28 countries worldwide. The steps Hotel De La Porte Dorée has taken are numerous: installation of a reversible air conditioning and heating system that saves 75% of electricity compared to a standard system, the use of energy-efficient bulbs and automatic lighting, dual-flush toilets and low-flow shower-heads that reduce water use by 30%, sorting of glass, paper, plastic, and organic waste, an organic fair-trade ingredient breakfast, and even the provision of bamboo towels and toothbrushes for guests.
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Located only a few minutes from the iconic Eiffel Tower, Hotel Gavarni has received 5 eco-stars for its efforts toward sustainable development and environmental protection. Hotel Gavarni is 100% carbon-neutral, utilizes 100% renewable energy, and offers an organic fair-trade breakfast. The building is 100 years old and has been thoroughly renovated to include pressure regulators for showers, energy efficiency, and even the replacement of plastic trash bags with bags made from potato starch. Employees, who are at the heart of the Hotel’s sustainability initiatives, receive environmental training and commute to work via bicycle or public transport. The Hotel Gavarni website even features a green blog with articles ranging from “How the World is Coming Together to Save the Coral Reefs” to “Paris, After Confinement, The Return of Air Pollution”.
La Table du RECHO originated amidst the European refugee crisis that has witnessed the displacement of more than 2 million people since 2015. Vanessa Krycève created the La Table du RECHO project with the intention of using cooking as a universal, unifying language to repair the discrediting of the refugee who, forced to uproot from their home, arrives in France asking for asylum. La Table du RECHO seeks to “prove that France, country of the declaration of human rights, knows how to bring the words of “liberty” and “equality” to life. The project invites refugees and welcoming populations to cook together in order to create strong and positive social ties that are fundamental to society. The food itself aligns with the principles of sustainability as wasted and unsold products are recovered and used and local products are highlighted as results of sustainable agriculture. Tourists travelling to France can enjoy a delicious brunch, lunch, dinner, or takeaway meal from the La Table du RECHO restaurant at a former barracks in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. The menu is seasonal, products from industrial or intensive breeding are omitted, and each plate features the power of plants.
For a homemade, organic, vegan burger – stop by Mopa! The concept for Mopa arose amidst the understanding that veganism has become a widespread, personal act to combat the climate crisis and quality food that aligns with environmental concern should be readily available. Products are sourced from local farmers and packaging comes from recycling in order to reduce waste. The menu is simple, with your choice of 3 burger bases, 3 buns, and sides, but regardless of its modesty you will enjoy a happy and healthy experience.
Abattoir Végétal takes up a bright and airy space on Paris’s Rue Ramey serving vegan and vegetarian breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner meals. All products are organic, raw, and seasonal, and even non-vegans or vegetarians will be convinced to consider a dietary shift after enjoying the vibrant and tasty dishes at this coffee shop and bistro.
Septime was ranked No.35 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2017, and has topped the sustainability chart for its environmentally friendly practices. Not only is 99% of the restaurant’s produce grown in France, but Septime also values seed preservation and collaborates with farmers and chefs to save seed varieties through a project called Conservatoire du Gout. Septime’s menu is 80% vegetable based, and while the restaurant does occasionally use meat, beef is entirely omitted because of its negative environmental impact. All wine served in-house is natural and free of pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals in addition to Septime having its own vineyard that is being converted to biodynamic production. Outside of the kitchen, Septime participates in Mangeons Local, an initiative that supports the local economy and local agriculture, as well as Bon Pour Climat, which works to reduce the hospitality sector’s carbon footprint.
Liife café seeks to encourage consumers to “eat smart for your performance, your health & the environment.” Research with health and sports professionals informs recipes for salads, breakfasts, smoothies, hot dishes, and snacks that focus on the values of energy, detox, and high protein. Only in-season organic products are used to make dishes include Liife’s signature acaÏ bowls, green eggs, and avocado toasts, and packaging is compostable and made from plants as the restaurant limits the use of plastic.
La REcyclerie is located in a repurposed former train station and is devoted to reduce, reuse, and recycle by raising awareness regarding environmental responsibility in a positive and exciting way. Sustainable tourists can experience all that La REcyclerie has to offer in the form of cooking, gardening, upcycling, theater, and DIY classes in addition to community events such as concerts, readings, and seed swaps. Since its establishment, La REcyclerie has recovered 7.2 tons of waste as compost, repaired 377 objects at the workshop, and gained 625 members per year. The space includes a café defined by its repurposed design and mismatched objects that provide an eclectic charm, and along the former train tracks you’ll find a vegetable garden with beehives, chickens, and heaps of compost from the café.
The Zero Waste House, located in the 12th arrondissement of Paris, offers events including workshops and conferences focused on waste management, implementation of a zero-waste lifestyle, and zero waste at the individual, collective, and political scale. The Maison du Zéro Déchet shop provides products to reduce your daily waste such as bulk bags, kits to make your own household products, and solid hygiene products. The Agora room is the location for a number of events open to the public: an “Understanding the Impact of Digital Technology on the Environment” lecture, an introduction to the zero waste lifestyle, how to vermicompost, and a homemade deodorant making workshop. Furthermore, sustainable tourists and locals alike can stop by the resource space for a selection of educational books, magazines, essays, and guides published by Zero Waste France free of charge on site.
Take a walk through Marché bio des Batignolles, Paris’ all-organic market held every Saturday from 9:00am to 3:00pm. The market is a favorite among locals and you will find seasonal fruits and vegetables, flowers, cheese, jams, and Sardinian foods straight from the farmers and producers.
For a hidden and magical exploration of Paris, walk along La Petite Ceinture, a railway line that carried people through Paris via steam train between the 1850s and 1930s. You can access La Petite Ceinture from the 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th arrondissements and will happen upon playgrounds and communal gardens as you wander. The walk is historical, mysterious, and lush with an ethereal quality that will transport you into the world of 19th century Paris.
Chaussettes Orphelines by Márcia De Carvalho doesn’t believe in sacrificing sustainability for the sake of fashion. Instead, Chaussettes Orphelines makes socks, clothing, and accessories from recycled socks. Not only does the manufacturing of one pair of socks cause pollution, but the cotton production for one pair of socks requires more than 20 showers worth of water. Based on the disheartening statistic that consumption of 300 million pairs of socks in France produces 16,000 tons of waste annually, Chaussettes Orphelines has devised a solution: recycle! Of the decision to re-use wasted socks, the boutique says “Thanks to a simple sock, we become aware of the ecological stakes of our planet.” The store is creating a circular economic cycle to raise awareness regarding textile waste recycling and the potential for re-use. Most importantly, however, is the fact that Chaussettes Orphelines provides customers with a return label to send all unused socks for a second life.
Located in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, Le Producteur Local is a cooperative grocery store providing locally and ethically sourced goods to the public, including fruits and vegetables, cheese, bread, groceries, coffee, cosmetics, and household products. Le Producteur Local requires that all producers be located less than 50 miles if delivering fresh products once per week and less than 90 miles if delivering dry products. In addition to selling local artisan goods, Le Producteur Local supports producers through its cooperative model. Le Producteur Local does not apply margins on products sold and instead allows producers to recover all of what they sell. The store is ethical, community-driven, and committed to providing quality organic products to its consumers.
The historic Centre Commercial store location is in Paris’s rue de Marseille near the Canal Saint-Martin in the 10th arrondissement of the capital. Centre Commercial provides a comprehensive sustainable shopping experience with the sale of model brands transparent about their production, factory conditions, and ecological materials. Centre Commercial was founded by the owners of popular vegan shoe brand Veja, and since its establishment has evolved into one of the coolest stores in Paris with a promise of combining simple, sturdy fashion with sustainability. Sustainable tourists in Paris can venture to Centre Commercial to forget about fast-fashion and instead choose brands designed for endurance and with an environmentally conscious responsibility in mind.
Aujourd’hui Demain is a vegan concept store where all products sold or prepared are 100% vegan. The store offers an ethical and sustainable selection of groceries, cosmetics, books, home and pet care products, clothing, and footwear. In addition to hand-selected vegan shopping, you can also participate in Aujourd’hui Demain’s workshops, tastings, screenings, and pop-ups including a feminist inspired embroidery workshop, pop-up vegan market, yoga and brunch event, or vegan cheese and wine party. With an urban-chic atmosphere and a unique selection of products and experiences, sustainable tourists will love Aujourd’hui Demain.
Sustainability in Paris
Paris has taken active steps toward creating a greener future, and as the city is increasingly characterized by diminished car-traffic, improved bicycle paths, accessible public transport, sustainable eateries, energy-conserving accommodations, extensive ethical experiences, and an environmentally conscious population, sustainable tourists are awarded a breadth of opportunities to travel responsibly and with an awareness of individual impact. The landmark 2015 Paris Climate Agreement has inspired the internationally recognized capital to assume a leadership role in fostering an environment for sustainable living.
ecomadic is a sustainable tourism brand that empowers travelers to make more conscious decisions. By curating a marketplace to easily find and identify responsible businesses to support, and providing educational publications through our online green travel magazine, ecomadic is committed to helping empower travelers make responsible choices throughout their journeys.
Want to Learn More?
Hotel EcoLabel – Hotel Gavarni Paris
Hotel Gavarni: Green Panache in Paris – Europe Up Close
Solar Hotel – Solar Hotel
La Table du RECHO, an anchor in Paris – Le Recho
Mopa – Mopa
Abattoir Végétal – Abattoir Végétal
Vegan in Paris: & Vegetarian at Abattoir Vegetal – My Parisian Life
Liife – Liife
La REcyclerie – Atlas Obscura
La REcyclerie – Urban Insider
The Place – The Zero Waste House
Marché Biologique des Batignolles – Paris Info
Our Cooperative Model – Le Producteur Local
Top 5 Sustainable Stores in Paris – Global Blue
Aujourd’hui Demain – Aujourd’hui Demain