Practicing Sustainable Travel: My Trip to Mexico - Public Goods Blog

Practicing Sustainable Travel: My Trip to Mexico

Being sustainable at home, supporting local businesses, reducing waste and being mindful can be more pressing when we are seeing the direct effects on a day-to-day basis.

woman in hammock, cactus, plants

I believe equally as important, however, is being sustainable while traveling. Think about it the same way as showing respect when visiting someone else’s home.

During my trip to Mexico I tried my best to travel sustainably, so I wanted to tell you a bit about the experience and offer some tips. Mexico has a history of exceptional art, design, culture, architecture, food — you name it — and it all comes together in Mexico City.

I can’t even tell you how much this city exceeded my expectations. I already can’t wait to go back!

We stayed in “El Centro” at Chaya BnB, and it was quite possibly the most dreamy spot to relax in. I’ve never seen so many plants in one place, and that aesthetic made my crazy plant lady self very happy.

We also scored the master suite with an incredible clawfoot tub surrounded by, you guessed it, plants. One way to do a little better for the environment is to opt out of having your room cleaned every day. This decision cuts back on chemicals that could be left behind from cleaning supplies, as well as water waste from washing towels and sheets more than necessary.

Because we only brought carry-on bags, I packed my Public Goods travel set toiletries that are vegan and free of parabens, and sulfates — and they smell AMAZING thanks to my fave, essential oils.

bathtub, plants, public goods travel toiletries

The neighborhoods we enjoyed exploring most were Roma and Condesa. They are right next to each other. If you only have a few days in Mexico city, start here. There are tons of amazing shops, restaurants and sights to see.

When we could, we took electric Bird scooters (or the Mexican version, Grin) instead of Ubering between Roma and Condesa. Not only was it faster than sitting in traffic, but way better for the environment and super fun!

Eat and Drink

Mexico city is FILLED with amazing places to eat that feature local and organic in-season produce! When you consume food and drink that is locally sourced, not only does it taste way better, you’re money reaches further by helping support local farmers and the local economy.

Here are a few of my favorite restaurants that practice sustainability:

  • Sin Nombre: Slow Food made with traditional Mexican techniques and ingredients.
  • Bosforo Mezcaleria: Right next door to Sin Nombre, a hip and happening Mezcal bar, tiny but good vibes.
  • Sartoria: Hand made pasta, gorgeous interior. Try the gnocchi.
  • Buna Coffee: All coffee is sourced from Mexico by farmers who use sustainable practices and roasted by Buna. Amazing.
  • Lardo: An all day cafe of sorts, a great brunch option!
  • Pujol: Make a reservation as soon as you book a flight, named by the Wall Street Journal as the best restaurant in Mexico City, for good reason! They use indigenous ingredients that pay homage to Mexico’s rich culinary history.
  • El Molina De Pujol: If you can’t get in at Pujol, try some of the handmade tortilla quesadillas para llevar (to go), and you will thank me later.
  • El Moro: Churros. Since 1935. Need I say more?
  • Cicatriz: My favorite meal of my whole trip was actually a fried chicken sandwich at Cicatriz, seriously life changing.


  • 180 Shop: A cool store in Roma with both vintage and locally designed goods! In their own words, “180 seeks to develop and consolidate a sustainable creative industry, to support new designers, to recover the iconographic identity and the Mexican cultural legacy, as well as to promote and spread the creativity of our country around the world.”
  • Lago: Everything in this store is made by independent Central and South American designers and it’s all real stylish.
  • Barrio Alameda: A beautiful building with lots of small independent shops and restaurants throughout! Like a small mall, but way way cooler. Chaya B&B is at the top of the Alameda building and above that there’s a rooftop restaurant called La Azotea.
  • Casa Bosques: A bookstore featuring books on design, architecture, photography and art.
  • Taxonomía: Taxonomía is a design store forging new paths in the Mexican creative industry. You’ll find home goods, accessories, clothing and more.

Little Tips for Traveling Sustainably

  • Bring your own reusable bags for shopping.
  • In Mexico it’s not safe to drink the water from a tap, so as much as you can, try to ask for filtered tap water, or if you have to buy a bottle, opt for buying glass instead of plastic.
  • Try to walk, bike or scoot (Bird and Grin were awesome!) when possible, and you’ll also get to see more of the city!

Traveling 100% sustainably is hard to grasp, but if we all do just a little bit better and be a little more mindful, imagine the impact we could have! Hope you found this travel guide helpful and enjoy Mexico City as much as I did!

Bio: Ellie Koleen is a photographer who specializes in weddings and portraits. You can visit her website or follow her on Instagram.

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Comments (2)

  • If you travel by air to your destination, all the scooter rides in the world aren’t going to make your vacation “100% sustainable”. The carbon footprint of air travel seems like an odd thing to ignore in this article!

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