6 Eco-Friendly Experiences In London - From Vegan Cheese To Solar-Powered Theatre

6 Eco-Friendly Experiences In London - From Vegan Cheese To Solar-Powered Theatre

A day out in London that's also eco-friendly? Izabela Kruczkiewicz — a journalism student at London College of Communication — tells us how to do it.

1. Gather, Peckham

various jars of dried pasta
Image: Gather

Gather is a homey food store selling pretty much all the kitchen cupboard essentials: pasta, grains, cake ingredients, coffee, oil, spices. Everything's organic, and they even sell toiletries (such as shampoo bars and lip balm) and cleaning products. Now here's the clever bit: Gather is as low waste as possible, and you'll need to bring your own containers — jars, bags, bottles. (You can even fill up on wine.) Grab what you need, get it weighed, and walk out feeling smug that you've done something nice for the planet.

Gather, 121 Bellenden Road, Peckham, SE15 4QY

2. The Lexi, Kensal Green

lexi cinema marquee with house of gucci and west side story on the bill
Image: Lexi Cinema

There are a few things make the Lexi — a pint-sized cinema in Kensal Green — particularly eco-friendly. They've been straw-free since 2018; their sweets and snacks are served in refillable glass jars; and they source locally wherever possible. On top of that, the Lexi gives 100% of their distributable profits to The Sustainability Institute in Lynedoch, South Africa.

The Lexi, 194b Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Green, NW10 3JU

3. The Cheese Cellar at La Fauxmagerie, Shoreditch

a cheeseboard brimming with camembert, roquefort and the like
Image: La Fauxmagerie

Calm background music and a classy interior make the Cheese Cellar at La Fauxmagerie perfect for languorous evenings with partners and friends. They offer a mouth-watering range of faux cheese platters, including Brixton Blue (served with pear, quince and pickled walnut chutney) — pairing these with wines from France, Slovenia and Argentina. It's hard to believe it, but the plates here are fully vegan (better for the environment). All of the tableware, cutlery, and napkins are reusable, too.

The Cheese Cellar at La Fauxmagerie, 20 Cheshire Street, Shoreditch, E2 6EH

4. Southbank Centre Book Market, Waterloo

a man flicks through books
Photo: Clem Onojeghuo/Unsplash

Explore a dizzying range of second hand and vintage books at this perennially popular outdoor book market, located under Waterloo Bridge. Classics, horrors, contemporary titles, comics and prints all feature on the various stalls here — and the fact they're previously loved means you're doing your bit for the environment. Last time I went, I found two Stephen King titles to add to my collection. Prices start from just £2 — make sure you've got cash on you, although a few stalls accept cards.

South Bank Book Market, Waterloo Bridge, 337-338 Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX

6. Arcola Theatre, Dalston

the silhouette of a man in a hat with a mic
Image: Arcola Theatre

If you want to see a play and be more conscious about our planet, give Arcola Theatre — an intimate playhouse set in a former factory — a whirl. As well as priding itself on its 'daring, high-quality theatre' productions, Arcola likes to shout about its solar and solar thermal panels, which help power its electricity and heat the water supply. The building's original timber joints have been reused to hold up the stairs and frame the doors — plus 90% of the beer sold at the bar is brewed within four miles.

Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, E8 3DL

6. Made in Hackney, Upper Clapton

a woman in a made in hackney apron mixes a salad with her hands
Image: Made in Hackney

Made in Hackney is both a cooking school and a charity. Their classes are run in a recycled, eco-friendly kitchen (as well as online), teaching you how to cook the likes of Southern Indian cuisine and Korean street food (both vegan, for extra eco points). There's also a class that demonstrates how to cook zero waste by using every part of every vegetable — especially the ones we're often guilty of throwing away.

Made In Hackney, Liberty Hall, 128 Clapton Common, E5 9AA

Featured image: Made In Hackney

This article was written as part of a collaborative project between Londonist and London College of Communication.

Last Updated 23 February 2022