Austin has spent the last decade growing with grace, embracing all forms of creative expression and conscious living in tandem. It somehow manages to accommodate the influx of residents and tourists, there to enjoy its lively music scene, fantastic food, and beautiful boutiques, while still reserving bountiful space for nature. Creating a vibrant and healthy city which seems to move, shake and insight positive change.

While the conscious businesses blooming in within Austin's city limits would be impossible to compile into one article, I chose a few of my favourites to guide you as you discover the city for yourself. Just keep your eyes, ears and hearts open and you won’t miss a thing.

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SUSTAINABLE SOUVENIRS 
By shopping local and handmade when you travel (and at home) you are supporting the people who are sharing their town or city with you and boosting the local economy while you're at it. Austin has a plethora of crafters and artisans creating unique and beautiful pieces, as well as stunning selections of vintage and antique items if you're looking for something truly unique.

Stretching out on South Congress, Parts and Labour supports its own by creating a permanent marketplace in which makers can sell. I recently picked up three handmade magnets with cacti embroidered on them by local artist Lotus Meow, each a lovely representation of my favourite flora.
Charm School Vintage holds a trove of treasures blessed with bohemian aesthetics. From floaty floral dresses, lush velvet coats, cosy cardigans, embroidered shirts, and awesome accessories, to a line of locally made apothecary products and jewellery, each item is both conscious and covetable. I've yet to walk out of there empty-handed.

With fantastical items bound to inspire even the most dormant of imaginations, Uncommon Objects offers a plethora of seemingly unrelated relics creatively united in a cohesive expression of vintage and antique items from around the world. Merchandise moves quickly, resulting in an ever-changing exhibition of sorts, which tells a beautiful tale of all that is or came before.

With a beautiful collection of carefully selected gifts and homeware items, Take Heart is made up of warm woods, pristine pottery, brilliant books and soft scents, which inspire the familiar feeling of home in all who arrive at its door. 
SOCIAL: @takeheartshop

FORTRESS OF INCA
If you're in the need of a pair of boots that are indeed made for walkin', Fortress Of Inca has a stunning selection of handmade shoes and boots produced both ethically and sustainably.
ADDRESS: 503 W. Mary St, Austin, TX 78704
WEB: fortressofinca.com
SOCIAL: @fortressofinca


ECO-FRIENDLY EATS
You won't have any trouble finding locally owned restaurants or food trucks to dine at in Austin, especially those carrying organic, fairtrade, seasonal food. There are TONS of plant-based options, so if you try every place on this list and are still looking for more, download either the Slow Food app, which offers good, clean and fair places OR try the Happy Cow app, which helps you search out organic vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants and stores. 

This welcoming space offers wholesome, delicious vegetarian and vegan food and an array of delicious beverages all wrapped up in the embrace of the cosy vibrant atmosphere.

Proving upscale vegan dining and food trailers can get along just fine, Bistro Vonish offers a menu created with seasonal, local, farm-to-table ingredients, sure to please the pallet. 
SOCIAL: @bistrovonish

You can’t visit Texas without tasting one of their tantalizing tacos, and The Vegan Nom is a delicious place to start, especially if you're plant-based. Though the people who work there aren't the warmest I've encountered, the truck does offer a scrumptious selection of meat-free / dairy-free / gluten-free menu items worth stopping by to try.
SOCIAL: @thevegannom

Apart from the winter, Texas is HOT, so if you happen to be there in the warmer months, you may want to devour a vegan ice cream or shake to cool your sweet self down. Sweet Ritual, is an all vegan ice cream parlour which has built a tasty reputation with vegans and non-vegans alike.
SOCIAL: @sweetritual

If Austin's Americana vibe has to offer has you craving some ‘all American food’, the Vegan Bac’n Cheezburger from Arlo’s Food Truck will undoubtedly sooth the rumble.
ADDRESS(ES): There are three in Austin, click HERE to see them all.
SOCIAL: @arlostruck

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SUSTAINABLE SLUMBER 
Most hotels use water and energy inefficientlymanage waste improperly, pay staff unfairly, and cause noise, air and landscape pollution. By supporting boutique hotels, Airbnbz, or hotels with eco-friendly practices, you're doing your part for the planet, and are supporting local economy simultaneously.

Welcoming and cosy, this hotel is a sweet place to stay and also just a lovely spot to spend the day. With their cafe, restaurant and lounge on the first floor, you can pass by for some of their freshly made lemonade or pop in for a meal, or if you've got a bit of work to do, spend the day tapping away comfortably.  
ADDRESS: 1603 South Congress, Austin, TX, 78704 

There are some spectacularly stunning AirBNBs in Austin which will give you the comfort of home life with access to Austin’s awesome amenities. 
SOCIAL: @airbnb

If you’re more of a hotel person than The W Austin offers a luxury experience with eco-friendly values. The hotel has implemented water and energy conservation efforts, minimized waste and was constructed with environmentally friendly materials.
SOCIAL: @whotelatx

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  THINGS TO DO 
Things to do and places to see will be the least of your worries while wandering around Austin, I thought I'd share a few of my favourites all the same. 

East Austin Succulents alongside their sisterly neighbour Tillery Street Plant Co have created a vibrant exhibition of succulents, cacti and xeriscape plants ready for the viewing or taking for experienced plant parents or plant parents-to-be.

BARTON SPRINGS
Infusing nature with poolside serenity, Barton Springs is filled with the fresh waters of an ancient freshwater spring instead of chlorine. 
SOCIAL: @austintexasgov 

We all know Austin has a thriving music scene with a plethora of honkey tonks, dive bars and even a few theatres. Head over to TIME OUT AUSTIN to see what's on while you're in town.
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sxsw, origin magazine, austin, eco guide to austin, green guide to austin, conscious city guide, sustainable travel, green travel, eco travel, ethical travel, zero waste travel, sustainable travel, vegan travel, plant based travel, austin texasThis piece was originally published in ORIGIN MAGAZINE and has been adjusted to add a few new recent favourites! You can find ORIGIN anywhere magazines are sold in the U.S.A!