In the last post the Part 1 of my ‘Sustainable travel plan for Melbourne’ I talked about everything when it comes to food and being a low-waste backpacker in Melbourne. But what about the other things? Self – care, clothing, transport? Well, all of that is explained in this one. So, let’s dive in!
Zero – waste self-care
Let’s start with my favorite one. Self – care!
On this blog, you can find my awesome, super easy and quick recipes to make your own cosmetics such as shampoo and toothpaste literally everywhere you are. They’re simple and everybody can manage to make those. However, what if you’re just stopping by in Melbourne and don’t feel like buying a full bag of rye flour or a whole bottle of apple cider vinegar?
In this case, I use an easier recipe. Just two ingredients! Castile soap and chamomile tea. Actually, you can use any kinds of tea, depending on your preferences. Chamomile tea will just give your hair some more shine and make them a bit lighter. My so-called ‘sun-touched’ effect. 😉
The quick recipe: Mix 1 cup of freshly brewed chamomile tea with two teaspoons of Castile soap. I take Castile soap with me everywhere and it’s a huge life-saver. You can use one bottle of Castile soap for half a year. Isn’t that great?
Anyway, if you really don’t feel like making stuff yourself you can buy good things in
– Organic Wholefoods – I buy there 5$ organic non-packaged soap bars but they also have affordable and good shampoo bars. Also, all sorts of cosmetics. However, as always, making your own is cheaper and more fun.
– Sis_stainable – This is a very local small biz that I love! It’s two sweet girls, sisters who started creating their own cosmetics and selling it at the local markets. They use mostly bentonite clay as the main ingredient. I bought their toothpaste just to try them out and oh, it’s far better than any other ones that I tried. It works and tastes great. They have all kinds of cosmetics and sustainability workshops as well. If you’re in Melbourne, make sure to look them up.
(I’m not affiliated to them, I just really like their products that much.)
Aaand it’s fashion time!
Luckily Melbourne it’s all about second-hand fashion. You can find great local unique pieces in any of the vintage clothes stores. Personally, I try to avoid these shops as every time I enter I just have to buy something. Nonetheless, if you feel like spending some money on clothes there’s vintage store heaven on Brunswick St. and Smith St in Fitzroy. If you walk around these two famous streets you’ll see tons of second-hand clothing shops, vintage shops, and recycled clothes shops. Also, suburbs like Richmond, St. Kilda are good places for bumping into some not so famous and hidden second – hand shops.
What’ the difference between second-hand and vintage store?
Well, they both sell already used clothes. In vintage boutiques, you’ll find heaps of awesome dresses, and very unique, stylish pieces. Prices range from 20$ – 200$. In second- hand stores you have the chance to find something super unique and high-fashioned too. The only problem is that you’ll have to search very thoroughly and probably it will take a longer time. These shops work well if you need something more basic – such as black shirt for work or decent shoes. Prices are around 2$ to 50$. (All prices are in Australian dollars).
For clothing, there are also many swap and zero – waste events happening regularly. If you’re interested in attending check Facebook groups like Zero – waste Victoria and Melbourne zero – wasties. You’ll get much more information there than Googling it.
Movement and exercise
Almost all yoga studios around Melbourne have their intro offers. You pay from 20-30$ and you’ll get unlimited classes for a fortnight or even a month. Of course, choose a yoga studio that’s close to where you stay. If you’re staying for short-term this is a great deal.
If you’re staying for longer you can change the studios or actually pay some if you really like it. Otherwise, when you ran out of studios to try, you can do yoga at home either from Youtube or the awesome, high – quality online classes on Alomoves 20 USD for a month.
Although I’m not a gym fan, a gym has the same intro offers if you’re interested.
- Flow – arts
There are free flow jams where you can learn to do poi, dance with hula – hoops, or to juggle. It’s an incredible, welcoming community of talented sweet people. For more information on these, check the Viral happiness Facebook group.
For a free stay, you might exchange a few hours of work for free accommodation. Most hostels in Melbourne offer this opportunity so just ask around or email them. If you don’t mind paying for accommodation, search Facebook groups like Melbourne room share and Fairy floss real estate. Fairy floss is the absolute best when searching for accommodation.
Even if you stay short – term, there are many short-term sublets on offer, so just have a look!
Staying in a shared house with a private room is often cheaper or the same price as staying in a hostel. I stayed in a shared house close to CBD and paid 190$/week (all bills included) and in one of the cheaper hostels where I shared a room with 6 other people I paid 230$/week. Crazy right?
If any of these don’t look attractive, there’s always Couchsurfing where you can stay with someone for free and get a nice local experience. The only downside is that you should really spend some time with host too and offer something back. Usually, you don’t get that much freedom but this very individual.
- Drum circles in St. Kilda beach
These are awesome! People play instruments and dance like crazy. Beautiful vibe, you dance close to the beach and jam with people for free. They usually happen spontaneously though so you might not always catch them. Usually, it’s Thursday or Sunday night on St. Kilda beach starting in the evening
If you stay in Melbourne CBD or a suburb close by there usually are perfect cycling routes. Also, in CBD the trams are free so you don’t spend any money on transport. Also, Melbourne is a pretty walkable city. If you feel like getting a bike, look for it on Gumtree or a second-hand bicycle shop called Second chance cycles. Prices are usually around 100$.
In case you’re interested you can find even an ethical job.
My top picks are Ethicaljobs.com, Inded.com or Facebook groups such as Melbourne backpacker jobs, or many others. Otherwise, if you like to do any kind of art you can try your luck on the street. That’s great for any kind of backpacker and you don’t support any kind of mad boss looking to earn as much money as possible.
You can legally busk on the street once you get the permit. You apply for it here, attend the safety session (get ready to wait for it at least a month) and then you can officially perform on the street. For me, this worked sometimes great and sometimes not so good at all.
Alright, with this guide you should be all good in Melbourne and you don’t have to break the bank.
If you have any questions or more useful tips you’d like to add on, feel free to comment down below! Thank you.