The Conscious Guide: Boston

Boston tends to evoke images of dreamy autumnal days on Ivy League campuses, a scorching cup of Dunkin’ Donuts in hand while walking past an Irish pub to the sound of hysterical Patriots fans, Aerosmith softly playing in the background while lobstermen unload their daily catch. It’s all that and so much more, a beautiful mix of our history and character with modern innovation in sustainability.

This bustling city is home to a growing wellness scene, local artisans and makers, and a community raising them up. Boston is making sustainability more relatable and convenient than it’s ever been. Many shops have already taken a cue from our neighbors in Cambridge and banned bags, encouraging consumers to bring their own reusable totes. In the warmer months you can see everyone taking advantage of the Bike Hubway stations found at several convenient spots throughout the city, for a zero waste commute.

Get ready to discover some incredible people, stores, and restaurants paving the path for eco friendly cities. 

Coffee Shops


The first time I went to Barrington I got something called the Steampunk, and the barista walked me through the flavor profile of each variety of fair trade coffee beans. When I finally made my decision I watched as my drink was created through a contraption controlled by an app precise enough to automate factors affecting siphon brewing. So what I’m saying is Barrington knows really good coffee and now I know really good coffee and you can too.

Thinking Cup

I love walking down into this little hideout of a cafe. It looks and feels like an old French patisserie, and is a perfect stop on Newbury Street to grab a coffee with friends after all the shopping you just did.


This cozy, locally owned cafe has a number of Best of Boston awards and multiple locations. They brew coffee from some of the best local roasters and offer some veg friendly options on their menu.


A standing espresso bar in a little corner of the downtown neighborhood for when you need a little something to get you through, or want to relive that one time you went to Italy.

Sustainable Shopping


With 2 locations in the city, this growing Boston-based favorite is the ultimate clean beauty shop. A beautifully curated boutique to pick up all the best in nontoxic makeup and skincare, including some local favorites!

Cambridge Naturals

A family owned Cambridge staple for over 40 years, this go to source for all things natural is opening up a new Boston location in summer of 2018! It’s chock full of nontoxic skincare, sustainably sourced supplements, bulk herbs, kombucha, and all the fair trade chocolate you could dream of. The incredibly knowledgeable staff will help you find your way around the shop and will even make sure you leave with a few samples that will keep you coming back for more.

Olives + Grace

Described as “A curtsy to the makers” this South End boutique houses a variety of small batch housewares made by local artisans.


Founder and designer Allison Daroie’s new brick and mortar shop on historic Charles Street offers elegant, minimalist design women’s wear. Each piece in her innovative collection is made to be worn multiple ways and is constructed in New England with sustainable materials.

Credo Beauty

THE natural beauty shop has found a home on Newbury Street! Credo is well known for its wide selection of nontoxic and eco friendly beauty and skincare products. They even have in-house makeup artists and estheticians taking appointments.


The most aesthetically pleasing plant shop possibly ever. This adorable boutique in the South End has all the succulents and plant friends (and pots to match) you’ve been dreaming of and sweet staff that will help you design the perfect, instagram worthy, set.


A gourmet shop in the South End featuring hand picked rare cheeses, charcuterie, spices, and freshly made bread. The Formaggio team has been sourcing artisanal foods for over 30 years and has become a Boston staple. They’re active participants in a composting program to increase sustainability efforts in the community!



Clover has set up shop in nearly all the main neighborhoods, including a 24 hour location in the heart of Cambridge. The menu rotates often to be as seasonal as possible while using local ingredients. They recently partnered with Impossible Burger to offer an exclusive vegan friendly meatball sandwich that will leave even the most carnivorous among us begging for more.


The best place in town to get a perfectly blended açaí bowl with all the right toppings. Their new location, “Jugos Supremo” is much bigger than the original and offers tables and chairs. I once saw Chef Kristin Kish order a juice there, so I ordered a juice there.


For an upper scaled dinner, the menu is the perfect marriage between traditional Peruvian and Italian cuisines. Taranta has been top rated by Zagat for the incredible food and atmosphere, but that’s not all they’re known for. It’s one of the most eco friendly restaurants in the country, and has won the City of Boston Green Award for its carbon neutral business practice.


To satisfy a sweet tooth, FOMU has a wide range of coconut based ice cream flavors and toppings (including avocado and sweet lavender), cakes, and other vegan treats.

Things to Do

Public Garden

At the end of Newbury Street lies the green oasis known as the Public Garden. There’s almost always someone playing music over the bridge that pours throughout the park, and an open bench to sit and watch the swan boats circle around the pond. (Ideal for people watching if that’s your thing. Isn’t that everyone’s thing?)

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Enjoy art and gardens overflowing with luscious greenery all in one go.

Institute of Contemporary Art

Hanging right over the Seaport, the ICA is a stunning and ever changing collection of new art and ideas. Don’t forget to spend a minute (or 30) in the downward angled media room to view the oceanfront from a striking new perspective.

Walk along the Charles Esplanade

It’s not Boston without the Charles River, and you can walk right next to it on the esplanade to catch some beautiful views.  

The Lawn on D

If you time your Boston visit for Spring or Summer you can catch a party here! An outdoor, interactive space near the Waterfront that hosts community events like yoga, live music, and old movie screenings (and some very cool swings).

Post contributed by Mary Taylor, a Holistic Nutritionist and wellness writer based in Boston, MA. She recently founded Boston Wellness Collective, a platform connecting health and wellness professionals in the Boston area to promote events, businesses, and services in the community.

Follow her along on Instagram at @marylyntaylor @bostonwellnesscollective

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