Living sustainably is becoming an increasingly prominent trend among many millennials and the younger generations. At a time when climate change and environmental degradation is at an all-time high, many people are taking it upon themselves to change their lifestyles in a way that will not harm the environment. However, many people are reluctant to change into a more environmentally friendly lifestyle because it seems difficult. We decided to prove that assumption wrong and demonstrate that sustainability can be enjoyable and effortless.
Living Kitchen: 555 Fayetteville St, Raleigh, NC, NC 27601
The Living Kitchen is an all organic and 100% vegan-based restaurant located in Downtown Raleigh, Charlotte, and Chapel Hill. We attended the one in Downtown Raleigh, and we were immediately amazed by the minimalistic and earthy atmosphere, resembling a restaurant that looks like it should be in Greenwich Village in Manhattan. The waitress brought out a vase-like glass filled with water for the table, placing it next to a vase of fresh cut flowers that were arranged on each of the wooden tables. The menu had a wide range of choices- sandwiches, salads, soups, and other options ranging from burritos to hummus. For drinks, we both ordered the lemonade, which was made with fresh lemons and sweetened with maple syrup- and it was amazing. I ordered an avocado and basil sandwich- multi grain bread with avocado, tomato, red onion, sprouts, basil, lemon-parsley hummus and cashew sour cream and I ordered a side of cauliflower rice. I was impressed by the many options they had for sides, with four different salad options, cauliflower rice, and broccoli waldorf. Bella ordered the fire and brimstone burger which is a veggie burger with chipotle sunflower hummus, onion, cucumber, guacamole, and hot sauce. Although we choose not to order any, the restaurant had a wide variety of coffees, teas, as well as smoothies, and desserts. The experience left me feeling positive, knowing that I ate an environmentally sustainable meal that was healthy and tasty.
Wake Forest Coffee Company: 156 S White St, Wake Forest, NC 27587
Wake Forest Coffee Company is located in Downtown Wake Forest and gives off an artsy, hipster vibe. The coffee shop offers a variety of coffees, teas, and smoothies, as well as special recommendations from the barista. I purchased a raspberry vanilla latte and Bella ordered a caramel macchiato. The coffee was amazing and the atmosphere gave off a Manhattan artist loft vibe, with canvas paintings lining the walls, promoting the art of local artists. Wake Forest Coffee Company is fair traded and organic certified, producing environmentally friendly coffee.
Carolina Thrift: 2821 Brentwood Rd, Raleigh, NC 27604
Carolina Thrift store is nothing short of impressive. It’s housed in a gigantic, warehouse-like space and offers a plethora of different items at a small cost. Ranging from furniture to clothes to tv’s to carpets; there is literally nothing you can’t find here. Though the expansive range of items is an exciting factor, to me the most exciting are the eclectic variety of clothing. Racks upon racks of exciting pants, vintage t-shirts, plush coats, etc. I am not joking when I say that there is nothing you can’t find here; pretty much all for under ten dollars. Personally, I adore thrift shopping. It is a sustainable way to recycle clothes that have already been made, rejecting consumerism and contributing to the community. Carolina Thrift not only benefits the environment but enhances the community around it and makes inexpensive clothing and goods available to those who might not be able to afford them otherwise. Stop by and give it a visit sometime, the people are wonderful and you will be in awe of their masterful selection.
Leli’s Diner: 3325 Rogers Rd #109, Wake Forest, NC 27587
We knew Leli’s Diner was going to be good when upon glancing at the menu they made it ever-so-clear that gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, and special diets were always welcome. Though most restaurants are agreeable to accommodating these diets, Leli’s was excited to embrace us being vegetarian and had an enormous menu that didn’t leave us missing out. Alongside this promise, Leli’s also guarantees organic, locally produced eggs, and dairy. When it comes to meat, the restaurant uses wild-caught seafood and NC pasture-raised, grass-fed beef and pork- nitrate, antibiotic, and HGH free. To our delight they also offered Boylan cane sugar sodas with free refills; the icing on the cake. The restaurant’s atmosphere was very enjoyable, full of a variety of families and friends and couples on a night out. Overall, Leli’s was adorable.