Zac Efron’s “Down to Earth”

Episode 7

New York & London

Zac and Darin explore how a Toxic City is turning itself around with Green Walls, Urban Beekeeping, and the most unlikely new trend: Clean Eating Brit Style.

"Down to Earth" Locations Shortcuts

Slide New York London Costa Rica France Sardinia Lima Puerto Rico Iquitos Iceland

Londoners in general are an eco-aware bunch — but don’t always practice what they preach. And even the concept of taking a “responsible,” “green,” or “environmentally friendly” trip here isn’t without controversy, particularly if you’re travelling by plane. However, there are everyday things you can do to minimise the impact — and especially the carbon footprint — of your travels.

Remove chargers from cellphones, laptops, and anything else that draws from the mains, once the gadget is fully charged. If you’re shopping, buy seasonal fruit and vegetables or local cheeses from markets rather than produce sourced by supermarkets from the far side of the globe. Most importantly, use public transportation to get around town. The city’s Tubes and buses are easy to use and efficient.

Greener even than Tubes and buses are the publicly accessible cycle hire bikes dotted around town, ideal for short journeys across the center. Provision and marking of dedicated cycle lanes is very hit-and-miss, however, so you’ll need to take care and rent (or buy) a helmet if you plan to get around by bike. Or, if you stay at the Hilton London Bankside, you can use one of the hotel’s sustainable hand-made bamboo bicycles and even book a vegan suites.

Green vacationing also extends to where you eat and stay. A location such as Hilton Midtown in New York is within walking distance of many attractions. The hotel  extends its hospitality to thousands of honey bees who return to an apiarist’s rooftop hives from whence they healthfully pollinate the city and produce honey. Vegetarian food tends to have a much smaller impact on the environment, because it eschews energy- and resource-intensive meat production.

The built-up heart of the capital is where you’ll find some of our most planet-friendly enterprises.

The best places around town to sample it are Mildreds and Rasa Samudra. Most hotels now offer you the option to use your towels for more than one night before they are re-laundered — and of course, you should, because laundry makes up around 40% of an average hotel’s energy use. Also, ask for a room that allows you to turn down the air-conditioning whenever you go out.

The Green Tourism for London Scheme (www.green-business.co.uk) awards grades to hotels that meet various sustainability criteria

Places we visited in Episode 7 were;

  1. New York Hilton Midtown, New York, NY
  2. The London Eye, South Bank
  3. London School of Economics
  4. ArcelorMittal Orbit, Olympic Park
  5. Thames River (Rainham)
  6. Deliciously Ella
  7. Aulis London

“Down to Earth” on Twitter

Thames21 – We reconnect people to nature by helping them enjoy, protect and enhance their local rivers. Whether it’s the Thames or one of its many tributaries, we offer inspiring ways for communities to get down to their local riverbank. Rivers, canals and stretches of open water are the perfect antidote to urban living – which is one of the reasons thousands of volunteers help us rewild and protect them every year.

Our aim is to rebuild the relationship between communities and their rivers; restoring river health and boosting wellbeing and community cohesion in the process.

NY Hilton Midtown new guests: 450,000 bees!

Zac and Darren tend the 450,000 adopted bees on the Hilton hotel’s fifth-floor, 16,000-square-foot green rooftop, five blocks from Central Park’s bevy of nectar. Buy NY Honey

Any vertical surface can be transformed into a living wall of plants. They can disguise eyesores, reinvent urban wastelands, enhance any cityscape and add stunning visual impact to every public space. Start your own living wall here.

Help your environment and build a Living wall.

Take a flight on the London Eye for the best view of the city.

The London Eye is centrally located in the heart of the capital, gracefully rotating over the River Thames opposite the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. The world's tallest cantilevered observation wheel. Book your flight here.

The Hilton Bankside has launched a fleet of bicycles for guest use, with a twist: they're made from Bamboo!

Hilton London Bankside wanted to offer guests something a little bit different to the average rental bike, and so engaged The Bamboo Bicycle Club. Learn how to build one, even at home.

With breathtaking views of London, the world’s longest and tallest tunnel slide.

Challenge your friends and family to a 40-second journey through the twists, turns and drops of The Slide, a hair-raising experience that’s not for the faint-hearted. Get your ride here.

Plant based food at its very best. Just 100 yards from Oxford Street, London.

Follow in Zac's footsteps and visit Deliciously Ella restaurant while in London, get a copy of her #1 selling cookbook or follow her amazing recipes

For a once in a lifetime culinary experience visit Chef Simon Rogan's Aullis development kitchen.

Aulis London is a stand-alone dining destination and involves complete surrender to the chef’s creativity, and aims to offer a truly uncompromising gastronomical experience. Book here

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