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Zaktualizowano: 5 cze 2021

No matter where you live, you can always do better - for both the environment and you.

In this series of articles, we will talk about how people who live in big cities, like Prague, can live more sustainably. People who like the big city life, all the restaurants, cafés, and shops. People who live in apartments, with no garden where they could grow their own tomatoes or compost. People who like fashion and cosmetics. And most importantly, people who care about our planet and want to reduce their environmental impact.

The next step after refusing stuff that we don't need and reducing the stuff that we already have is to reuse. In this article, we'll focus on the things that we use in our everyday life and on how can we reduce their environmental impact.

I suppose that all of us do the following activities in our life: eat, drink, buy (groceries), wear (clothes), and take care of the household.

Let's have a look at how can we apply the reuse principle in each category?

  1. Eat

Did you know that there is an option to get your take-away food into a reusable container? It’s called “Rekrabička” (literally “re-container”) and you can find it in more than 100 restaurants in Prague.

I am not sure how about now, but before Covid times, you could bring your own container to most restaurants and ask the staff to put the food in it. As the pandemics seems to go away, it should be possible again. There are so many beautiful lunchboxes on the market (btw, do you know Takenaka?), which encourage you to give up on the single-use containers provided by restaurants and get your own, reusable one. And one more thing - if you get takeout, don't forget to bring your own knife and fork, too.

2. Drink

When it comes to take-away coffee and other beverages, there's also a system of reusable cups in place here in Czechia. These cups are called “Otoč kelímek” (literally “turn the cup”) and, as far as I know, you can find them in almost every coffee shop now. You pay a 50 CZK deposit and you can either keep the cup or return it to any other coffee shop where they accept it. Another option is to have your own coffee cup or thermos and ask the staff to make your favorite beverage in it. I've been doing this for quite some time and I've never been refused.

3. Buy

As for groceries, I hope that the single-use plastic/paper bags provided by the supermarket are obsolete now, and we all have our own shopping bag(s). There is also plenty of reusable bags for fruits and vegetables or bread on the market. You can either get the classic cotton ones, cornstarch-based, or ones made from old army parachutes by a Czech company Saaczech.

The most sustainable option where you can fully apply the reuse principles and avoid ALL single-use packaging is a zero-waste (packaging-free/bulk) shop. In these stores, customers bring their own bags/containers and put the products in them. The offer in such stores is quite rich, from dry goods (grains, legumes, flours, nuts, pasta....), to oils and vinegar or peanut butter. There are quite many packaging-free shops in Prague, e.g. Bezobalu (Florenc, Vinohrady, Dejvice) or Nebaleno (Vinohrady, Nusle). You can see if there's a packaging-free shop nearbyon this map:

4. Wear

Second-hand stores and thrift shops are not disgusting, they are the most sustainable option to buy clothes and often provide real treasures! In Prague, you can either choose from “normal” second-hand stores e.g. Moment or Přestupní stanice, more hipster 1981 and Filtr or, fancy vintage stores like Lula vintage or Slow bazaar. You can find more second hand shops on this map:

Oh, and I can't forget about the online second-hand paradise called Vinted. You can sell your clothes there, too. Warning: it's highly addictive!

5. Live

Let’s not forget about our homes either. Many things like furniture, appliances, or decorations don't have to be always brand new, but can be bought second-hand or refurbished. Apart from Facebook Marketplace, there's an amazing store and workshop called “Z pokoje do pokoje” (“From room to room”) in Florenc. You can donate your old furniture and/or get a refurbished one. Another nice project worth mentioning is “Paletky” (“pallets”), which focuses on furniture making from used pallets that would otherwise end up in the incinerator.

Check this map created by Urban Creatives to find more English speaking sustainable shops and projects in the Czech Republic:

Have fun reusing!

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