A positive aspect of the world coming to a halt for the last couple of months is the environmental break that the planet received. This has raised a new eco-consciousness for many together with a desire to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle. As people start to return to work, schools, and businesses, this might be the perfect opportunity to reflect on our daily routines and assess which changes we can make to fall back into some greener habits. Read further to get fresh ideas on how to lead an eco-friendly lifestyle in Prague!
Nikola Hurychová, the founder of Platform8, shared her expertise with us regarding making eco-friendly choices in Prague. Platform 8, an organization which focuses on promoting sustainable and ethical living, started from her desire to use her art, graphic design, and advertising experience to spread information about helping life on Earth. Some of the renowned projects of the organization are Zero Waste Czechia, Symbiotic Agriculture, and Action for Climate; but its work is extensive as it involves campaigning, running investigations, creating petitions, lobbying, and collaborating with other organizations to achieve legislative changes and raise consumer awareness about animal and environmental rights.
As Nikola explains, “Prague has its opportunities for you to be eco-friendly,” but there is a lack of information about these opportunities. “I miss information at the airport, in the city, everywhere and especially [information] for expats, [and] sadly even for us, locals,” says Nikola. So here are seven ways we can adopt eco-friendly choices into our lifestyle.
Seven Greener Habits To Incorporate In Our Routine
Organic or Vegan Meals
Eating organic and plant based as much as possible is an easy habit one can pick up. It is a general misconception that eating plant-based is difficult. “I personally thought that I would die without animal products in my diet”, says Nikola. She further explains that eating plant-based does not mean the food will not be tasty or will be difficult to find. In fact, Prague has many vegan restaurants, healthy food stores, and chains such as Tesco, Kaufland and Lidl have improved their range of plant-based products.
Changing your electricity supplier might not be an obvious change, but according to Nikola, there are providers that offer alternative options for renewable sources such as Pražská energetika supplier / tariff EKOproud, Nano Energies supplier / tariff NaZeleno, Energie ČS, a.s. supplier, AmperMarket supplier, or e.on supplier / tariff Zelená elektřina. Conversely, if you are a home or building owner, you can install solar panels to derive clean energy from the sun.
Recycling in the right bins
Prague has a color system for recycling bins. Blue bins are for paper, green for glass, yellow for plastic, orange for tetra pack, and grey bins for metals. While it would be ideal not to generate waste altogether, the recycling system is straightforward. Especially, the system is a more efficient option than using communal waste bins stationed throughout the city. At www.iLovePrague.City, you can find a map with all the recycling bins in Prague and Czech Republic.
Use public transport or ride a bike instead of driving. Public transportation in Prague is affordable, efficient and highly integrated: so make use of the trams, metro, and bus connections. Biking is also a good option and, as Nikola points out, “there are more options every season in Prague: ReKola, FreeBike, NextBike”. Another option might be to simply walk and discover the beautiful streets and passages in the city. The switch from cars can reduce our carbon emissions by approximately 2.4 tons annually, according to the Centre For Climate and Energy Solutions.
Bring reusable containers to work and avoid any single use objects. Nikola further recommends to organize group challenges to motivate other people in your office: “Bring your own bottle instead of buying drinks in plastic bottles. Or try vegan lunches – make one day in the week the day of trying new combinations, flavors and textures. Or go to work on a bike. Write down visibly everyday results of you and your colleagues”. After a couple of weeks of going vegan, plastic free or car-free, we could greatly reduce our CO2 emissions.
As traveling is now possible to certain destinations, try going by train instead of flying. And when going by train, “demand better connections … to your destinations and better standards inside trains by writing to travel companies” recommends, Nikola. Now might be a good time to check any rail ticket discounts or offers for travelers. For example, RegioJet has announced a new train connection from Prague to Rijeka, Croatia; and a future connection is being considered for Ljubljana, Slovenia. More connections and promotions may become available in the summer.
Share your reviews of vegan restaurants, tips for eco-traveling, and other eco-friendly habits or information with your friends and family. More people might feel inspired by incorporating easy eco-friendly changes into their lives if they see you doing it.
Green Is Easy
Prague offers a wide set of options to lead a more eco-friendly lifestyle. And while many of these may not be so evident throughout the city, for those who decide to research their options will find that these eco-choices are easy to incorporate in our routines.
For more information about the work of Platform8, please visit their website.