Sustainability Prague-resses

By: Valentine

As I travel through Europe, I have been looking out for each city’s sustainable amenities. Prague, Czech Republic’s capital, is recognized for its impressive commitment to sustainability. Ranked second most sustainable city in Central and Eastern Europe and number nine in the world, Prague has been transitioning to a more sustainable culture.

All throughout the city there are separate bins for easy recycling which include glass, paper, plastic, cans, and cartons. Lucie Matoušková Lankašová, the co-founder of Kokoza, has made composting easily accessible throughout the city as well. Lankašová and Kristina Regalová, the other co-founder, were inspired by similar projects in Berlin and London. Today, Kokoza has two urban community gardens, each used by about 20 people. Their goal is to help other communities start their own gardens by converting unused urban spaces.

Regarding sustainable options on an individual level, Prague has an open bakery with package-free bread products in many of its markets, fruit is available in bulk at the farmer’s markets or sold by street vendors, and the tap water is safe to drink for a reusable bottle.

There are parks surrounding the city, offering breathtaking panoramic views. Residents can escape the city and find solace in the different large green parks with rolling hills or hidden beer gardens.

Petřín Park in Prague, Czech Republic

Prague has a handful of farmer’s markets, its most famous is the Saturday Farmer’s Market on the Vltava River. The market is supported by Archetyp, originally a civic group, to keep farmer’s markets available for the community. The market also supports limiting waste, encouraging market-goers to bring their own reusables. One vendor charged customers a deposit for a cup, at three different prices depending on the cup’s material. Charging a deposit for cups incentivizes customers to bring their cup back and receive their money back, therefore not creating waste.

Deposit for cups: Glass $0.44; Plastic $2.19; Bamboo $4.39

Whether vegan or vegetarian, there are a variety of options as Prague is recognized as one of the top ten vegan-friendly cities. Prague offers alternatives to cater to dietary allergies and preferences, as seen in the picture above of the three different milk options.

Prague’s public transportation system is stellar, making it easy to sightsee and explore a large portion of the city. The cost for a three day public transport (bus, metro, tram) ticket is $13.17 or 300 kc. Travelers can easily get by without a vehicle and with a lack of cars, the trams are consistent and dependable. In 2019 Prague started offering free public transport to residents during times of high smog.

While traveling, it helps to do so sustainably, when possible. For example buying souvenirs from businesses with hand-made, local products, taking public transportation or walking, engaging in community-based tourism, or bringing a reusable water bottle and portable filter to limit plastic bottle waste.

The next stop (by train) is Bratislava, Slovakia!

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