Leaving behind the Winter Holidays rush, gifts checklist and delicious but slightly heavy celebration meals, we hope you all got some time to reflect on the year that ended and on your plans for the new one.
Some of us like to make resolutions, some of us set themselves new goals to achieve, some just go with the flow in the new year. What is for sure a general rule is that we all like to take the opportunity of a new beginning, on a clean plate, and try to be a better version of ourselves. We plan to do more sports or read more or maybe work harder, but the ultimate goal for all of us is definitely happiness and a feeling of fullfillment.
How to feel better about ourselves but by living more in harmony with nature, knowing that our lifestyle does not harm any people, animals or natural surroundings? Sometimes sustainability is a word hard to grasp but it is the best one to define this harmony and, happily, there are plenty of options locally available for you to help you achieve it.
Here are our 3 top recommendations for the new year:
- Change one habit each month. This can be related to anything you do: you can think what is one food you eat every day , make a quick research on it and replace it with a package free version or an ethically sourced version. For example, you can stop buying your breakfast oats in a plastic bag from the supermarket and, instead, start buying it from a local packaging free shop. See below our proposal of new sustainable habits ideas for each month of 2018. Happily we have at hand all sustainable alternatives in Prague put together in the great Greenglasses directory. By doing this, at the end of the year we might be living 12 times more sustainable than now which is not at all bad 🙂 Big changes come in small steps!
- Create your information bubble. Start following few facebook and instagram pages of local sustainable businesses and NGOs. Their smart algorithms will immediately understand your growing interest in the topic and will recommend you more pages and readings, including happenings that you can attend, such as our Sustainability Evenings (here our December event on the Zero Waste topic, others to be organized soon!). Again we recommend to search and follow for few names that catch your eye from the Greenglasses directory.
- Act sustainable and talk about it. Do let your family, friends and colleagues know on all the small steps your are doing, be it just by word of mouth, be it through social media posting, if that’s more like your thing. Don’t impose the same changes on other people, just let them be inspired by your attitude. Some might be resistant to change, even try to demotivate your efforts, but with time they will understand why your are taking action and might even join you one day. Otherwise just focus on the people who are encouraging you, who are open and interested in finding out more about sustainability and even take action. You can never know when you could inspire someone and multiply the positive changes you are bringing 🙂
Don’t know where to start? Check out our ideas for 2018:
January is the month of new beginnings but it’s also when we have to go back to work, get over the holidays blues and survive the dark and cold days. So let it start with a simple task: google how to correctly recycle and start or improve it. You only need three baskets and 30 minutes of documentation. We recommend this article from Organic Authority and one short video.
Hoping that in February we gain back a bit of energy, it could be the time to look into packaging free providers for your more frequent bought food. This will drastically reduce your waste and will require fewer rides to the recycling bins and fewer plastic ending up in our beautiful nature. Here are the best available packaging free shops in Prague, including Bezobalu and Nebaleno.
March is the month when we happily say goodbye to winter and could be a great time to think about how your fashion items of preference are produced. Choose ethically produced clothing, shoes or accessories and enjoy the chemical free materials and a wonderfully light conscience! If you think the production of your clothes is fair and ethical, you might want to take a look at this article from The Guardian. If you are already aware, you can skip the depressing reality check and go straight to action. One great local option is to follow SLOU Fashion facebook page and don’t miss their usual March Sustainability Fashion Day and other events, usually in cool venues of alternative scene of Prague, where you can meet & chat with inspiring designers!
In April we are happy to greet the Easter bunny but how about also greeting some new ideas of reducing your Easter celebrations related waste as much as possible? Supposing that, by then, you will already be an expert in packaging free shopping & correct recycling, this can be the opportunity to think about composting. Make sure all the compostable waste goes in one of the spots Kokoza is highlighting on their map .
May is the sunny month of naturally grown delicious veggies and fruits and they don’t taste better anywhere else than at the local farmer’s markets! Plus there is a greater chance that they have been produced with no or less land destruction, chemicals and cruelty to animals when compared to industrial agriculture which usually fills up the shelves of mainstream supermarkets. No better time to shop locally and ethically! Check here the available Farmers Markets and some other similar shops in Prague.
June is when the enthousiasm of the summer kicks in and we all escape the big cities into nature and city breaks, before the longer August holidays. This is when we can reflect on our transport options and turn to the great public transport system offered by the Czech Republic. Even if locals frequently complain about it, there is a great networkof trains and buses to all corners of the country, affordable and even fast, that many of the western countries can only look up to. Before hopping in your car, check IDOS (preferably the app) and maybe choose a scenic trainride through winding hills and beautiful villages.
In July is getting hotter and hotter and sometimes only a cool beer or an icecoffee seem to do the trick. How about refusing to buy them in disposable plastic cups or refusing the addition of the useless plastic straw? They seem like a small deal but actually add a lot of non degradable waste in our nature, eventually becoming toxic food for animals that we might also get to eat. There is no reading needed for it, just learn how to say NO to useless plastic, be conscious about unecessary waste and, in time, the vendors will also add more ethical options to their offer. We just need to ask for it. A quick fix can be carrying a keep-cup everywhere you go, you can personalize it and make it more fun!
August is the time for a well deserved break, time for travel and discovery, rest and recharghing. Sustainable travel is the happiest choice for it and the good news is that accomodation providers and restaurants and integrating the concept more and more in their offerings. Simplest things you can do is to shop locally and ethically wherever you go, visiting small shops and restaurants. By that you can give something back to the community who is welcoming you and you might even get a better taste and interesting interaction with the local culture, which should actually be the point of travelling. More tips in this article from Green Global Travel.
In September we go back to work or school, or our kids do, another time of shopping and a new opportunity of more sustainable choices. Encouraging the use of less papers and more digital option for notes it’s an easy change. If paper has a sentimental value, and we all are a victim of it, we have great local options here.
October comes in autumn colours and we can get inspiration for more and more sustainable choices. The already chillier but still pleasant weather is a great opportunity for discovering new restaurants, and why not the ones which are offering locally sourced products, plenty of options in Prague? It could also be a great time to reduce the meat consumption and fall in love with veggies from seasonal menus. Not only that it will reduce the carbon footprint of industrial livestock but will also make us healthier!
In November we already go into cosiness mode and it’s a good time for slow life before Christmas rush starts again. That also makes it a good time to do some research, maybe evaluating our employer’s sustainability practices and how it compares with other companies. Choosing to work for a company which practices sustainability from the core is not just a matter of ethics but a matter of professional health. Even though a big change might be out of reach for us, it’s still very good to know how companies perform to later choose them wiser through our consumption, future dream jobs and for advice to other people. A useful database is the Sustainability Disclosure Database.
Here comes December and another year flew by. But the great news is that we managed to make so many changes already! And it wasn’t hard or time consuming at all 🙂 Given our numerous new sustainable habits, we deserve a break so we can free some time to think about our dear ones and organize perfect holidays for them. Already if we go through Christmas & New Year’s Eve rush with our new acquired habits the impact will be huge, given the huge consumption happening this time of year. Buying ethically produced gifts for our family & friends, covering the Christmas table with local and package free food, correctly recycling and composting the inevitable waste will have a great positive impact and will be the best possible celebration of our friendship with sustainability, therefore with our own health, our environment and our community!