Sustainability tips for UNYP students

The quality of life that we experience when living and studying in Prague is fundamental to how we feel about the city – and to how the capital is viewed from the outside. The way we behave in Prague today will directly affect the quality of life of its future generations, and their view of how successful we have been in our maintenance of the city.

Prague is not at the top of the sustainability world rankings yet, but the situation is actively improving. With widespread recycling, a fantastic public transportation system, an increasing number of vegetarian and vegan cafes and stores, a range of farmer's markets, bike rental options and electric car rental services, the Czech capital has become a lot more eco-friendly within the past decade. 

UNYP was established in Prague in 1998, and during our twenty-year journey, we have incorporated various sustainability policies to make our university greener. We care about the world and make a genuine effort to improve our environmental impact. Here are just a few examples of what we have done in the past. 

Since 2008, UNYP has established a recycling policy, working with a recycling company and placing individual paper and plastic bins throughout the campus. In 2015 UNYP donated 56 computers and monitors to the charity project “Donate Computer." Thanks to this, we were able to “buy” a tablet which was in turn donated to the disabled children’s charity “Motylek Butterfly.” Last year we raised awareness of plastic pollution by limiting access to plastic cups on campus and giving out BPA-free plastic cups to UNYP students, faculty and alumni.

How can UNYP students get involved in sustainable living?

UNYP is keen to pursue a green agenda, and we expect our students to do their bit. Most university students focus on classes, studying, and socializing (probably not in that order!) and with all that’s going on during the semester, it’s safe to say that most students don’t have a lot of time to think about the environmental impact of their lifestyle.

We decided to help you out with a few tips on how you can be more eco-friendly in Prague. These simple rules will also save you some money, which as we all know can come in very handy when you study abroad.

1. The EU is proposing a total ban on plastic straws to reduce to reduce litter on beaches and in the sea. A perfect moment to get yourself a reusable stainless steel straw! 

2. While you’re shopping online for your fancy straw, order a BPA-free water bottle and a reusable insulated travel mug. You’ll save money on bottled water, and many Prague coffee shops offer a discount if you bring your own cup.

3.  Buy second-hand, buy local, and resell. Vinohrady is an excellent district for thrift shopping, check out BOHO, Thrift Store, Fifty-Fifty and many more! If you are new in town, don't forget to join the Prague Buy | Sell | Trade group on Facebook, and get yourself a LETGO account!

4. Donate things you don't use! The charity organization Domov Sue Ryder always accepts donations of clothing and other items to its charity shops. You can also give your used items to second-hand stores like the Prague Thrift Store.

5. There are simple ways to avoid wasting water. It’s easy to remind yourself to turn it off while brushing your teeth. Challenge yourself to take shorter showers, (think of extra sleep time in the morning!) Wait until you have a full load before doing your laundry.

6. University years are the best time of your life for embracing a minimalist lifestyle. Whether Prague is your hometown or not, if you get into the habit of waiting until you genuinely need an item before buying it, you will save a lot of time, money and space in the future. 

7. Get a reusable bag for your grocery shopping. 

8. Finally, don't forget to recycle your paper, plastic, electronics or clothing, whether you are on or off campus. The main UNYP building is equipped with plastic and paper recycling bins, and to find out the locations of the recycling containers around Prague, please follow this link: https://news.expats.cz/community/recycling-in-prague/

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