Be it Fair Trade coffee, vegan dairy or organic vegetables; many people are choosing products that will be kinder to the environment and shrink their carbon footprint. While it sometimes seems a struggle to find such goods in Prague; there are a number of shops that carry a wide-range of eco-merchandise.
First, let´s take a look at the different labels you need to be aware of when searching for specific products.
If something is labeled “organic” it means that the item either party or fully used organic farming methods. Typically this means that no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides were used. Renewable resources and recycled materials should be emphasized in production; as well as the welfare of animals.
|You´ll see this label on foods that are organically farmed and manufactured in the EU.|
|This label means the product compiled with even stricter regulations then a product with the above certificate.|
|This is the certificate given to organic foods produced in the Czech Republic.|
If an item is imported from Austria, Germany, etc. you´ll often see their countries eco-label on the product.
Manufactured goods may also be awarded an ECO certificate. This label means the item was produced with the goal of protecting the environment and natural resources. These products should be less harmful to the environment and thereby healthier for the planet and you. If you see this label on a food product, it has nothing to do with the actual food, but only that the packing is eco-friendly.
|This is the EU´s label.|
|This is the Czech Republic´s national certification.|
Fair Trade has been a buzzword for a while. If a product is labeled as Fair Trade it means the people producing it (usually in a developing country) are paid a decent wage and that steps are taken to lessen the impact on the local environment.
|This is the Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International logo.|
Trying to find cosmetics or household items that aren´t tested on animals is difficult. And sometimes products claim to not be tested on animals because the final product wasn´t. However, some of the ingredients were. Look for these logos:
|The Humane Cosmetic Standard logo is the only one that can be used on cosmetics in which neither the final product, nor individual ingredients were tested on animals.|
|This logo means at least 10% of the product´s ingredients were organically farmed.|
|This label means the product contains no animal ingredients and that no animal had to suffer or was killed in the production of it.|
|This certifies that no animal was killed in the making of the product; but it may contain milk, eggs or honey.|
|Real animal fur can pop up on many unexpected items. Look for this logo by the Fur Free Retailers.|
So where should you go to find these products? Shops selling Fair Trade products are becoming more common. The Society of Fair Trade (www.fairtrade.cz) runs a shop in Prague 2 at Bělehradská 60 and two in Brno; Pekarska 16 and Joštova 7. Bio Market Vítek (www.biomarketvitek.cz) also in Prague 2 has Fair Trade items, plus a nice cosmetics selection. Fair Trade products, plus organic cotton clothing, can be found at Biotop (www.ebiotop.cz) while Maranatha (www.obchodmaranatha.cz) in Prague 4 has Fair Trade covered plus a variety of vegan and vegetarian food in their good sized shop.
Vegans should visit Lifefood (www.lifefood.cz) a food bar on the first floor of the Palác Flóra mall. They claim to have only 5 products with honey; everything else is completely animal free. They have a selection of raw foods and lots of to-go items. Biotrend at Štěpánská 11 is a newer shop with vegan, vegetarian and macrobiotic food, plus cosmetics. People with allergies should check out their selection of gluten-free food. U Tří Růží (www.zdraveziti.eu) is a tiny shop jam-packed with bio certified products, including cosmetics and vegan food. They have a cooler for items like tofu and alternative meat products. They also have goats´ milk items. Milim (www.bioday.cz) is located in the shopping complex atop the Budějovická metro station. They offer vegan and vegetarian food plus other bio products. Inside Palladium you can find Biooo (www.biooo.cz) on the -2 floor. They have Fair Trade, cosmetics and food products. Don´t forget your wine rack. Marks & Spencer (www.marks-and-spencer.cz), Bio Market Vítek and Meduňka (www.medunka.cz) offer organic wines. PPL racio & bio (www.dia-potraviny.cz) has a large selection of diabetic foods. The Prague 10 shop also carries a decent selection of bio grocery items.
And of course, don´t forget the biggies – Country Life (www.countrylife.cz) and Marks & Spencer. You can find Fair Trade products, cosmetics and other certified bio products at both. Marks & Spencer also says they stock vegan clothing and shoes, while Country Life will fill your pantry with vegan and vegetarian food. Both L´Occitane (www.loccitane.cz) and Lush (www.lush.cz) offer some organic cosmetics. Evergreen Boutique specializes in organic clothing (www.etique.cz.) For online shopping, only in Czech, visit www.e-bio.cz. They have cosmetics, food and vitamins and specialize in items for pregnant moms and new babies. Many of the above shops offer internet ordering as well.
If you are looking to eat out; restaurants that offer vegan food in addition to vegetarian include Country Life, Veg Food (www.vegfood.cz); Vegetka (www.volny.cz/vegetka); Lehká hlava (www.lehkahlava.cz) and Maranatha (www.restauracemaranatha.cz.)
While it isn´t always easy tracking down products that smile kindly on the planet; small shops are scattered all around Prague. For more information, the excellent Ethical Consumer´s Guide (www.etickyspotrebitel.cz) is dedicated to providing information on how to shop and eat more eco-friendly. Cenia (www.ekoznacka.cz) operates under the auspices of the Ministry of the Environment and collects and publishes information on the condition and sustainability of the local environment. The Czech Vegan Society can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To see what´s going on in the world of public interest law, visit the Environmental Law Service (www.eps.cz.) For additional Expats.cz articles on related topics see Special Dietary Requirements, Health Food Stores & Organic Eating in Prague and Specialty Food Stores.