Bezobalu is an organization which strives to reduce the amount of waste in the world. We give people the possibility to buy only as much food as they need and to use their own containers.Now we can spread this opportunity across the entire Czech Republic!
We would like to open a new "bobchod" (zero waste shop) in Prague which will offer a wide selection of foods, complemented by drugstore products, cosmetics and other goods. So far, we have been running only a small trial shop, which helped us to gather knowledge and test the viability of the concept. We found out it is very much in demand, not only by our clients, but also by people in the regions who want open their own shops and ask for our help. It was also due to the rising awareness of Zero Waste that we came to the conclusion that we cannot run our operations merely from the tiny shop. We want to create a space which could serve as a training facility for other people interested in spreading the concept across the entire country. We also organize awareness events and strive to educate the public in order to make people realize that the best waste is that which is never produced. Our objective is to offer the people an alternative to the regular shopping experience by opening a shop, where they can buy what they really want without producing new waste, be it from packaging or food. In order for this shop to become a reality, we need to start from the ground – find the right place, buy all the goods and furnish the entire shop.
Four years ago our drying room and soon after that even our bedroom resembled a storage space: flour in one corner, box with dried fruit in the other and the whole storage space was dominated by paper bags with legumes and rice, which we distributed between a group of people because we weren't satisfied with the conventional format of shopping in which you bring home a good deal of waste with your food. For some time it was manageable, but as the bedroom gradually lost its function, we realized this is not the way to do it in the long run. We decided to take another step and to transform our small community project into a shop where everyone, who is not indifferent to the amount of waste he or she produces, is welcome. And this is how our trial shop came to existence. It is nice and small, it is a heart matter, and above all, it is ours. Currently, you can find us in Bělehradská 96 in the inner courtyard, which brings us back several years in our minds. The storage is small, there is not much space in the shop either and the queues which sometimes stretch all the way to the courtyard, are far from pleasant for our shop assistants and first of all for our clients.
It was the lack of space which triggered the idea to create a new full-size zero waste shop. One which will accommodate a wide selection of goods and will enable us to expand our range of products with vegetables, drugstore products and cosmetics and maybe even pet food in the future. In our current shop, we focus mainly on organic foods, but in the new one we would like to offer also their more affordable, conventional alternatives. We would like our shop to be accessible straight from the street, to be spacey and to serve as many clients as possible. What is, however, at the forefront of our minds, is the possibility to use the premises of the new shop for training and awareness-raising purposes. We would like zero waste shops to spread in the Czech Republic like mushrooms. We already know what it means to launch and run such a shop and we have also had the experience of first consultations with people interested in opening other zero waste shops in the regions. We want to share our experience with other people and spare these people of several sleepless nights and a couple of wrinkles. Currently, we are looking for the best location for the shop in the wider centre of Prague to make it accessible to most responsible, considerate and packaging-free clients. You can voice your opinion concerning the location as well as the range of products in this poll.
We think that it is necessary to have great missions and goals even though they might seem too daring to some people. We believe that it is our responsibility to try to smoothen the edges, to make the incredible become the reality and to show others that everything is possible. And because the equipment of zero waste shops is expensive, we have decided to proceed by way of milestones. If we manage to collect 900,000 CZK, we will open a new shop in Prague with twice the current selection and a training facility. If we collect 1,200,000 CZK we will expand our range of products with fruit, vegetables, baked goods and fresh foods and if we receive 1,500,000 CZK we will also sell drugstore products and cosmetics. And if you really root for us, we have lots of other ideas, which we have saved for the future, such as pet food or deliveries on cargobikes.
Bezobalu is about people. What really matters to us is that our shop assistants are knowledgeable of all the foods we sell and what we strive for even more is for them to exchange a couple of words with you in oder to bring back the human dimension to the act of shopping which is dominated today by impersonal beeping of barcode readers. That's why we share recipes, have a wide range of inspiring books in our shop, there's a hammock in front of our shop from a social enterprise and you can bring organic waste with you and get rid of it in our composter. We also offer the possibility to prepare your order while you peacefully run your errands so that you can pick it up afterwards.
Bezobalu is a non-profit organization, which is spreading the Zero Waste concept in the Czech Republic – i.e. the prevention of waste production. We inspire the public to join the Zero Waste philosophy, communicate with the media, we organize lectures at social events as well as schools. Last year, we organized a series of events called Bezobalu about Zero Waste under the auspices of the Ministry of the Environment and initiated the publication of the book Zero Waste Home which was translated into Czech as Domácnost bez odpadu. As the first project of its kind in the Czech settings, we focus on the research of packaging-free distribution, develop storage and logistic solutions, network with other foreign zero waste shops, share our know-how, study the preferences of our clients and search for new suppliers which we motivate to get involved in packaging-free distribution.
We would like to achieve a decrease in the amount of waste produced in the Czech Republic. Zero Waste shops abroad, which significantly contribute to it, often emerge thanks to crowdfunding campaigns. And we would like to raise the Czech zero waste shops to this level. The zero waste shop equipment is still a novelty in our market and it is therefore very expensive. But the more zero waste shops emerge, the more affordable it will become. And we can affect that together! We have already saved up some money, but we need your contribution as well! In case the fund-raising campaign turns out to be successful, we will receive support from the Vodafone Foundation as well. Together, we will free ourselves of unnecessary waste and become the packagingless humans! Let's do it together!
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We thank you with all our zero waste hearts!
P.S.: You can find the rewards in photo gallery.