MONDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2019
We’re here to ease your conscience and show you how you can eat, shop, travel, and party responsibly in this amazing city.
Sustainability: It’s all the rage these days - and so it should be. But it somehow seems infinitely harder to remember to refuse that plastic straw when you’re six shots deep, partying your heart out at some crazy club in Budapest. Despair not, for we’re here to ease your conscience and show you how you can eat, shop, travel, and party responsibly in this amazing city.
Two words: Eat in. Realistically, it’s always best to have a sit-down meal and eliminate the need for the trappings that come with a takeaway order. Budapest has heaps of delicious restaurants with amazing decor and atmosphere anyways, so you might as well enjoy the experience!
However, when you’re out exploring a new place, sometimes you simply don’t have time to stop and relax with a bite to eat. That doesn’t mean you have to resort to plastic takeaway containers and utensils, you just need to be smart about your options. If you aren’t into bringing your own Tupperware containers and reusable cutlery, it’s still possible to cut down on waste by taking a few simple steps, the key concept of which is this: Be mindful of what you order. Does your kebab need to be wrapped in paper, then foil, then put in a plastic bag when you’re just going to take it out to be consumed within five seconds of paying? Do you really need to be given a plastic stirrer and two packets of sugar with your coffee, even though you drink your Americanos black? Though the language barrier might make it difficult, you can always use a mixture of pointing and miming to explain to the servers that actually, you don’t need the excess items and yes, only paper around your kebab is just fine, thank you very much.
If you’re all about cooking your own food or need to stock up on waste-free toiletries, Budapest offers a number of zero waste shops. With two shops, one on the Pest side (where all the action happens) and one on the Buda side, Ligeti Bolt, in particular, has extremely friendly and helpful store clerks who can help you with any questions you might have. Simply bring your own containers, weigh them upon entering, and fill them with goods before paying. The clerks will deduct the weight of your containers, so you’re paying solely for the products.
Another great way to reduce your impact is to support eco-friendly businesses. There are many local stores and companies which understand the importance of minimizing waste. By choosing these residents for your shopping needs, you’re helping them to cover the increased cost of running an eco-friendly business, PLUS helping save the planet at the same time. It’s a win-win.
Walk or bike around town for a scenic, healthy, and zero-carbon emission experience! The public transit is great here in Budapest, but even this contributes to unnecessary energy being expended when the city is great for walking or biking anyways. Take a wander around the Jewish quarter or bike across to the Buda side of the river for some great views. There are many bike rental services around the city, so hop on one and be on your way!
When you’re out drinking until all hours of the morning, it can be hard to remember to refuse single-use items. Make it easier on yourself and party with companies that support sustainable options. For example, Bingo Bar Crawl, our fun, interactive pub crawl utilizes reusable cups for our 1-hour all-you-can-drink beer, wine, and sangria happy hour. If you’re looking for a club to party in until the wee hours of the morning, Instant has also made the switch to reusable cups - simply put down a deposit and you’ll get it back when you return your cup at the end. Or, you can keep it for a cool souvenir of your wild nights in Budapest! You can also check out the eco-glitter stand in Instant run by us in the summer, with staff who can help you get glammed up without the guilt. Another top tip? Just because you can transfer your drink to a plastic cup in order to take it on the streets with you, doesn’t mean you should. Finish your drinks before you head outside - unless you just don’t know how to skull a beer, in which case you have bigger problems, my friend.