The first zero-waste cafe has opened in Croatia. Život, which in Croatian means 'life', opened two weeks ago in Vrbani, to the west of Zagreb city centre. The café-bar actively looks to reduce all of its waste, refusing all unnecessary packaging on the goods they buy (such as plastic wrapping) and compost all organic waste. The café reuses as much as they can and handles no plastic at all. All of their purchases are organic, locally bought and stored in bulk.
The café is situated on the site of Vestigium, a green association from Zagreb which hosts educational workshops and lectures about ecology and sustainable living, and is run by the Zero Waste Croatia initiative. Their menu is completely vegan and offers coffee, teas (both served with optional hazelnut milk, which is homemade), natural juices, smoothies and even a vegan beer, made by Zadar based co-op brewery Brlog. Also available are vegan snacks and decadent cakes.
Aside from its green credentials, the café also holds another distinct business practice; they operate as a private, members-only club, serving only members of the Vestigum group. Café manager and waitress Anamarija Prgomet is keen to stress that everyone is welcome at Život. They just need to first join Vestigum, which they can do so online or at the café. Vestigum membership cards are, of course, digital only, in keeping with their zero-waste philosophy.
Život can be found at Rudeška 142 and is open from 9am to 3pm Monday to Friday, with a second shift from 5pm to 7pm on Mondays and Wednesdays. The cafe is also open from 10am to 2pm on Saturdays.
by Ivor Kruljac