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Published On: Mon, Feb 18th, 2019

Sweden: the example of how a country can become more sustainable

In 2015, Sweden was named the most sustainable country in the world. Its environmental, social and governance components have been verified, and it resulted that it is one of the greenest countries in the world. Sweden has a history of performing well in the eco field. During the last years, the Swedish government implemented multiple environmental friendly programs, and the citizens have been educated to protect the environment. Swedish cities have made a priority from reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Here is why Sweden is the right example to follow in the fight to transform the planet in a greener place.

photo/ annca

Body heat is used to power buildings

Sweden has introduced the concept of passive houses; they are properties that use little or no active energy to stay warm. The sunlight, electrical appliances, and the heat generated by the human bodies are the main sources of energy for these houses. This type of houses has been built in multiple communities to enhance their effects.

The passive houses are not the only buildings that are powered by passive energy, in Väla Gård we can find multiple office buildings that are entirely powered by the heat of the sun. They were constructed in 2012, feature air-purifying plant walls, and reach the highest level of LEED certification, the platinum one.

We should also mention the geothermal system built at Stockholm Central station that can capture the body heat of more than 250,000 of people daily. A heat regulator is used to capture the heat and pump it into a nearby system to provide heat to houses.

Urban farming enhances sustainability

Urban farming is one of the activities preferred by Swedes; they practice it in multiple regions of the country. The residents of the same neighbourhood use the allotment gardens, the principle is simple, they cultivate vegetables and fruits on the same piece of land. The Association of Allotment Gardens supervises this initiative. The organisation exists for more than 100 years and it represents more than 25,000 people.

Sweden uses renewable energy

At the present moment Sweden is one of the countries in Europe with a high percentage of renewable energy. More than 53% of their energy is renewable; they are using biofuels and hydropower extensively. By 2020, they intend to boost the percentage of renewable energy to more than 55%.

Sweden preserves butterflies and bees

A piece of sad news has worried the world lately, it seems that bees are disappearing, and not only in Sweden but worldwide. Therefore, Sweden has decided to do something to prevent this from happening. They have started programs that have the purpose to motivate private beekeeping. Countless types of plant products and plants humans rely on to feed themselves depend on bee pollination; therefore, pollinating insects are essential for human survival. Bees cross-pollinate the flora of the Earth, both the vegetation and plants; therefore, they are insects vital for the ecosystem. In addition, we already know that the human kind relies on plants and vegetation to purify the air, already polluted by the factories and devices used worldwide.

The bees are not the only ones in the danger of extinction; the butterflies are also at risk. They are quite sensitive to environmental changes, and it is important for people to study the effects the ecosystem and climate changes have on their life. In order to help butterflies face environmental changes and the dangers they are constantly exposed to, in Stockholm’s suburb Huddinge, the roof of a parking garage was converted into a space inviting and welcoming for butterflies. This rooftop is only one of a series of rooftops transformed in fields with nectar flower gardens and meadow seed mixtures; they are all built with a single goal to promote butterflies repopulation.

The recycling revolution starts in Sweden

Swedes are famous for recycling almost all the household waste they produce. They have found ways to turn waste into energy. They are so good at this; they have started to import waste to produce energy. This is why they are considered the initiators of a recycling revolution. Mil-tek in Sweden is one of the partners the country has in this revolution. Companies have totally replaced their old waste ballers with a new range of hydraulic and compressed air ballers that recycle the plastic, paper, cardboard and expanded polystyrene. These ballers are used in all industries, no matter the type of business.  From wholesalers to restaurants and agricultural companies, they have all replaced the old ballers with new ones that allow them to reduce the waste towards zero.

Malmö fights climate change

Malmö and the surrounding areas have an active role in combating climate change. They have adopted multiple impressive and innovative initiatives that have the role to enhance sustainability.

Västra Hamnen is considered Europe’s first carbon-neutral neighbourhood. The region is famous both for its modern architecture, and for the ecological measures it promotes. Here it was built a smart heating and cooling system that runs only on renewable energy. The household waste is transported to a central tank underground, with the help of a vacuum that sucks the waste. Public transportation is powered by biogas obtained from food waste.

Augustenborg is another district famous for the sustainability measures it takes to enhance the lifestyle of the inhabitants. In 2010, it received the United Nations World Habitat Award because it constructed more than 10,000 green rooftops to prevent flooding. This region has also adopted a solar energy project that implied the construction of photovoltaic solar panels on numerous private and public constructions. They collect energy and redirect it to power the district.

Hyllie is a district from the Öresund Region known for the smart decisions it has been taking to prevent climate change. The goal of the district is to use only recycled and renewable energy by 2020. Hyllie is developing multiple sustainable projects, but one of the most important ones is the one that promotes the construction of an eco-friendly energy system that allows residents to measure and track their actions to see what impact they have on the environment.

Author: Cynthia Madison

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