Swedes are very proud of the fact that they are one of the most environmentally-friendly countries in the world. Generally, I agree – and this is coming from someone who has lived in the California Bay Area. Bay Area residents have been recycling for decades, and those of us who live in the San Francisco and Berkeley areas know that the local City Councils are extremely supportive of recycling and other environmental issues. Did you know, for example, that grocery stores in San Francisco do not allow the use of plastic bags? They only give out paper bags or sell the reusable grocery bags. The picture featured on this blog are of two containers that are provided to every family: a recycling container and a compost container.
In Sweden, we have recycling centers, everyone promotes lower electrical use, taxi companies have a large fleet of environmentally-friendly cars, we get to use a fantastic public transportation system (at least in Stockholm), and most important of all, everyone understands the importance of doing their part for the environment.
But this comes at a price. Continue reading