Tag Archives: Sustainability

Royal Gifts

This post is related to the next 2 questions, how productive was your week at work/school and do you remember what was your last birthday present? Well, for King’s Carl XVI Gustaf 70th birthday (2016), he received as present solar panels! Yes, solar panels haha

As it might seem weird to receive this kind of present, it seems the King was pretty happy about it; nevertheless, he had to wait 2 years to actually be allowed to install them. Why? Well, they are currently being installed over the Royal Palace in center Stockholm and as any other protected building by national heritage laws, this was no exception. King Carl had to wait for the Swedish National Heritage Board to accept the installation once they were sure that the panels will not be seen from the ground (you will be able to see them flying over Stockholm).

And now, why did I ask about your productivity? As a matter of fact, King Carl was helping installing them! Yes, he was at the roof of the palace (all suit & tie) helping the workers install his “new” toy. The installation of more than 500 panels will be expected to be carried out over the next 6 weeks. How cool is your King/Prime Minister/President/etc? I don’t think as cool as him haha!

This all goes by the hand with Sweden’s goal of being 100% powered by renewables by 2040. Let’s remember that solar energy accounts for less than 1 % of the total energy mix and that Sweden is highly dependent on hydro and nuclear energy. So, do you think it was an awesome bday gift or nej? Remember fossil fuels are not forever nor environmental friendly 🙁 …. so how’s your country doing in renewables? Sweden is an all-in country in the renewable energy sector <3

Green Week at KTH ’18

Yes Stockholmers! This is the 2′ time that our friends from THS bring this amazing creation to us! Green week is going to be here from the 27 April till the 8 May with amazing lunch lectures, mingles, breakfasts and more! You can’t let pass the opportunity to participate in this environmental [super] friendly week.

But what’s the aim of this amazing week happing at KTH? Well, first of all this is an event created by students for students! They want to connect both professionals and students interested in sustainable development to detonate innovative ideas and provide meeting places to share these ideas! I have also heard that Al Gore may stop by…

No… just kidding, maybe for next year’s meeting, but in the meantime check how’s this week looking like…

Feeling keen about participating? Find more information here. Don’t forget to follow and share to be tuned with future events happening in Stockholm!

Let’s talk about Stockholm

Hey peeps! I know, I know, I’ve been trying to do my best to balance private life, assignments, test, and of course this incredible space for all of us where I share sustainability-related topics. As some of you may know, here at KTH, we just entered last week the dark zone of deadlines and final exams… yay! (said no one ever), crazy never-ending reports, long assignments and preparation for exams…

But well, let’s get to the topic… Stockholm! As you all know I’ve living in this amazing city for about 7 months now… what!… ok time is going really fast hehe but I’ve learnt so many thing from it. As a leading city in sustainable innovation, Stockholm is investing in not only bright minds to spread environmental knowledge, but in the city itself to be sustainable for the next generations.

This topic is simple, I want to show you a really cool video that Stockholms Stad made for one of the most sustainable neighborhood here, Hammarby Sjöstad (pretty sure you pronounce it wrong, actually no one knows how to do it. Kidding. Not really haha). This neighborhood is being totally renovated with different insight of how to make it sustainable in all ways possible.

Want to know more about this? Click here and read this article about Fossil Fuel-Free Stockholm and how this city is tackling climate change!

Let it Burn

Hey peeps, sorry for the delay on my posts but it’s been a crazy week with deadlines 😀 (nervous laugh) nevertheless, you got me here! As you can read from the title, this post will be about fire… fire used in incineration plants, where companies burn trash in order to produce electricity and heating (pretty useful in the case of cold countries like Sweden). Last week with the course on Waste Management that I’m taking at KTH, we had a field trip to Vattenfall’s incineration plant in Uppsala… cool selfie of my German friend Ben and me…

At this incineration plant Vattenfall produces electricity and more than 90% from all the heating needed in Uppsala, 4th largest city in Sweden. The electricity comes from burning the trash that will help boil water (by a heat exchanger), water will boil and steam will be produced; this steam will be used as the fuel to move a turbine that will produce electricity. Heat is also produced in a high efficient combustion and helps keeping the houses in the surrounding warm. Unfortunately it was forbidden to take pictures inside the plant, but trust me it was amazing watching through a thick glass the combustion chamber. It was like a huge pile of garbage on fire haha (literally like a 4 floors high fire flame) and the inside temperature was about 850ºC.

Sweden’s electricity comes roughly 50 % from burning trash… good right? No fossil oil, gasoline or diesel burned, right? Well… NO! The process is efficient, YES, but it’s not as good or as “green” as you may think! Why? Let’s think about what a common bag or garbage may contain…

  • Some organic waste when it’s not properly separated (food, wood, etc)
  • Some metals (cans for example)
  • Some carton from packaging
  • Some crystal…

…but the most important content in our garbage…

  • PLASTIC! Large amount of plastic packaging and most of the times the bag itself!

Let’s remember that there is not such a thing as the “avg. garbage bag”, but it estimated between 20-50% of plastic content in household waste!!!  If you are still struggling connecting the dots, plastic comes from FOSSIL FUELS! So literally burning garbage is burning fossil fuels (in less amounts and controlled way of course).

In conclusion, an incineration plant helps get rid of the waste in an “efficient” way where companies can recover energy from the process to obtain heating and electricity. Does incineration is the best way to help the planet, NO! The best way according to the waste hierarchy is to

  1. REDUCE CONSUMPTION (let’s stop buying things that we don’t need),
  2. REUSING (come on, give it a second opportunity if possible),
  3. RECYCLING (let’s sort our residues properly :D),
  4. ENERGY RECOVERY (Ok… now let ’em burn!),
  5. LANDFILL (The least preferred 🙁 nothing else can be done with the residues so they have to be buried)

Hope you liked the topic! Don’t forget to subscribe, share and comment 😀 all the feedback makes this blog better for you guys!

Look at that Butt

Do you smoke? Do you know someone who smokes? There’s a topic that’s been in mind for a couple of weeks that you may find quite interesting. Let’s be clear, this post WILL NOT try to persuade you to quit smoking, but WILL BE about the residues that around 75% of smokers toss on the streets…
Cigarette Butts!

Sweden has the lowest rate when it comes to people who actually smoke cigarette, it’s is only 5% of the population. The reason of that, is that the Swedish Government allow people to buy a thing called “snus” (moist powdered tobacco) that comes in a tinny bag and people put it in their mouths somewhere between the gums and the lips. Still, some people of that 5% manage to toss out the c-butt on the streets.

So as I said it before, I’m not here to make you change your mind about smoking, but at least put the butt in the garbage! Remember that wildlife like birds could eat this residue full of chemicals, but…

The chemicals found in one cigarette butt can leach out and contaminate approximately 7.5 liters of water within one hour.

STOP POLLUTING WATER!

Want to know more about recycling C-butts? Look at this amazing video from National Geographic about this residue and how it could be recycled 😀 Don’t forget to comment and subscribe!