Tag Archives: Sweden

How Fast How Clean

Choo choo! All aboard! Today’s topic is about transportation and more specifically Swedish trains. Despite the complains from some locals about the “quality” and sometimes “delayed” trains (like couple of minutes delayed trains…) I have found the Swedish transportation amazing. Let’s remember that I come from Mexico where there is only 1 (yes one) train in the North of the country and where public transportation looks like (yes, this is a public bus in Mexico City)…

Sweden is a country that has more than 50% of its territory cover by forest, has a “tax relief” since 2005 for the power-intensive industries in order for them to change to renewable and decrease their energy consumption, and more than 50 % of the total energy demand comes from renewables. When it comes to electricity, Sweden manages to use less than 1 % of fossil fuels… but why is this important? Well, SJ (Swedish train company) claims that the entire Swedish train system runs on RENEWABLES!

 SJ trains only buy renewable electricity from hydroelectric and wind-powered sources, the trains cause minimal emissions.

But that’s not the only thing they manage to do right… you want to dispose some garbage? Well, you better know how to separate!

What do you think about Swedish transportation? Awesome right? So far it seems that they are doing everything that is possible to maintain their environmental impact at its lowest! So how is it in your country? Don’t forget to subscribe or comment!

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 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!

R is for Recycle

Sorry for the delay and lack of continuous post, peeps! This pasts weeks have been all about deadlines/final projects/home exams/party… oh no, no parties (kidding). Well, I’m back and I have an interesting topic, recycling! 

What about recycling in Sweden? Stockholmers, have you seen the little square saying “PANT 1 or 2 kr” next to the bar code on the PET bottle? Or have you seen it printed on the beer can you were drinking on your way to the club? (btw is not allowed to drink in the streets here). Well, this “PANT” is the deposit you are paying (EXTRA) from the normal price of your beverage to encourage you to return the bottle back (for it to be recycled). Some people may find it like kinda non-sense when you just drink a bottle of Loka and have to go back to these special machines to get your one or two krona(s) back… but what about when you collect 10, 20 or 50 bottle; then, you have enough reason to get some money back and help the environment. 

So far in OECD’s 2015 Environment at a Glance report Sweden appeared in 6th place, why? well… the reason is that Swedes burn around 50% of their household waste to power “cleaner” energy production and generate heat for the houses; still, it’s quite awesome their efficiency when it comes to recycling taking into consideration less than 1% ending buried in landfills.

No Ryan Gosling but close enough me recycling here in Sweden haha 😀

How’s recycling in your countries? Be conscious with OUR environment and try to always recycle! 😀