Why Stockholm Is Not Green

Received the Award for European Green City 2010

The city of Stockholm received the award for European Green City 2010. It's the first award given in what is expected to be a long series of showcasing cities across the European Union.

Now I understand, Sweden is one of the more green countries in Europe. After visiting most of western Europe (France, Spain, Italy, Belgium...), I have to say, the streets are far cleaner in Stockholm and Swedish cities than in the other countries.

Fast Facts about Stockholm's Green Measures:

  • Stockholm has reduced CO2 emissions by 25% compared to the 1990 levels. CO2 emissions are less than 4 tonnes CO2 per capita - half the national Swedish average.
  • Stockholm has the ambitious target of becoming a fossil fuel free city by 2050.
  • 69% of all households have access to district heating - and the share of renewable energy in district heating is nearly 70%.
  • 25% of the waste produced by Stockholmers is recycled, 73.5% is recovered for production of district heating (energy recovery by incineration), and 1.5% is biologically treated.
  • 90% of the population live less than 300 metres from a green area.

With that said, there is plenty wrong with Stockholm's recycle system.

1.  Retail stores leave their doors open, even in the wintertime, and let hot air out. Been to Gallerian in Stockholm? Or H&M?  Their massive glass doors are wide open when it's -10C or even +5C.  Because blowing hot air outside and keeping doors open will attract more customers!

2.  Cigarette butts and snus pouches litter the parks.  I already ranted on this, but c'mon Sweden! Get with the fucking program and clean up the parks.

3. No "NO LITTER" signs on the streets to scare people.

4. Few to zero recycle bins at the park for aluminum cans or glass bottles.

5. Millions of newspaper are printed per day in Stockholm.  How much is recycled?

6.  No community efforts for clean-up programs.

7.  Limit idling taxis in the city.

More Stories By Sapphire S

An American girl living in Sweden and writing about life, work, and travel in the north pole.