Posted by: ecodestination | March 3, 2009

Kalmar, Sweden chooses biofuels over fossil

A castle in Kalmar

A castle in Kalmar

Not sure where to go for your next overseas vacation? Let me help you: consider the beautiful and eco-friendly city of Kalmar in south-east Sweden on the coast of the Baltic Sea.

Kalmar and Kalmar County (total: 236,501 people) are currently working on eradicating their use of fossil fuels and permanently replacing them with biofuels–and all this with the Swedes’ support. Residents’ standard of living remain, as they aren’t having to endure cold inside their houses in the winter or give up their cars. Essentially, the only change Kalmar will be making is its choice of fuels.

Specifically, Kalmar is switching from oil, gas, and electric furnaces to recycled energy. They call it district heat and it’s made from timber companies’ by-products, sawdust and wood waste. Ninety percent of the electricity at Kalmar comes from hydro, nuclear, and eolic (wind) power.

The busses and cars are publicly owned and most of them-you better sit down for this one-run on biogas (produced from waste wood, chicken manure, or 85% ethanol from Brazil). Read about their alternative fuels. There are more bicycle lanes, trucking firms are teaching eco-driving, building codes must now meet insulation standards, street lights use low-energy bulbs, and fuel-efficient and hybrid cars are all the rage.

Naturally, the switch to biofuels is not only making local Swedes happy because they’re increasingly eco-friendly, but also because of how much money they get to save in fuel and their opportunity to preserve jobs in these rough times worldwide. Kalmar has managed to make a drastic and fantastic change toward environmentalism without slowing down its economic growth. Visit Kalmar in 2030, and you will find no trace of fossil fuel use.

We can do it, too! Push for change in your cities!

Uteservering in charming Kalmar

Uteservering in charming Kalmar. (Click for more pictures of the city of Kalmar and its nightlife.)

The Svenssons, a couple of municipal workers in Kalmar, have taken to bicycling to work, buying locally produced food, don’t use a clothes dryer, and have other tricks up their sleeve. “We wanted to do something so we could look [our daughter] in the eye in 20 years’ time and say, ‘We tried,’ ” Sara Svensson told the Chicago Tribune.

What will you tell your kids and grandkids 20 years from now? They probably won’t buy it if you tell them you were too busy to make small changes.

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Responses

  1. […] is up with the Nordic countries? I have recently posted about similar amazing happenings in Sweden, Iceland, and now Denmark. Seriously. Probably, had I grown up there, I would have a greater […]

  2. […] Swedish are taking another amazing step toward green living and […]


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