Happy Earth Day everyone!
More often than not, we overlook the importance of knowing our impact on the planet. Now, I am no expert on environmental issues (though I wouldn’t mind expanding my knowledge on the topic), but I am sure we can all do much more to preserve our environment.
I come from a very small country that has a total of 5 (five!) national parks on its territory, so I feel like intact, wild nature has always been a big part of my life. But having moved to Sweden, I realised how much more work needs to be done on the mindset of people in my country (and others alike) in order to keep our nature as pristine as it is/was.
Swedes, in my opinion, have a very close connection to nature. They are very conscious of their behaviour and how it affects nature. (shout out to my friend Elisabeth, arguably the most environmentally conscious person I know!)
You know that thing called recycling? Yeah, well Sweden seems to recycle 99% of its household waste. That’s an insane amount! (the good insane) They even import garbage for recycling purposes. Sweden, you’re amazing.
One day, I was sitting in Lund’s big park Stadsparken reading and enjoying the sunshine (yaaaay, SUN!) and there was a can on the ground. Just lying there, used and thrown away. I gave it little to no thought. Until I saw a woman walking by, stopping, picking up the can and taking it to the next trash bin, and continuing her walk.
She got me thinking – would I think about doing this? I had barely noticed the can before, and I had been sitting there for a while. So, I gave myself a mission to start noticing things like this: and to my surprise, the woman I had seen at the park that day is not a rare, unicorn example of this behaviour! I have witnessed the pick-up-and-throw-away scene quite many times. And I have adopted the behaviour as well.
It truly shows, on a minimal scale, a collective conscience of ‘we are on this planet together’ and it’s not ‘my garbage’, it’s ours.
Hopefully, you will be as inspired by this as I was and take it with you to your countries, and eventually to Sweden when you come to study here. Because Sweden is a pretty cool country to be in. No pun intended.