‘No one can do everything – but everyone can do something.’


– Sofie Österheim, Malmö, Sweden (from sydsvenskan.se)

An article in the Swedish newspaper Sydsvenskan explains how so-called ‘light green’ habits can make a difference when it comes to your personal carbon footprint. For example, take cycling instead of driving: A bike with a wire bicycle basket, which can be installed on both the front and back, is a great way to be Green and transport groceries or other goods. It’s not only much more environmentally friendly to cycle rather than drive, it’s also a great way to keep in shape while saving money.


Bicycles with baskets, photo by Dan Zen (source: Flickr Creative Commons)

Sofie Österheim, from Malmö, Sweden, considers both the environment and her own finances when it comes to her habits concerning transportation, shopping and home life. She uses her bicycle and only borrows a car when necessary, recycles despite the fact that there is not recycling station in her apartment building and buys eco-friendly food. ‘I believe that wasteful shopping practices have contributed to the environmental crisis. We’ve bought things that we don’t need,’ she explains.

Buying products that are close to their expiration date is one way of not being wasteful. They are perfectly good so long as used reasonably soon after being purchased. Usually food, goods close to expiration are also often cheaper – and if not used, they will just be thrown away, perhaps ending up in landfills.

Though being ‘light green’ isn’t ideal, it may be more realistic for many who find it difficult to change their daily habits to suit new environmentally conscious standards. And let’s face it, most people have a long way to go before adopting properly Green lifestyles and are simply turned off by the thought. Therefore, going ‘light green’ can be a practical, doable solution for individuals to be more environmentally conscious and reduce their individual contributions to harmful emissions.


Check the label, photo by Jeff Keen (source: Flickr Creative Commons)

Emissions statistics from Sydsvenskan:

  • 25% of our emissions come from food – 2 metric tons of carbon per year, the largest amount being from meat and dairy.
  • 30% comes from our homes – 2.5 metric tons per person per year; those who live in large houses heated by energy from fossil fuels.
  • 30% of emissions come from travel – another 2.5 metric tons per person, mostly from those who drive alone and take frequent and long flights.
  • The final 15% comes from other forms of consumer goods, with clothing, shoes and electronics heading up the list.

(Source: Naturvårdsverket – Swedish EPA)

Additional resources:
Naturvårdsverket in English (Swedish Environmental Protection Agency)
How to Choose Front and Rear Bicycle Baskets