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If There Was One Problem I Wish America Had, It Would Be This

By Alan Pierce / pachamama.org
Jul 30, 2013
4.0 ·
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If There Was One Problem I Wish America Had, It Would Be This

Due to Sweden’s innovative waste-to-energy program and highly efficient recycling habits, the Scandinavian nation faces an interesting dilemma.                                                             

They have run out of trash.

Sweden’s waste management and recycling programs are second to none as only four percent of the nation’s waste ends up in landfills. By contrast, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, over half of the waste produced by U.S. households ends up in landfills.

Because the Swedish manage waste so effectively and then use what remains to partly power their country, they are now living an environmentalist’s dream; a shortage of garbage.

The Circle Of Energy

In order to continue fueling the waste-to-energy factories that provide electricity to a quarter of a million homes and 20 percent of the entire country’s district heating, Sweden is now importing trash from the landfills of other European countries. In fact, those countries are paying Sweden to do so.

You read that correctly, countries are paying to get rid of a source of fuel they themselves produced so that Sweden can continue to have the energy output they need. You don’t have to be an economist to know that’s one highly enviable energy model.

Aside from the economic benefit, Sweden’s system of sustainability clearly has vast environmental benefits. Aside from traditional recycling programs, their waste-to-energy system ensures minimal environmental impact from the country’s waste.

Sweden’s extremely efficient circle of consumption, waste management, and energy output provides the current global population and coming generations inspiration and guidance towards a more sustainable future. They represent one ally of many who understand the need to live sustainably and who fully commit to doing so.

Our Commitment to a Sustainable Future

Like Sweden, we at The Pachamama Alliance are committed to creating a more sustainable future. Through our inspiring and educational symposiums delivered all over the world, and our dedicated efforts to empower indigenous communities in the Amazon, we strive to catalyze sustainable models of energy production and waste management.

With our help, the indigenous Achuar community in Ecuador continue to establish sustainable development alternatives, such as solar powered canoes and water pumps. They have also improved waste management through innovations like compostable toilets, which improve sanitation and reduce ground and water pollution.

Taking a Stand Together

As climate change continues to worsen, The Pachamama Alliance and our community of allies stand firmly opposed to the destructive trends of unsustainable systems that burden the Earth so heavily.

Indigenous communities like the Achuar who are committed to finding environmentally sound ways of addressing their energy needs, and countries like Sweden who represent a modern commitment to sustainability, offer models of solutions that work for a thriving planetary future.

Ultimately, any person or community that takes a stand to protect the ailing environment is taking a stand for you. They are standing up for all future generations of Life that will inherit this planet. How will you take your stand?

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Films For Action is a community-powered, digital library for people who want to change the world.

 

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Films For Action was founded in 2006 by a few friends in Lawrence, Kansas, after realizing how essential a healthy media is to a healthy democracy.

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“Independent media is dangerous because it allows people to speak for themselves. And when you hear someone speaking from their own experience - whether it's a Palestinian child or an Israeli grandmother or an uncle in Afghanistan or a refugee in the Calais refugee camp - it changes you. It breaks the sound barrier. It challenges the stereotypes and the caricatures that fuel the hate groups. You may not agree with what you hear - I mean, how often do we even agree with our family members? - but you begin to understand where they're coming from. That understanding is the beginning of peace. I really do think that the media can be the greatest force for peace on Earth. Instead, all too often, it is wielded as a weapon of war. We have to take the media back.” - Amy Goodman, Place to B at COP21