5 Sustainability Hacks to Be Just Like The Danish
Denmark is often named one of the most sustainable countries in the world. And, it’s no wonder! The Danes have crafted themselves as a green powerhouse. To name just one impressive statistic, 41% of electricity demand is covered by wind turbines in Denmark. The country is geared towards being as eco-friendly as possible and has no plans of stopping!
Danish infrastructure is set up to be green. But, the Danes themselves also do their bit. In this article, we’ll run through the five best sustainability hacks you can do each day to emulate our Danish counterparts. Get in on the sustainable secret. It’s easier than you think!
1. Cycle instead of using your car
If you’ve ever visited Denmark, you may have noticed the herds of bicycles parked in public spaces. Cycling really is the norm in Denmark. And, for the most part, that’s because the Danish attitude to transport is different. Driving feels unnecessary to many Danes, as well as it being cripplingly expensive. So, why would they deviate from hopping on a bike for free? It makes a lot of sense and creates zero emissions at the same time!
In Denmark, a 150% tax on cars has helped make cycling a staple. That means that cars are more than double their price to buy compared to elsewhere. So instead, people cycle or use Denmark’s efficient public transport systems. In fact, 49% of commuter journeys occur by bike in the country’s capital Copenhagen. Cycle lanes are packed every morning with people making their way to work. It’s a green paradise.
How can you get in on this Danish lifestyle trend?
It’s as simple as riding a bike! Start with smaller trips to test out the roads around you. And, make sure you look up the rules of the road before you begin!
It may even be worth getting in contact with your local council if you think more could be done to accommodate cyclists in your area. You could be the change that makes your home a little bit more sustainable!
2. Eat organic produce
Organic produce grows without the help of pesticides or chemical fertilisers. This means that there's no unhealthy runoff that will go on to pollute local water supplies. In general, organic food is regarded as being better for humans too. So, you can see why the Danes are big fans of organic agricultural practices.
But, just how much organic farming happens over in Denmark?
Well, the Danish Agriculture and Food Council have some big plans for the country. They expect that 20% of the Danish land area will be used for organic farming in 2020. And, it looks like they’ll be on track. Already, more than half of Danes buy organic food every week!
Ready to incorporate organic produce into your own life?
There are organic options available in most large supermarkets. If you can’t find them there, try going to local farmer's markets instead. Although organic produce tends to be more expensive than normal food, it’s worth it for you and the environment.
Perhaps, have a think about what you shop each week. Do you buy excess food which doesn’t get eaten anyway? Try cutting these parts of your shopping list to conserve extra money for organic food.
You won’t look back!
3. Digitise your life
Denmark is one of the most digitised countries in the world. As a result, the majority of their official paperwork happens online. This includes everything from reporting a missing bike to paying for a postage stamp. But, what does this have to do with sustainability?
Just think about it - all that paperwork now online. It may seem petty, but when it comes to country-wide governmental practices, it adds up! So much paper is saved this way.
You can emulate this Danish attribute, even if you can’t change the way your whole country works.
Go paperless! We spoke about this in our 6 Things You Can Do Today to be More Sustainable article. It could be as simple as ticking a box on your mobile banking app or saying ‘no’ to a receipt whilst you’re out. Small changes do make a difference!
Denmark was one of the very first recycling innovators! Back in 1978, the Danes created the world’s first law on recycling! They stated that at least 50% of all paper and beverage packaging should be recycled. They’ve kept up this revolutionary spirit since!
Since 2008, a recycling system called PANT has been in operation in Denmark. To encourage people to recycle, a small deposit is added on to the price of plastic and glass bottles. When returned to a supermarket, the customer receives their deposit back. It has proven hugely popular. The PANT system is expanding even now. From January 2020, smoothie bottles will also be included in the scheme.
So, get recycling wherever you are!
If you’re unsure about the facilities in your local area, get in touch with your authorities or look online. It’s worth working out what can be recycled and what you have to put in the bin. If too many incorrect items are put in recycling, a whole batch may have to be put in landfill.
5. Consider how carbon-neutral you are
As the Danes are always thinking of their sustainable future, they set targets for themselves which are met. For example, Copenhagen plans to be carbon neutral by the year 2025. If it fulfils this goal, it will be the first city in the world to do so. This is a very exciting time!
So, have you ever thought about how carbon-neutral you are in your own life?
There are little steps you can take to reduce your impact. Cutting your carbon emissions is one of them. So, get on that bike! Another is giving back to the carbon store by planting trees.
Here at Project Nord, we’ve teamed up with Tree Nation to manage our carbon offset. Of course, as our posters are made of paper, we believe it’s important to respect the world’s forests. So, for every poster you buy from us, a tree is planted on your behalf. You can find out more about this on our Sustainability page. We’re dedicated to being as sustainable as possible and are always looking for new ways to improve!
There’s your complete guide to being sustainable like the Danes. We hope you enjoyed the article and that you feel inspired to change up the way you think about the environment.
Check out our other sustainability articles for more top tips and information!
Written by Jessica Slater
Images sourced from Pintrest.