Sweden

Sweden is a long and narrow country consisting mainly of flat plains, lowlands, lakes and forests. To the west, where the Scandinavian mountain range (Skanderna) runs along the border with Norway; Mt Kebne (2132m) is the country’s highest mountain. To the East, the Baltic Sea is unique with its brackish water. Bears, wolves, lynx, moose, elk and deer are some of the larger animal species found in the forest and mountain regions.
About 15% of Sweden lies north of the Arctic Circle. Along Sweden’s coast, chopped up by bays and inlets, are many islands and archipelagos. These waters are home to seals, porpoises, cold-water corals and many other marine species.

Although known for its pristine wilderness and clean air, Sweden faces a number of environmental problems, including marine pollution, particularly excessively high nutrient levels in the Baltic Sea, acidification of lakes and land, and air pollution.
 / ©: Sveaskog
Sveaskog’s forest conservation programme will also help protect and restore the ecological processes of several river systems northern and southern Sweden.
© Sveaskog

Country Eco-tips

Energy and Water
  • More than 40 % of the energy use in Sweden comes from renewable sources. Biofuel, consisting mainly of residues from the forest industry, is the most important domestic renewable energy source.
  • Hydropower is the second major source of alternative energy.
  • Drinking water from the tap is perfectly fine all over Sweden.
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Recycling
  • Sweden has some of the best recycling rates in the world, with over 95% of glass getting recycled, 85% of newspapers, 70% of metal and 65% of plastic. Recycling bins for just about everything are conveniently located throughout all major cities and towns as well as in the home for curbside collection.
  • As part of a national-wide deposit and return system, customers can get anywhere from 0.50 to 2.00 Swedish Krona for returning most glass, aluminum and plastic containers at any local supermarket.
  • All municipalities are required to organize systems for collecting discarded batteries; non-recyclable batteries are taxed to encourage a switch to alternatives.
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Transport
  • Swedish State Railways runs an extensive network throughout the country. Frequent train service between main cities is concentrated in the more populated south, but routes extend to the north as well.
  • Travel by bus in Sweden is relatively inexpensive. There is an excellent network of express services between the larger towns and cities in south and central Sweden, and between Stockholm and towns in the north.
  • Public transport is comprehensive, efficient and well integrated. Stockholm has buses, trams, metro (T-banan) and local rail services.
  • No matter where you are in Stockholm, you’ll find plenty of easy and well-marked bike paths. In the summer, you can rent a bike through the Stockholm City Bikes programme.
  • The archipelago around Stockholm has a comprehensive network of boat services. The various archipelagos on the southeast coast are served by small ferries.
  • Sweden has a number of car-free areas, including most of Stockholm’s old town, a large pedestrian area in Malmo and several islands in the Southern Goteborg Archipelago.
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Food
  • The major retailers in Sweden sell organic products, some with their own organic labels. Look for the KRAV organic label in supermarkets throughout the country.
  • Gröna Konsum, a consumer cooperative retail chain with 450 shops, has one of the highest shares of organic foods in any supermarket chain in Europe.
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Green Spots
  • Fulufjället National Park: Situated in the centre of the Scandinavian peninsula in the northwestern part of Dalarna on the border to Norway, Fulufjället is home to Sweden’s largest waterfall as well as ancient forests, exposed mountains and numerous wetlands. There are over 140km of hiking trails. Elk, bear, lynx, beaver and reindeer can be found within the park.
  • Abisko National Park: This 7,700-hectare park in Swedish Lapland comprises a low-lying valley surrounded by mountains to the west and south and a pristine lake to the north. The 435km King’s Way trail is popular with hikers and cross-country skiers. Other winter activities include husky dog rides and alpine skiing.
  • Ängsö National Park: One of Sweden’s oldest national parks, Ängsö is located on an island in the Stockholm archipelago. The park is known for its forests and flowering meadows, which includes several rare species of orchids. You can reach the park by boat from Stockholm.
  • Kungsträdgården: This park (King’s Garden in English) is located in central Stockholm. It is a popular meeting place. In the summer, there are many music concerts and a restaurant festival that lasts for days. In the winter, there is an ice skating rink.
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Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the above information. However, WWF makes no warranties, expressed or implied, regarding errors or omissions and assumes no legal liability or responsibility for loss or damage resulting from its use.
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