Being environmentally friendly is about doing a lot more than putting a few bottles in the recycling bin every now and then and turning off the light. It takes a lot of work and commitment on behalf of everyone. It’s a lifestyle change that everyone needs to take charge of. This is why Finland is such an admirable country. It’s the greenest country in Europe, with Finnish citizens averaging an ecological footprint of 7.6 global hectares, and the incredible lengths in which the go to in order to keep it that way are seriously impressive.
One of the main reasons why Finland does its best to be green is because the Finnish environment is surprisingly fragile. In cold, northern environments it can be difficult for nature to recover from damages. A lot of Finland’s lakes are quite shallow, which makes them more susceptible to contamination. Tourism and wildlife already pose a threat to forests and natural areas, so precautions need to be taken to ensure that the environment can recover. There also a lot of animals and environments in Finland that could be – or have been – devastated by climate change and drastic environmental changes. Finland do it’s best to carefully monitor the population of any endangered or at-risk wildlife and make conscious efforts to protect them and reverse any damage that have caused their reduced numbers.
Another great effort that Finland has made to be greener is to protect their forests. Not only is Finland the greenest country in Europe’s: it’s also the most forested. Over 70% of the land in Finland is covered in forests and a considerable portion of it is strictly protected. This means that Finland have a really successful industry of environmental tourism and with an EHIC renewal you could fly over today and witness the stunning forests and lakes. The only thing stopping them from growing and protecting even more trees is the high demand of energy. The people of Finland require quite a considerable amount of energy to live comfortably because of the cold temperatures and the long distances they have to travel.
It was only after WWII that Finland started to become industrialised on a large scale. Most of Finland remained rural until only very recently. One of the main reasons why Finland became more conscious of their environmental impact was because of the risk associated with expanding cities. As Finland became more industrialised a lot of the population migrated to the cities to find work opportunities and so the cities had to expand to accommodate them. The development of small suburbs on the outskirts of the city was also worrisome because more transport systems had to be put in place to allow people to commute to and from the city. To compensate for the impact that these urban areas have on the environment, Finland has done its best to include green areas in newer developments and organise expansions more conscientiously.
Making your home more green is not as difficult as it may seem at first. A lot of Finland’s architecture incorporates the surrounding, natural environment and greenery is a welcomed aesthetic element. They are also renowned for their incredibly efficient builds that make the most of natural light and use minimal amounts of energy.