A town in Finland is demonstrating how communities can go green by cutting CO2 emissions by 80% since 2007, and is hoping to earn the accolade of the world’s first zero-waste municipality.  Li’s carbon reduction is 30 years ahead of the EU’s 2050 target, which it has achieved by quitting fossil fuels in favour of geothermal, solar and wind energy.

Li has installed 65 wind turbines since 2007 and residents have collectively reduced their energy consumption by 50% – by taking simple actions such as turning off unneeded lights.  They have also cut their waste by 25% – switching, for example, to refills instead of single-use containers and composting their food waste – while restoring peatlands, which play a big role in carbon capture (storing twice as much as forests).

The town has meanwhile made a concerted effort to source locally produced food (hunting and fishing are strong industries in the region), and institutions such as schools are incentivised to become energy efficient by receiving half of the money saved in energy bills as a rebate, with the other half going towards community projects.  Local wind turbines and hydroelectric power stations produce 10 times more energy than needed, and the surplus is sold back to the national grid, bringing in €2m annually.

Li’s children are educated from an early age about climate change and issues such as plastic waste, and are encouraged to follow the principle that individual actions can add up to make a big impact – making the town an inspiration for others to follow.

further reading…

A town in Finland is demonstrating how communities can go green by cutting CO2 emissions by 80% since 2007, and is hoping to earn the accolade of the world’s first zero-waste municipality.  Li’s carbon reduction is 30 years ahead of the EU’s 2050 target, which it has achieved by quitting fossil fuels in favour of geothermal, solar and wind energy.

Li has installed 65 wind turbines since 2007 and residents have collectively reduced their energy consumption by 50% – by taking simple actions such as turning off unneeded lights.  They have also cut their waste by 25% – switching, for example, to refills instead of single-use containers and composting their food waste – while restoring peatlands, which play a big role in carbon capture (storing twice as much as forests).

The town has meanwhile made a concerted effort to source locally produced food (hunting and fishing are strong industries in the region), and institutions such as schools are incentivised to become energy efficient by receiving half of the money saved in energy bills as a rebate, with the other half going towards community projects.  Local wind turbines and hydroelectric power stations produce 10 times more energy than needed, and the surplus is sold back to the national grid, bringing in €2m annually.

Li’s children are educated from an early age about climate change and issues such as plastic waste, and are encouraged to follow the principle that individual actions can add up to make a big impact – making the town an inspiration for others to follow.

further reading…