Sweden is a pioneer in sustainability; the country boasts a national devotion to recycling, a burgeoning vintage clothing industry, and a widespread affinity for eco-friendly foods. In 2015, the Country Sustainability Ranking study named Sweden “The Most Sustainable Country In The World.”
The government of Sweden has committed to reducing green house gas by financing new solar, wind energy, smart grids (an electrical grid using a computerized, two-way communication network), and clean transportation projects with increased carbon taxes on petroleum and diesel fuel as well sales of coal mines and closures of airports and nuclear plants. They use hydropower and biofuels (derived from oil or fat), which are clean and renewable energies. Another example of their sustainability genius is “Passive Houses,” which utilize energy powered by body heat, sunlight, and electrical appliances.
Given their passion for recycling, it’s no surprise that Sweden has also created a shopping center that exclusively sells refurbished products. ReTuna Återbrucksgalleria is comprised of 15 shops selling reconditioned furniture, bicycles, audio equipment, computers, garden tools, flowers, plants, organic food, and building materials.
In addition to those goods, services such as do-it-yourself repair classes and an unwanted products drop-off area further the sustainability objective.
Their recycling service enables people to drop off things they want to discard; the objects are then repaired and resold. They also offer a year long “Design, Recycle, Reuse” course plus shorter DIY repair classes and informative tours of the center that teach people how it operates.
ReTuna, located about seventy-five miles from Stockholm, has also created 50 new jobs — proving that going green can be good for the economy, too. The shopping center also attracts artisans and new businesses.
If more businesses followed the ReTuna model, we would go a long way in preserving our environment. When can we expect one right here in the U.S.?