[Mika @ Lund] Eco living from Sweden - March 2020

(Flower buds!)

Hello! This is Mika!

Now that it is March, it's brighter when I get up, so it's much easier to get out of bed in the morning.

The days will be longer and longer towards the summer solstice. The length of the day varies greatly over the course of the year, so it was hard to get used to when I first moved here.

Nevertheless, Lund is located in the south of Sweden, so the change is smaller compared to Stockholm.

Winter in Lund is about 7 hours. The sun rises at 8:30am and the sun sets at 15:30pm. It takes about 50 minutes from sunrise until it gets bright, so it's actually about 9:30 when you think it's bright. And it will be dark around 15:00pm.

On the other hand, in the summer solstice, it doesn't get to a white night, but still a blackout curtain is an essential item in Sweden if you want to sleep at night.

(recycling and reuse is written on packages)

The other day, I did some online shopping.

In Sweden, small items such as letters or items that fit in to A4 size letter packs arrive in the mailbox, but for parcels and large packages, a notice paper arrives in the mailbox or via sms in your mobile phone so that you can go and pick them up at the assigned post office.

The post office is located inside a supermarket, so it's a very convenient system because you can pick it up at the time of shopping or at a convenient time. Although, it could be difficult to take home when you received a large package!

Also, before it was difficult to know the weight or size of the package when receiving the notice, but now it is possible to check the size and weight in advance in the notice so you can be prepared before picking up your package.

There are some exceptions to this system though, and depending on the delivery service, it may be delivered to your home. EMS coming from Japan is of this kind, so what is sent from my parents' house reaches my home so it is convenient. However, if you miss the first chance of home delivery, there will be no redelivery. If you missed it, again you will receive a notice in your mailbox and you will need to go to the assigned post office as usual to pick the package.

At first I felt that it was inconvenient, but now I think that this is actually a better system since it is easier to schedule your days and is more convenient.

(Post office inside supermarket)

Online shopping is often used here in Sweden because it is convenient and often cheaper.   You can also buy products that are not available at the actual stores.

I'm happy when I open the delivered package, but it also makes me sad when I see a lot of plastic cushioning materials used.

Last time when I went to pick up what I purchased online and opened the package, there was a plastic-like cushioning material, which I thought was plastic so I thought I'd put it out separately as it should be recycled later.

(plastic-like cushioning material)

A few days later, I saw my 4-year-old son was experimenting with something... He was putting water in a container and checking what floated and what didn't, so I handed the plastic-like cushioning material from the other day so he can do some experiments.

As a result, the plastic-like cushioning material floated in the beginning and soon after it dissolved in the water!


(cushioning material dissolving in water)

I was so surprised at what I saw, and checked the delivery note that I received with my package. Inside, there was a description of the package, stating that the cushioning material was made from plant starch! When I read the explanation further, it dissolves in water and when the soil meets plant starch again it would be happy!

Reading this also made me happy!

When buying a product, the price of the product is important, but I decided that from now on, I will read these initiatives more carefully before buying.

See you next month!