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What The United States Can Learn From 4 Eco-Friendly Countries

By Desirée Kaplan

The United Nations has set out Sustainable Development Goals, to "end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for everyone.” By 2030, each goal should have met its specific target. But how are we doing so far? Some countries are stepping up to the challenge better than others and it's worth taking a look at what they are doing differently and understanding their success.

Many countries such as Sweden, Costa Rica, France, and Singapore are moving towards a greener future. Major concerns such as pollution and wildlife conservation need global solutions more than ever. While no country is perfect, these four are on track to making changes we can all learn from and try to incorporate in our own countries.

1. Sweden, the waste management pros.

As of May 2017, Sweden was ranked the most sustainable country in the world by RobecoSAM, a company focused exclusively on sustainability investing. Sweden’s rank was determined by taking into consideration governance, social, and environmental factors. The Swedish government discourages oil use by charging a carbon tax and hopes to eliminate fossil fuel usage by 2050

Sweden is also top notch when it comes to waste management. Sweden’s households send less than one percent of their waste to landfills and the country’s program converts rubbish into useful energy with an efficient waste-to-energy program. Sweden’s waste management system is so effective that it imports waste from other Europeans countries. Swedes even build “passive houses” which reduce wasted energy by powering themselves with human body heat, electrical appliances and sunlight.