Sneak Peek #7: Heating Your Home With Bunnies

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The new issue's almost here (stay tuned for the big cover unveiling later today!), but we can't stop the show and tell just yet! Here's a sneak peek at our Spinning the Globe tour of Sweden. The story covers so many things, from how Sweden's socialism actually works, to why Swedes don't really like ABBA, to why 1950's nostalgia is taking the country by storm.

Of course, one of the other things we cover is how the nation is way ahead of the rest of the world in terms of green living. But they've angered quite a few people with one of their new policies. Here's the scoop:

Bleeding Green

Screen shot 2009-11-17 at 6.07.27 PMA big part of Sweden's national identity is a deep commitment to protecting the environment. Every year, Sweden pours millions of kronor into environmental programs, far exceeding European Union targets for cutting carbon emissions and recycling. For citizens, that means much more than just sorting paper from plastic. For example, in the early '90s, officials in Stockholm decided to turn the industrial area of Hammarby Sjöstad into the greenest neighborhood in Sweden. Today, residents of Hammarby use half the water as other citizens in Sweden, and the little water they waste goes toward generating power. Their garbage is collected through vacuum tubes that send it to treatment plants, where it is recycled or turned into fuel. Hammarby is 40 percent more eco-friendly than your average Swedish suburb.

Of course, some believe that these greening strategies go too far. Recently, the city of Stockholm was having trouble with rabbits, which were overwhelming the green spaces and plant life. So, the city hired teams of sharpshooters to pick off the bunnies. Ever waste-not, want-not, the government had the bodies frozen and shipped to a heating plant, where they were converted into biofuel. The dead bunnies now heat Swedish homes "“ and animal rights activists are protesting.
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To get the full story, be sure to pick up the new magazine on newsstands. Or better yet, pair the subscription with a brand new mental_floss T-shirt and save yourself some money. Click here for details.

December 18, 2009 - 3:20am
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