The inaugural Sustainability Safari 2015 went off without a hitch!
Together with professors, teachers, company representatives, environmental experts, and politicians, we introduced the intricate web of sustainable projects in Kalmar to students of all ages – from high school to PhD programs. Setting off in our busses on a sunny autumn morning, our students visited a range of places in and around Kalmar where they learned about the efforts of many companies and researchers to achieve a higher level of sustainability in our region:
Here, students heard a presentation from Pelle and Johanna, both representatives from Kalmar Energi, a company that provides heating and electricity for 90% of Kalmar region’s residents through “distance heating.” Using finely ground woodchips from excess tree branches, Kalmar Energi boils the mixture to a temperature of around 500 degrees Celsius, after which it passes through a steam turbine to activate a generator, which is then sent to the homes of the people of Kalmar region! Ash produced by the boiler is collected, mixed with water and replanted in the forest, and smoke emitted is filtered and condensed into water. Kalmar Energi aims for one hundred percent renewable energy, and works consistently – since 1978! – to find new ways of cutting waste and NOX emissions.
Students learned about the wonderful world of Algoland, complete with beautiful bubbling on-site algae reactors, thanks to Fredrik, Lina and Elin! In their presentation, our Algoland experts talked to the students about our ongoing experiment uses Baltic Sea microalgae to filter the Cement factory flue-gas and reduce the carbon emissions. We also learned of the new Algoland project in Moskogen where microalgae is used to clean landfill leachate of nutrients. In the challenge of reducing climate- and eutrophication impacts this project could have exciting implications for the future of bio-sustainable solutions. Not only that, but growing algae with flue gas carbon and process water nutrients is a renewable resource for products such as biofuel and animal feed.
Students heard from Peter, the KSSR representative who explained their project for filtering leachate water from their new landfill, through their multiple pond pumping system, which combined with sand, aerates the water and filters out chemicals and nitrogen. KSSR works diligently to ensure that the water that goes into the Kalmar Sound is as clean as possible.
important fish that needs our help to get through the freshwater system to spawn! Students learned how to identify a variety of Baltic Sea fishes, and even tested out an app by SportFiskarna which helped them to figure out which fish was which.
Representatives from Kalmar Vatten taught students participants about the hard work that they do in order to keep our water clean here in Kalmar. Filtration and pumping systems remove excess nutrients from sewage water in order to meet the guidelines set forth by the municipality government. Kalmar Vatten aims for high-quality, clean filtration, and continues to do so each year. They also gave us a special tip for keeping excess street water clean: Clean your cars at car washes, not in your driveway!
The VattenRåd is a consortia of residential individuals whose aim is to spread information and goals in order to keep the environment as clean as possible – here in Sweden, and beyond. Kalmar municipality works with the water council for establishing stricter regulations and brainstorming ideas on how to lower emissions through air and water.
Here, Samuel and Martin (LNU) gave an introduction to the phytoplankton, zooplankton, and other organisms that inhabit the freshwater systems in and around Kalmar! Here, students peered through microscopes at diatoms and algae, learned about the beautiful dragonflies (that begin their lives as quite plain-looking), and used nets to try and catch their own freshwater friends.
Here, in beautiful Hagby, Safari participants gathered to hear talks from Isabella Löfvin, minister of the International Development Cooperation and Green Party member, Lantmännen representative Reine, Susanna Minnhagen of Kalmar Kommun, and our very own Catherine Legrand who lectured about the Baltic Sea – now and towards the future.
Students took boat trips to the mussel farm in which they learned about how mussels can not only take up extra nutrients in the Baltic Sea, but can also be used as a sustainable feed for animals, such as chickens and fish, creating a no-waste cycle that improves water quality as well as gives back to the community’s food resources. We also enjoyed some delicious sausages and enjoyed the spectacular seaside view!
Together, nearly 150 people participated in the Sustainability Safari 2015. One hundred and fifty people who learned about Blue Growth, our wetlands, the cleaning and reusing of our waste, and the creation of biological cycling projects that will make our region a safer, cleaner place to live. Most importantly, these presentations could be the seedlings needed to spread information and ideas to the rest of the world on how to create a sustainable world for our children, and the future.
We contributed to the 2015 Sustainability Safari: