Sweden has been widely recognized as one of the most developed countries in the world. Its economic and social welfare systems speak for themselves. That clearly reflects in increasing life expectancy as well as in the country’s growing economy. But in this article, I want to ignore the bigger picture and look at the (not) serious advancements of Sweden that one experiences on a daily basis.
Some developments of this Scandinavian country are truly impressive, while others aren’t as much. In this post, I will walk you through a few great and a couple of not so serious advancements of Sweden. Even though I love this country and most of the time its inventions are magnificent, some of them make you smile. Therefore, my dear reader, I ask you to view this article with a pinch of salt.
Sweden together with other Scandinavian countries is on the way to becoming the first cashless society. Currently, only 15% of all transactions in Sweden involve cash! It makes the handling of money much more efficient and safe. In turn, the lives of service and retail workers are much simpler and the customers are happier. Not to mention, it’s much harder to engage in money-laundering or pay employees illegally in cash.
In fact, many places such as coffee shops, bars or museums are completely cash-free. Thus, by coming up to the till with a 100 kronor bill in hand you would for sure surprise the cashier. However, what caught my attention was that many public service providers catering to a wide range of population barely take cash either. For instance, you can’t pay a bus driver or enter a public toilet without having a bank card. So, if you are visiting Sweden and need a wee, be sure to have your card handy.
(The sign below says – we are a cash-free shop).
Recycling is such a big and widely discussed thing lately, though in Sweden it’s simply taken for granted. It’s not uncommon to see six trash cans at someone’s house. It’s actually the opposite – finding only one would raise concerns. Actually, it is amazing to see that (almost) everyone recycles. In addition, the different bins are also placed in workplaces as well as in public areas.
Yet, what surprises me the most is the initiatives organized by retailers or employers. For example, the biggest supermarket chain of the country offers facilities not only for disposing household trash, but also for getting rid of batteries, light bulbs or cosmetics. Whereas, in offices, employers go as far as collecting old cellphones.
Plogging is a relatively new concept established in Sweden. It stands for jogging while picking up litter (plocka upp in Swedish). While not many people know about it, the idea really represents the Swedish identity. I mean, a healthy lifestyle combined with care for nature… Can it get any more beneficial? I’ve never participated in this attraction, so it’s hard to say whether it actually works. But for now, just be aware that a thing like this exists in Sweden.
Prams for dogs is, perhaps, something where Swedish people went a little bit too far. Most of us love our cheerful, furry friends, but is that something necessary? At first, I couldn’t believe what I see… But here some people like to push around their dogs in specially designed prams. Not sure, if it has to do with the cold or a breed of a dog. But from a third-party perspective, it seems a tiny bit odd. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to capture this phenomenon. Yet, as you can see in the picture below Swedes love all kinds of gadgets for their puppies.
Around the neck airbag for cyclists
Another invention that I’ve only seen in Sweden is around the neck airbags for cyclists. It reminds of a neck pillow that one uses for traveling. But instead of being stuffed with foam rubber, it has an actual airbag inside. Having in mind the intensity of traffic in Stockholm as well as the number of cyclists, it is a brilliant idea. Even though there are hundreds of kilometers of cycling paths in the city, the extra security should be appreciated. However, I don’t have the statistics and can’t show how many injuries it could prevent. But I’m sure, this funny-looking item is actually useful.
We hope that you enjoyed this article and got an image of some serious and not-so-much advancements in Sweden.
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