Every Swede is responsible for about seven tons of greenhouse gas emissions every year. To reach a sustainable level of one to two tons instead, radical changes are needed.
Akiko Frid in Osby in Skåne is one of the very few who have succeeded in doing just that. It’s been a cold winter in Skåne, but Frid isn’t complaining, even though it’s quite cold inside her house.

“I wear a scarf, long johns and three pair of socks. You have to be prepared to wear more and to choose materials that keep you warm,” she says. For the earth’s resources to last and the climate changes to be halted, we need to change. Almost all of us in the western world need to commit to radical changes. Frid has managed to get her greenhouse gas emissions down to below one ton a year. “It’s not difficult to live like this,” she explains. Because I’ve done it for so long now, it’s natural for me. If I want to buy something, I first think about how it was produced. It’s all about how we treat each other, the animals and the environment. We have one earth together. I am happy to live the way I live.” Frid is 47 years old; she shares a house in Osby with a friend and four cats. Their house is heated by a wood boiler and wood stove in the kitchen. She walks, bikes or uses the kicksled in Osby, and for longer trips she takes the train. She lights candles, shops second hand, and has neither fridge nor freezer in her kitchen.

ADVERTISEMENT
Volvo Overseas - the ultimate experience

“During the wintertime you can have food in a metal box outside. I have a cellar, but most of the food can be kept inside, even in summertime. I eat a lot of vegetables and shop for groceries often.” Frid’s interest in environmental issues began in the 1990s when she moved from Japan where she worked at a modeling agency, to Sweden for a job with Greenpeace. Now she’s about to start her own business working with eco-tourism and events connected to environmental issues. But she feels people should change their lifestyles because they themselves want to, not to follow politicians or experts.

“First of all you have to create a vision for what kind of responsibility you want to take for the climate and the environment,” she explains. “Then you can follow that vision. It doesn’t have to be perfect. I am not perfect.” Frid just came back from a visit to Japan, where she met business contacts as well as family and friends. Counting this trip means she won’t make her goal of one ton of emissions this year. “But I don’t travel every year. I would have liked to travel there using the Trans-Siberian Railway, but that would have taken me 20 days. I couldn’t do that, unfortunately.”