Eco-friendly vs. climate-smart

Environmentally friendly and climate-smart, two words you would like to be associated with, right? But what do the words mean, what is most important and what is the difference? Can you be both environmentally friendly and climate smart or do you have to choose? We´ll try to work out the concepts.


Synonyms of the word environment: environment, nature, external conditions, ambient conditions, outside world, world, background, circle, atmosphere
About the word environment, from a dictionary: External conditions affecting all life, our surroundings.

By environment, we mean our surroundings, our nature and the interaction between animals, plants and us humans. Environmental issues are about how we affect our forests, lakes and the sea, open landscapes and nature in general. Environment is a huge concept where the climate is included.


Environmental pollution means human activities that destroy or damage the environment. It can be about exhaust and emissions from cars, aircraft and industries or our consumption of both food and gadgets. A large part of the environmental pollutions is the reduction of biodiversity due to, for example, deforestation.

Increasingly artificial features of the environment, especially through urbanization, widespread infrastructure and land use, make the environment increasingly vulnerable.

How do I become environmentally friendly?

I want to try to be as environmentally friendly as possible, but how? The environment is a very big concept and you can feel quite small in these big questions. But of course, we can do good even as an individual. We all can do something!

Start by checking your environmental habits at home. Replace your electricity with electricity marked with Good Environmental Choice. Then you get electricity from the sun, water and wind with the least possible environmental impact. With the help of a branch switch with a switch it is easy to switch off several appliances at the same time. Then they do not use unnecessarily electricity.

When shopping for cleaning products, stay away from chemicals and think about if there are products that you do just fine without. There are many good environmentally friendly alternatives. Regarding the laundry, use ecolabel detergent, skip the rinse aid and wash full machines.

Our garbage can contain both valuable and dangerous substances. By sorting, we can save lots of resources and protect our environment. Be accurate about your sorting so that what can be reused can be new products and that hazardous waste can be disposed of properly.

Try to think things through before you do your grocery shopping. Eat more vegetables. When it comes to fish it is good if it is fished or cultivated in a sustainable way. Choose fruits and vegetables that can be stored and start your seasonal thinking. Try to eat less of sweets, soft drinks, pastries and snacks, as they affect the environment without contributing much nutrition. And most importantly – Reduce the waste! Store the food properly, plan your purchases and take care of the leftovers.


Synonyms of the word climate: weather conditions, weather, dashes, atmosphere
About the word climate, from a dictionary: Average weather conditions in a larger area.

The climate includes, for example, temperature and weather conditions. Climate issues, climate change, greenhouse effect, global warming and carbon dioxide emissions are often the big issues. The climate is, as said, part of our environment.

Climate change

The fact that the climate is changing is nothing strange in itself, there are variations in the climate that are natural. But there are also many and major causes of climate change that depend on human activities. The human impact is mainly caused by emissions of greenhouse gases, aerosols (small particles atomized into a gas) and how we use the ground surface.

The most common greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide (nitrous oxide) and ozone. Greenhouse gas emissions were at fairly low levels until the mid-1900s. Since then, they have increased substantially and have been driving the global warming.

The cause of the emissions is, among other things, the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) which forms carbon dioxide emissions and land use such as cattle and rice fields that produce methane gas.

How do I become climate smart?

What can I do to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and help stop global warming?

What we do as individuals is actually a very important factor in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. For example, by flying less, trying to use the car as little as possible and buying second-hand instead of new makes a big difference and can reduce your climate impact by several tons per year.

What we eat also plays a big role in our climate impact. Today, only the consumption of meat causes almost a ton of emissions per person per year on average in Sweden. But here comes the thought of whether one can be both climate smart and environmentally friendly at the same time. Because even though meat consumption must decrease for the sake of the climate, grazing animals also have a positive impact on the environment, for example through increased biodiversity. If we really want to eat meat, choose the right meat and at least try to cut down on meat consumption and we will come a long way on the right path.

So, it’s not always easy to choose the right thing. But by study and trying as best we can, we will get very far.


Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation