Another shop encouraging responsible shopping

Can I tape up the planet? No, but to repair things instead of throwing them away and buying new saves the earth’s resources.
Can a storage box clean up the world? No. But locally produced plastic causes fewer emissions from transport.
Can a symbol change the world? No, but cooperation is a change to take care of our planet together.

I am seeing more and more of this type of sign lately – encouraging people to repair, reuse and recycle; discouraging people from buying things they don’t need.

This signage reminds me a great deal of adverts I saw for Systembolaget when I first arrived in Sweden. Systembolaget is the Swedish state-owned alcohol monopoly. It is the only place you can buy alcohol in Sweden and they are restrictive regarding opening hours and also who can buy alcohol. ‘Systemet’ had (and still has) advertising discouraging people from drinking alcohol and encouraging responsible drinking habits.

Sweden (together with other countries in the area like Finland and Russia) is in the so-called spirit belt, where binge drinking of spirits is commonplace. In an effort to control the skyhigh alcohol consumption in the country, the government set up Systembolaget stores in 1955. When I came to Sweden a lot of people were sober all week and drunk all weekend. But the culture has changed a little to mirror global drinking patterns. A little south (the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Poland UK, Republic of Ireland,) you have the beer belt with more social drinking. Even further south you have the wine belt (France, the Meditteranean) with a social drinking culture. Sweden has kind of adopted a mix of these over the years.

I am not a big drinker and we do not drink alcohol at home. If we go out I will have a glass or two of wine but then I am almost under the table. Not just from the wine, but from the prices. A beer would be about $6, a glass of house wine would be around $8. A bottle of win at a restaurant usually starts at about $30. And Swedes do not do ’rounds’.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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