Vikings Helping Turn Minnesota Green

John Davis

I’m not talking about those guys with the funny horns on the side of their football helmets. A group of Swedes have traveled to Minnesota to give residents there some ideas about how biomass can heat a home.

This story from Biomass Magazine says a delegation from the city of Växjö, Sweden… dubbed the Greenest City in Europe… is visiting Duluth, Minn., sharing their ideas:

In 1996 Växjö, a city in southern Sweden, set goals to reduce carbon dioxide emissions per capita by 50 percent in 2010 and by 70 percent in 2025. So far, the city has reduced its emissions by 35 percent, mainly due to the expansion of its heating system, which uses wood waste biomass from sawmills for fuel.

“It has been a good thing for the families, the municipality, and the economy to use the heat from this biomass,” said Henrik Nilsson, public relations manager for the city of Växjö. “It is the cheapest way to heat your house and you don’t have to be an eco-friend. If you just want to save money, you will use this way of heating and then, of course, you will be an environmental hero, as well, and that is just a bonus.”

Duluth and Växjö have been sister cities for 20 years, with this annual visit the first to focus on economics and the environment.