This year on January new study of EPI (Environmental Performance Index) placed Latvia as the 2nd greenest country in the world. That was a huge surprise for us and for others as well. Nobody really believes when a Latvian tells about it to foreigner.
How is that possible that Latvia is the 2nd greenest country in the world??? In 2008 Latvia was the 8th on the list, on 2010 Latvia was the 21st and now - the 2nd??? The 1st is Switzerland. So that means Norway, Germany, France and Sweden are behind Latvia??? Yes. Just don’t scream. I’m not going to apologize for it; I’ll just give some explanations for you to understand what is happening here.
Latvia doesn’t look like the cleanest country in the world, we are not very aware of separating garbage etc. although the situation here is not so bad and we are doing a lot to improve it. Collective country cleanup lately has become a new great tradition and people everywhere in Latvia are keen on such activities widely supported by media and local authorities.
After the results of this EPI study appeared the joke that Latvia is clean because there are no people living was spreading around very fast. Well, that’s not really true... Our demographical situation is not very positive, but there are still around 2 million people living in this country. What we do not have here is industrialization and huge manufactures (ehmm... ok, so unemployment is easy understandable factor now). The biggest city in Latvia is Riga with around 1 million inhabitants. So the other half is spread around the rest of the territory of Latvia so, yes, the countryside of Latvia is pretty calm and peaceful. While others can be proud of their modern cities, we can be proud of Riga and our nature. Biological diversity, clean water and air – that’s what we really have here.
What you can easily enjoy in Latvia is our green gold – woods, bird watching and hiking on long lonely beaches where you don’t have to be scared to swim naked. The food we grow here for ourselves is pretty ecological and usage of local natural cosmetics is definitely in the boom phase here now. This country is green – no doubt about it. We just have to learn how to keep it this way.
Oh, you can check here some pictures of the countryside of Latvia: Getting away in Latvia: absolute peace and simplicity. Part I, Getting away in Latvia: absolute peace and simplicity. Part II