It Took Sweden’s “Zero Island” One Year to Go Carbon Neutral

You can visit starting this summer

It Took Sweden’s “Zero Island” One Year to Go Carbon Neutral

Remember the Nolla Cabin? It’s the off-grid micro-home a half-hour outside of Helsinki, with minimal emissions or waste. Nolla’s innovative design — a pyramid on stilts, just a single bedroom, with a floor-to-ceiling window overlooking the water — brought it instant acclaim. It’s only $34 a night on Airbnb, though that’s kind of a tease. The cabin is essentially booked for the next 18 months.

Neste, a Scandinavian renewable energy company, was responsible for that no-footprint hut, and they’re now back with the next installment of their Journey to Zero initiative: emission-proofing an entire island.

“Zero Island” (more commonly known as Lidö), is part of the Swedish archipelago, and for the last year Neste has taken pains to make the island 100% carbon neutral. They were successful.

They pulled it off with solar power installation, fossil fuel-free electricity, increased emphasis on recycling, and the use of renewable diesel vehicles and ferries. It all combines with Lidö’s rolling greenery to make a sort of eco-minded Shire. Which, by the way, you can actually visit. As of later this summer, Zero Island will be open for travelers via its Zero Vacation program. Stay in a Nolla Cabin of your own (they installed versions of them here), swim and paddle in the Baltic Sea, sample a farm-to-table menu that has labored to reduce waste in the food-making process.

We recommend booking a Zero Vacation for late September, when the days are still long and warm in Sweden, and your air fare to Stockholm won’t cause you to go broke. If you love it, go get married there. Neste is unrolling Zero Weddings this year, too.

Head here for more information.


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