Slow down in Norway to live more compassionately
Recycle as an expert
Norwegian recycling is very scientific, even in everyday life. Every citizen is taught how to sort garbage since a young age: a separate bin for paper, another for plastic, a bin for leftover food (used for composting organic fertilizer), one for glass and metal, and the last one is for all the rest. No wonder Norway has the most efficient recycling system in the world: no house does not recycle, no neighborhood lacks recycling bins exclusively for each type of garbage.
You can return empty bottles and cans at the supermarket, or put them into a collector to earn some krone coins. You can also act according to the Norwegian people's habits: giving these empty bottles to homeless people so they could earn some money.
According to The Guardian's report in 2018, the green lifestyle in Norway is so effective that 97% of plastic bottles in Norway are recycled. 92% of the bottles collected have "high quality" so they continue to be reused as water bottles. Some materials have even been recycled more than 50 times. The number of plastic bottles discharged into the natural environment accounts for less than 1%.
Garbage bins appear everywhere.
You get a refund when you put empty plastic bottles used into the machine.
Live in harmony with nature
In Norway, natural discovery is considered to be the right of every citizen. In the Norwegian language there is the word "Allemannsretten", meaning "the right to wander", put in some of the public or private wilderness areas for entertainment and sports. You can freely roam, go hiking, ski, camp, pick flowers, mushrooms and berries, even chop wood to burn fire. What you must not do is litter indiscriminately or make the area worse than before you arrive.
After several expeditions to the forests, you will learn which fruits and mushrooms can be eaten or which weather condition is suitable for which outdoor activities. Gradually, you realize that you are also part of that vast ecosystem, and that consciousness will "synchronize" into your core as a matter of course.
Norwegian nature is open to all the souls that like to explore.
Love animals, even stray and wild ones
It is said that the concept of "wandering animals" does not really exist in Norway. If you come across a dog or a cat around the outside of the store, it is likely that it is a place where they live, being properly fed by the locals, but they have the right to come or go as they please, especially the beautiful, round local wildcats with puffy hair. These wildcats often gather on farms, around residential areas and wherever they catch rats, and are rewarded with delicious food from many people.
A Norwegian wildcat.
Take off your shoes
Show that you care for your friends by taking off your shoes before entering their home. Removing shoes before entering the house is the minimum courtesy in Norway and strictly followed by the Norwegian. This manner has also become a rule in elementary schools for children to remember since childhood.
This culture comes from a fact in Norway: footwear is always in a wet, muddy state due to the weather when it rains or snows. Therefore, removing shoes is inevitable if you do not want to turn carpet and floor into a battlefield. Most homes in Norway have floor heating, so you can really go barefoot year-round if you want.
Take shoes off before entering and happily receive each other's funny socks.
Understand that everybody has the right to be true to themselves
In 2016, Norway became the first country in the world to pass legislation to allow children from 6 years of age to have transgender rights without transgender surgery. Children under the age of 16 still need the agreement of their parents when registering but the state will decide based on the best interests of the child if either parent disagrees. The Norwegian Minister of Health called this a historical law, proving that each individual is the one who decides their gender, not a medical agency.
The country where everyone, including children, has the right to live honestly with their gender identity has brought significant positive changes, especially in the effort to eliminate bullying and discrimination. After only a short time living in Norway, you will see that the people here do not impose, nor judge. It is a great lesson of tolerance and respect for diversity.
The Oslo Pride parade honors the diversity of the LGBTQ + community in Oslo, Norway.
Cherish the "Kos" of your life
The category of "Kos" covers hundreds and thousands of different things. Relaxing alone with a book and a warm cup of tea in your hand, cuddling with your pets or your children, romantic dating with your "kjæreste" - lover in Norwegian language, bowing down to see the flowing water... The activities are simple, small, yet extremely happy.
Many people call "Kos" the Norwegian version of Danish Hygge art - a cherished lifestyle in which we enjoy the joy of small things, because they are the most important thing in life. Just try any version of "Kos" you like today. Take some time during your busy day to focus on yourself and your loved ones, to take care of and nourish your soul.
Spend some quiet, cozy time with your loved ones in this peaceful Nordic country.
Follow the "Det går bra" style
If one had to choose a typical Norwegian sentence, it would certainly be "Det går bra". "Det går bra" means "it's okay", "everything is fine", or "no problem". The statement implies the attitude of a strong person who stands up after stumbling, wiping away the chaos and hurt to continue to step forward.
Some protesters argue that being positive and optimistic is too easy for Norwegian citizens because their government takes care of everything, from wealth through oil to social welfare. But once you have lived around the Norwegians, witnessed their kindness and respect for others and for nature, the attitude of "Det går bra" will naturally seep into you. That optimistic and compassionate lifestyle is the priceless gift that the Norwegian kingdom offers to travelers who dare to open their hearts.
Calm, quiet lifestyle in Bergen, Norway.
The radiant smiles of children in one of the happiest countries in the world.
By: Emma Chavez