Friday, April 24, 2009

TOP 3 Cleanest Countries

Switzerland (#1)
Sweden (#2—tie)
Norway (#2—tie)

Finland (#4)
Costa Rica (#5)
United States (#39)

Score: 95.5 No. 1 Overall; No. 1 in Western Europe
The world's fifth most affluent nation on a GDP-per-capita basis is also the world's cleanest. Switzerland scores a perfect 100 in eight environmental indicators, including sanitation and water quality, forest health and pesticide regulation. All that cleanliness translates into a life expectancy of 81 years for the Swiss. But Switzerland's mountainous landscape forces farmers to grow crops on every slope and in every cranny, reducing the country to a merely average score in agricultural practices.

Score: 93.1 No. 2 Overall (tie); No. 2 in Western Europe (tie)
Sweden scores strongly in most environmental areas that directly affect human health. The country has low levels of airborne pollution, pristine drinking water and low per-capita emissions of greenhouse gasses. Nine million Swedes also treat their forests with utmost care--the country earns a perfect score for forest management. But they're not nearly as careful offshore, earning a score of just 26 for slack protection of marine areas.

Score: 93.1 No. 2 Overall (tie); No. 2 in Western Europe (tie)
European countries stand out in environmental health, the effect of pollutants on human well-being. Norway, the world's third richest country, scores a perfect 100 in water quality, sanitation, ozone levels and airborne particulates, which means Norwegians have a lesser likelihood of respiratory disease. Hydro power generates 98% of Norway's electricity, but offshore oil rigs generate substantial greenhouses gasses.

Costa Rica
Score: 90.5 No. 5 Overall; No. 1 in the Americas
Costa Rica's economy relies on a robust ecotourism industry, and the care it takes for its environment shows. The Central American country ranks fifth in the global Environmental Index, a rating that should only improve as it strives to become carbon-neutral by 2021. Costa Rica has avoided the deforestation that ravages some Latin American countries: the country earns a score of 97 or better in the categories of forestry, air pollution and climate change. But the country isn't as kind to its offshore environment, scoring abysmally in the marine protected areas category.
Why did I research and write about this you ask?? Well, I'm 1/2 Swiss so Big up to Switzerland!! :) ...and it's good to know, don't you think. I would say from experience, being there it is very clean and pristine looking, fresh air, clean COLD rivers (been swimming in them) lots of beautiful gardens, lots of farms and livestock and everyone I've stayed with seems to conserve as much energy as they can and reuse a lot and don't waste as much as we, in other locations might. I love to visit my family in Switzerland and the mountains are absolutely beautiful!

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