Study Visit to Iceland

In late November, we embarked on a study visit to Iceland, during which we participated in testing our new “Reduce Your CO2” board game. The journey to Iceland was very uncertain due to possible volcanic eruptions, but we finally managed to reach our destination, albeit with a 10-hour flight delay due to strong winds. Iceland is a country full of challenges and unusual things, not only from a geographical and meteorological point of view.

Baptism of Reduce Your CO2 board game created by Katka and Danka, blessed by godmather Gabi and godfather Tomasz, Kex Hostel Reykjavík

In addition to project duties, we got inspired by the Icelandic approach to CO2 reduction and noticed a lot of interesting things and details that we would like to share.

Almost all heating and electricity generation in Iceland is provided by renewables – hydro and geothermal energy. The country has great potential for carbon uptake from the atmosphere through afforestation and revegetation, and for curbing emissions from soils by reclaiming drained wetlands.

Land of geysers

Although the consumption of meat, which is quite widespread in Iceland, is an activity that produces a lot of CO2, in the case of some Icelandic dishes we can talk about savings. “Svið” is a traditional Icelandic dish consisting of a sheep’s head cut in half, tanned to remove the fur, and cooked with the brain removed. Although this dish can be quite a challenge even for die-hard meat lovers, it is important to point out that it consists mostly of a part of the animal that is considered waste by default. In addition, the sheep come from local Icelandic farms and are also used for wool and milk.

More sheep than people

As a significant part of the economy, Iceland’s fishing industry has implemented sustainable practices to ensure the long-term health of marine ecosystems. This includes responsible fishing quotas and measures to reduce bycatch.

Iceland is a country of electric vehicles, which also make up a large part of the car rental offer. The center of Reykjavik is full of electric scooters even during the winter season; we were very surprised at how the locals can control them even on icy surfaces. In Slovakia, public scooters are removed from the streets at the beginning of autumn.

Iceland has undertaken reforestation projects to counteract deforestation and enhance carbon sequestration. Planting trees helps absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, contributing to climate change mitigation.

Trip to Golden Circle

During walks and trips in Iceland, we noticed a significantly different quality and durability of the surfaces there. During a more detailed study, we learned that a lava mixture is used here as a base for footpaths. This is also an interesting way to reduce CO2 creation during the production and construction of basic landscape infrastructure.

Iceland has difficult climatic conditions for growing fruits and vegetables and therefore has to import a large part of its demand into the country. As Icelanders are aware of this, they try to grow at least some of the produce locally, using geothermal energy to heat the greenhouses and light them. The well-known Friðheimar farm grows tomatoes and other vegetables this way.

Friðheimar – tomato farm

Iceland is a country of many interesting and beautiful things, which are often very subtle and require more time, attention, and understanding to discover and understand them. We would like to return to this place in the future and explore it even more.

Thank you, Slovak Eco Quality, and for your invitation, hospitality, and passion for our project!