Grilled fish is delicious – and it’s good for the Baltic Sea, too

Due to the record-breaking heat of the summer, an unwelcome nuisance has once again washed up on our shores: blue-green algae that prevent swimming. The Baltic Sea is also threatened by garbage pollution. Here are a few small daily acts each of us can do to make our waters cleaner.

1. Grill fish and veggies

Agriculture is the single largest Finnish source of nutrients released into bodies of water and the Baltic Sea*. Food production causes about 60 per cent of the Baltic Sea footprint of the average Finn. According to the Finnish Environment Institute, the most effective means of decreasing your own Baltic Sea footprint is to reduce your meat consumption and eat natural fish instead. Eating more Finnish natural fish not only improves the condition of bodies of water, but also makes for a healthier diet, as fish are abundant in Omega-3 fatty acids. How about, marinated herring, arctic char veiled with herbs, or Japanese-style whitefish? It’s simple to make sustainable choices at the fish counter when you consult the WWF Sustainable Seafood Guide. In the summer, it’s easy to favour seasonal veggies, and they’re also environmentally friendly and delicious. Click here for’s best vegetable recipes – the next time you fire up the grill, how about making some juicy eggplant pizzas?

Test the impact of your own consumption habits on the nutrient loads of the Baltic Sea with the Baltic Sea Calculator.

2. Plog to feel good and clean up the beaches

Algal blooms are without a doubt the greatest threat facing the Baltic Sea, but garbage also poses a major problem. Plogging is a word derived from the Swedish words plocka up (pick up) and jogging. This training phenomenon was invented in Sweden in 2016 as a reaction against the growing amounts of plastic garbage deposited into the environment. When you’re plogging, you jog and pause to squat and stretch while you pick up garbage. Your thighs and the beaches of the Baltic Sea will thank you for it! The boldest can try plogging straight from the Baltic Sea while on a sup board.

3. Choose your beverage wisely

Unlike most foods and beverages, wine packaging has a greater effect on the environmental load of the product than the contents. If the environment could decide, beverages would be packaged in plastic or cardboard, or in glass bottles that are as light as possible. Fortunately for nature, Alko’s wine selection already includes 257 wines in lightweight glass bottles.

4. Recycle your non-deposit packaging, too

Bag-in-boxes are environmentally friendly. Thanks to their convenience, they are popular at summer cabins and on boating trips. Alko has been a member of the Baltic Sea Action Group since 2014. This organisation was established to save the Baltic Sea environment. As part of our commitment to protecting the Baltic Sea, we collect inner bags from boxed wines and wine bags for use in cement manufacture at our stores in Uusimaa and Southwest Finland.  Boaters and summer cabin vacationers in particular have started using these recycling points actively. Thanks for our customers last year, a record-breaking 3.7 tonnes of inner bags were collected.