17 Everyday Little Things That Make Us Envy the Finns
When we see how pleasant and comfortable other people's lives are, we feel fascinated and a little envious. And sometimes this feeling makes us try to achieve more.
Bright Side invites you to look at how the Finns made their ordinary life delightfully comfortable for everyone. Maybe we can do the same?
First, why don't we have this cute Muumi soda?
Newborns' moms get a box with all the necessary baby stuff as a present.
According to the rating from Save the Children, Finland is the best country for mothers and children. The box for newborns given to the mothers-to-be contains 50 different items: clothes, hygienic supplies, and toys. The box itself can be used as the baby's first crib. The mother can also choose the cash equivalent of €140.
Children ride to school and back home in a free taxi.
According to the law, if the school is any further than 5 km (3 miles), children are given a taxi there and back at the expense of the city council.
You can read about other peculiarities of Finnish schools here.
Playgrounds have kitchens, swimming pools, and game rooms.
In Helsinki, each quarter has a special fenced playground with safe paving. There are games and escape quests held, and you can always find a box with toys. Some playgrounds have small swimming pools and special game rooms, where one can find books, table games, toys, and a kitchen with a fridge, microwave, and highchairs. And it's all free.
Preschools have 1 teacher to every 4 children.
Children can go to preschool when they're 9 months old. There's 1 teacher to 4 kids under the age of 3, and 1 teacher to 7 kids when they turn 3. The approach to each child is individual: the teachers decide how to make a child want to go to school. The monthly expenses are €1,000, but parents pay no more than €280.
A mortgage loan is no more than 2% per annum.
Finland is among 5 countries with the lowest mortgage rates. Under certain conditions, it's possible to assess a mortgage with 95% of an apartment's cost at 1-1.25%.
Compare: if an apartment costs $200,000, and the term of the mortgage loan is 10 years, then at 15% per annum, the overpayment on the loan will be $187,211, and at 2% per annum – $20,833.
Residents get money for no reason.
Since January 2017, 2,000 Finns receive a €560 monthly payment as part of an experiment. If it turns out to be successful, an "unconditional basic income" of €800 will be received by every resident of the country. What for? The government believes that if people are confident they won't be without money, they won't grab the first job they see but find one they really like. It will also support those who have just started their own business or are only dreaming about it.
In Helsinki, they have automated waste collection.
Several sectors of Helsinki have an automated solid waste collection system. When you throw out the trash (cardboard, paper, biowaste, and mixed garbage separately), it's sucked into a tube and sent to the central waste sorting station at 70 kph (64 mph). No garbage trucks; no smells. There are, of course, ordinary garbage containers, but all waste is sorted.
Bottle and can recycling machines are everywhere.
When you buy drinks, you pay a deposit you can get back only by putting cans and bottles into a special recycling machine. You'll get 15 cents for a can and 40 cents for a large bottle of Coca-Cola. Therefore, the streets are clean.
Houses have a common sauna and laundry room.
Finns prefer to live in separate cottages, but there are also apartment buildings. These have common rooms, like a sauna and laundry room, which are used by booking your time in advance. There are also communal gyms and meeting rooms with books and board games.
Parking lots have special engine heating outlets.
In an apartment, you can rent a parking place in the street. It's equipped with an outlet stand and a timer, which starts heating the car at a specified time. Almost all cars in Finland are equipped to be heated from an outlet.
A doctor's prescription is visible in an electronic system common to all pharmacies.
When a doctor writes a prescription, it goes to an electronic system common to the whole country. You can buy your medicine without any pieces of paper in any pharmacy, even in another city.
Ceilings have special outlets for light fixtures.
To hang a new lamp, you don't need to wire it – there are special hooks and small outlets for this purpose. All lamps are sold with plugs suitable for these sockets.
You can drink tap water.
According to research, the tap water in Finland contains 100 times fewer microbes than bottled water. Thanks to the multi-stage cleaning, you can safely drink it without boiling. This also applies to water from 80% of Finnish lakes.
Even small towns have everything for a good life.
Every Finnish town, even if it counts only a few thousand inhabitants, has sports centers, swimming pools, and, of course, saunas. Schools in towns are just as good as those in the capital.
The Finns really care about nature.
This birdhouse isn't nailed – it hangs on a string, and the tree isn't harmed. The Finns love nature and take care of it. Green areas stand side by side with residential areas, and squirrels, hares, and hedgehogs live right in the city.
The roads are heavenly good.
The roads in Finland are well constructed: a 2-meter layer of granite rocks and frost-resistant asphalt in 3-4 layers. 1 km of road costs the Finns €500,000-€1,000,000, but they need repairing only after 10-12 years. The roads have webcams installed, which allow snowblowers to immediately see where a snowfall begins and needs to be cleared.
And this is what a Finnish line looks like:
In Finland, no one will breathe down your neck in a line in the supermarket or at the bus stop. Here it's not accepted to approach strangers closer than at arm's reach. Personal space is a thing everyone respects.
Bonus: In Finland, you can meet reindeer with glowing horns.
The reindeer horns are sprayed with a special retro-reflective paint so that drivers don't hit them.
Of course, there are disadvantages. The Finns themselves joke that "The best day of the year is summer."