Green Travel in Lapland: What we do to provide Eco-friendly nature holidays

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Pure nature is everything to us here at Aurora Holidays. That is why we want to do our part of protecting what is precious to us by offering green travel in Lapland.

Green thinking is our way of living and in 2018 we started seriously implementing steps towards greener business too. Here is how our green journey started then.

Recycling bins at our cottages are the first step towards green travel in Lapland

Less waste

We started collecting recyclable bottles and deliver them back to the stores. We stopped using disposable seat covers for sauna and now only use washable fabric seat covers. We do not use disposable cups, plates or cutlery either.

Yes to recycling

In 2018 we got extra recycling bins for glass, metal and paper. We also placed a recycling box for used batteries in every cottage. It is our responsibility to take care of the recyclables and deliver them to local recycling containers.


Instead of using disposable cutlery we switched to re-usable and washable plates and cups on all our tours and hikes. And that’s not all! Those products are partly made of recycled materials right here in Finland.

Go organic

We have started to test biodegradable shampoos and household cleaning soaps, which are made in Finland. We want to support domestic organic companies by buying their environmentally friendly products. We also want to make sure that the products we use are not harmful to nature, animals or humans in any part of the manufacturing process, or afterwards in use.

Transparent for green travel to Lapland

We think every step counts on this journey and as we trying to be as transparent as possible, we want to give you an update of the measures we have taken towards our goal of offering you Green Travel in Lapland.

Our primary actions were to reduce waste, recycle more, go more organic with chemicals and invest in sustainability. Recycling and waste reduction goes hand in hand. The more possibilities we give to our guests to recycle, the less waste ends up in trash bins. Using sustainable gear and tools (like cutlery and cups) on our tours has the same effect and it means zero disposable cutlery waste.

Eco-friendly cleaning with Saaren Taika and product samples

We have replaced normal household cleaning products with eco-friendly and organic products by Saaren Taika (The magic of the island). Their products are so good that we want to share their greatness with you!

Saaren Taika is a Finnish company from South Finland producing handmade, environmentally friendly, cruelty free, vegan and 100% biodegradable cleaning products made from natural ingredients. We wanted to support their work because they share our passion to protect our beautiful nature. They have also started from small, like us, and have been able to expand their business by working hard with what they love.

Our team’s personal favourites at the moment are the tea tree oil soap for body and hands, grapefruit shampoo bar and the citrus cleaning soap for household cleaning. All soap products are wrapped in unbleached paper, which can be recycled afterwards. We also love and use their laundry vinegar as a softener. They have many more products that we haven’t mentioned here!

Every guest is given a sample of Saaren Taika hand soap. The cottage cleaning is done with Saaren Taika cleaning soap. All scents (citrus, grapefruit, tea tree) are fresh & natural, but not too strong. We do not only provide samples of these products to our guests, we also sell them to take home. We know from experience that the soap bars are very handy for travellers to use since they are light to carry, don’t contain liquids and can be put into the hand luggage. So far some of the products have travelled with us around Finland, to Germany, Norway and remote wilderness areas while hiking. And now pay attention, here comes a tip: these soaps are a great idea as a gift or souvenir for a travelling friend or family member.

The Aurora Holidays Restaurant is sustainable & green too

As many of you already know, we opened the Aurora Holidays restaurant here in Utsjoki at the end of 2019. Our very own on-site restaurant providing our guests with a taste of Lapland during their stay with us. Naturally, we wanted the restaurant to follow the same green mission that we have already put in place for the rest of the business and here are some ways of how we are doing exactly that.

The Restaurant Aurora Holidays in the snow

Local & seasonal ingredients

The Aurora Holidays Restaurant uses as many local and seasonal ingredients as possible in order to limit the environmental impact. Our menu is designed in a way that features local meat and fish with seasonal sides. We took seasonal changes and availability into account when we put together our menu. Many of our starters and sides change not only based on the season, but weekly depending on what we have available in the kitchen. Minimizing food waste is as important to us as serving up high-quality, delicious food.

Salmon dish from the local river
Reindeer dish from our herd
Salmon toast (wild salmon from our river)

We say no to farmed salmon! At the Aurora Holidays restaurant we only serve wild salmon caught in the Teno river, right here in Utsjoki. All the reindeer dishes that we serve are made from our very own reindeer herd. The reindeer spend their lives outside in the Arctic wilderness, grazing on berries, lichen and mushrooms. So you always know exactly where you reindeer meat comes from.

Blueberries from our yard

Many of our desserts and sweet treats include berries from the Utsjoki area, often hand-picked by us. We also use our very own rhubarb harvest from a plant that Tiina, the owner of Aurora Holidays has brought with her on her move from Turku to Utsjoki over 15 years ago.

Always striving to minimise waste

We have implemented a number of measures in order to minimize waste at our restaurant.

When you’re dining at the Aurora Holidays restaurant we serve you a glass jug of fresh tap water. The tap water here in Utsjoki is some of the cleanest in the world and perfectly safe to drink. We also offer guests the option to fill up their own reusable water bottles at the restaurant or their cottages. Anyone who doesn’t have their own re-useable water bottle already can buy them in-house.

Waterfall filling a water can

No plastic straws! Many of our drinks are served without straw, but for the drinks that require a straw or should someone request one: we have environmentally friendly paper straws.

Transport: reducing our CO2 footprint for green travel in Lapland

Big changes are not always easy and quick to implement, they take time, but we have chosen to take several small steps and keep on doing that every year. A fact is that we often need to drive because of the long distances here in Lapland.

What we can do is to limit the transportation to necessary travel only and avoid extra driving. This is our commitment for green travel in Lapland!

Our holiday packages are from Tuesday to Sunday, which means also less driving to the airport during the week. We also encourage people to book the same flights, which means we can pick up everyone in the same transport and avoid driving multiple times per day.

Our own cosy aurora hut for green travel to Lapland

We do not drive after Northern lights if the sky is clear at the cottages. If needed we take people to food markets during tours, when we are already on the road for some other activity. We have made our own hiking trail starting from the cottages that we don’t need to drive elsewhere for snowshoeing.

Enjoy & respect nature: Sustainable Lapland holiday in your very own cottage

We believe in the power of setting examples. We also know that both our habits and common ways to do things in Finland may be different from many other countries.

Our cottages in summer

Spending your holiday in a cottage is a little different from the set-up that hotel rooms provide. So upon arrival we provide our guests with a bunch of helpful tips and information on how to have a fun and safe holiday here in Lapland while also protecting the environment. Here are some examples.

We provide our guests with re-usable bags, which they can use when going shopping in the grocery stores. Re-usable bags save money and avoid waste.

In the cottages we show our guests how to adjust the radiators to regulate the temperature rather than keeping the windows open and letting all the warm air escape.

Coffee cup and local dried reindeer meat

We try to minimize waste by using only re-usable cutlery and cups on our tours. These products are made in Finland with sustainability and the environment in mind. They are easy to clean, hygienic and long-lasting. Many of our guests have loved them so much, that they have treated themselves to a cup as a souvenir from our gift shop.

Unlike at traditional hotels, our guests will get only one set of towels during their stay to save water and energy. Should someone require more towels for any reason, we of course help out. But over the years we have found that most people are more than happy with the amount of towels they are given.

Recycling is something we don’t just do as a business, but we also pass this on to our guests and help them to recycle as much as possible (cardboard, paper, glass, metal, bottles, jars) into given recycling bins at the yard.

We encourage people to buy local handicrafts, which are mostly made of wood, bone, wool, paper or other natural ingredients – rather than buying industrially produced souvenirs made elsewhere. This supports local artists and economy, as well as minimising the transport of goods around the world.

Are you ready for your green travel to Lapland?

We want to make sure we co-operate with companies that also value green ideology. We continue co-operating with Winter Wear Finland. They are a winter clothing rental company based in Helsinki Airport. Instead of buying winter clothes you never need again, you can rent them. On top of that, you can get a discount code from us! We support domestic small businesses by buying their products to sale.

Take a look at our holidays packages to book your green travel to Lapland.

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