Find your next holiday: How to have a green adventure in Finland!
Chalkmarks: Helsinki, Finland

The happiest country in the world has taken on the challenge of becoming one of the most eco-friendly on the planet. Finland’s aims to be the leading country of sustainable travel by 2025. 

With Helsinki and Espoo already suffering the impact of climate change, Finnish tourism bosses are looking to restore the balance by putting protecting the environment alongside economic growth.

Changes have already begun at Helsinki Airport which has decreased its emissions by three per cent per passenger on average in the last 10 years. It also sees 70 per cent of green landings, meaning that pilots use less fuel on descent.

Taking up the challenge in the capital are hotels, shops and restaurants with many putting sustainability at the core of their business. 

Sustainability first!

Where to eat

In Helsinki head to restaurant Natura, which opened in April 2016, where they serve up to 80 per cent game meat and for seafood they source only from the WWF list.

Chalkmarks: Natura, Helsinki, Finland
Natura, Helsinki, Finland

Where to shop

Also in the capital eat at the Metsä/Skogen store and Mushroom bar restaurant. They have set up a multi-sensory experience with sounds and sights from Finnish forests. They sell sustainable clothing, wellness products and serve mainly vegan dishes created by chef Sami Tallberg that he’s locally foraged. The chaga and mushroom cappuccino is a flavourful mug of wholesomeness, with no caffeine that’ll boost and warm up your insides.

Chalkmarks: Metsä/Skogen, Helsinki, Finland

Where to stay

New hotel projects in Helsinki include the four-star The Folks Hotel in the emerging Vallila district. They’re using local products, reducing bathroom packaging, and removing plastic bottled water – instead offering tap water. In front of the hotel they’ll offer spaces for electric cars.

At Hawkhill in Espoo, taking care of nature is their number one. The eco-resort is surrounded by Nuuksio National Park that’s packed with hares, deers, beers and wolves. The family-run firm has put the environment above economic growth by not marketing their log cabins to the US or Asia, where visitors would have to use a plane to travel from another continent. 

Chalkmarks: Hawkhill, Espoo, Finland
Hawkhill, Espoo

They have made reconnecting to nature a priority for guests and have also switched from renewables to nuclear energy to ensure they’ve taken every measure available to fight climate change. Their aim is to be CO2 negative by planting trees and restoring the swamps that were drained in the 1930s. They use mostly wood, as little concrete as possible and serve mainly plant-based food. 

Co-owner Matti Ala-Outinen said it’s not just about leaving sustainability to governments, “we all have to take every step possible to stop climate change”.