5 tips for a sustainable trip to Kiruna

Kiruna in Swedish Lapland is a tad remote, which is also partly the charm of traveling here.

Located 200km above the Arctic Circle, we pride ourselves on our vast forests, majestic mountain landscapes, thousands of lakes and an Arctic climate with good snow access in a world where the climate is getting warmer. Many who visit us are also attracted by the natural phenomena found in the destination such as the northern lights and the midnight sun.

Although it is a long way to travel here, everyone who travels can contribute to sustainable tourism through small and often simple choices that can produce great results. Here are our tips on how to make your trip to Kiruna a little greener.

Pack light and smart
We all have probably at some point been guilty of packing the whole household as soon as we travel. But before you go, think again if you really need everything you packed. Smaller packing means less emissions and every kilo makes a difference. The weather is very changeable here so pre-dress in layers. Also, keep in mind that during winter, warm outerwear is included in almost all activities. There are also opportunities to rent warm clothes, skis, snowshoes and other things on site here.

Don’t be afraid to ask
Ask restaurants, activity companies, and lodging establishments about their sustainability work before booking anything. By asking questions and showing interest you are contributing to the positive development of sustainable tourism. When you come home from your trip, please tell others what you did to travel sustainably in Kiruna and inspire future travelers to do the same.

Photo: Jonas Hansen

Stay longer and travel off season
For many visiting Kiruna means traveling quite the distance. Therefore, it is worth staying just a little longer. In addition, if you choose to travel outside the absolute peak seasons of summer and winter, you will get more space for yourself and you help extend the season for many small tourism companies depending on employment. The fall and spring in Kiruna are two underrated seasons to travel here, but many locals’ favorites. The Arctic spring winter is probably one of the reasons why many people chose to settle in Kiruna. Autumn offers mosquito-free hiking, beautiful colors, and wondrous northern lights.

Climate friendly airport
Choosing the train when traveling is always an environmentally friendly choice. If you choose to fly, it may be good to know that Swedavia, that owns and operates Kiruna Airport, has a zero vision for its own emissions and works to minimize the company’s negative environmental impact. Since June 2012, Kiruna Airport has been certified to Level 3+, and therefore meets the requirements set to achieve the highest level in a European program that classifies the airports’ climate work, Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA). This means that Kiruna Airport is completely climate neutral when it comes to emissions from its own operations.

Climate compensate
Much of what we choose to do, such as traveling, causes emissions and an impact on the climate. By climate compensation you take responsibility for your own emissions, where you pay for greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced by the same amount elsewhere. For example, you can buy renewable aviation fuel for your flight, thus reducing the climate impact of the trip by up to 80 percent. In this way, you are also involved in and driving the development of demand for biofuel for aviation, which supports a conversion.