Winter- and Christmas-loving travelers may already know Rovaniemi, Finland, as the home of Santa Claus Village, a year-round tourist destination. However, nature- and sustainability-minded travelers might be pleased to learn the man in red is working on a new project: making his village completely carbon-neutral over the next five years.
The project, Santa’s Forest, began in 2019, funded by the European Regional Development Fund. It focuses on ways to offset the carbon footprint of the many individuals and companies of Santa Claus Village.
While the primary focus of the project is to minimize environmental harm as a whole, Santa’s Forest also protects the region by preserving land. It boosts the economy by creating local jobs.
“Our goal is to plant a million seedlings in Santa’s Forest around Lapland over the next 10 years meanwhile creating a thousand hectares on new nature reserves to act as carbon sinks,” said Judy Saballero, co-founder, Santa’s Forest. “We have created a portal that allows anyone to be involved in achieving this goal with an investment starting from just €10. Planting a tree costs only €2.5 per unit and this also includes the acquisition of the ground. The project received seed funding from Business Finland, which has been used to create a conceptual operating model and has now been launched on the santasforest.org web portal.”
“The Santa’s Forest project provides excellent support for Santa Claus Village’s goal of promoting low-carbon tourism. The operational concept of Santa’s Forest also strengthens the region’s experiential service offering, by providing customers with a new responsible and year-round way to ensure White Christmas in the future,” added Antti Nikander, development manager, Santa Claus Village.
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