You might guess that these saunas originated in Finland, but what are they? They’re typically wooden rooms that are insulated and heated that people can sit inside to cleanse and relax. After warming up in the sauna itself, the traditional next step is to take a dip in a cold lake. The benefits of using a traditional Finnish sauna in this way include muscle relaxation, lowering blood pressure, decongesting your sinuses, and detoxifying your body to name a few. It’s also one of the best ways to feel close to nature.
How are public saunas in Finland sustainable?
The earliest version of a sauna, from the year 1112, was a hole in the ground. Today, a traditional Finnish sauna is often heated with wood or electricity. Some newer public saunas in Finland have opted to start using electricity for heating as this has a much lower impact on the environment and is extremely clean. Using wood like the traditional heating methods is still possible, however, the wood would need to be untreated to be green.
How has Finnish sauna culture spread around the world?
Considering Finland has a population of roughly 5.5 million people, they have an estimated 3 million saunas in their country alone. But people around the world don’t want Finland to keep the Finnish sauna culture to itself. Since the traditional Finnish sauna was added to the UNESCO list of “Intangible Cultural Heritage” in 2020, more and more people are interested in using saunas to improve their own well-being. In 2023, there is an estimated 18 million saunas around the world, however, these are a mixture of different types of saunas and they’re not all of the traditional Finnish sauna variations.
People want to experience the real Finnish sauna culture for themselves, wherever they may be located and they’re seeking out the best public saunas in Finland and around the world. That’s what we want to help with below.
Here are some examples of sustainable public saunas in Finland.
- Hernesaaren Loyly (Helsinki)
This traditional Finnish sauna is the first of its kind to be awarded the certification from the Forest Stewardship Council due to being sustainable. They partnered with a start-up that turns waste wood into the internal paneling of the sauna to minimize waste as much as possible. Reserve your spot here.
- Rajaportti Sauna (Tampere)
This is the oldest of the public saunas in Finland and they have multiple experiences for guests to enjoy. What makes them eco-friendly, considering how old it is, is that they offer a Finnish sauna culture experience using electricity which lowers the amount of carbon they release into the atmosphere compared to when they only offered traditional wood burning stoves. Find out more here.
- Lonna Sauna (Lonna island)
The popular Lonna Sauna is one of the public saunas in Finland that was built using solely natural materials. Even the wood that was used to build the sauna itself was left untreated and therefore is much more eco-friendly. They do follow the traditional Finnish sauna style by having old wooden stoves for heating. Reserve your visit here.
If you’re looking for Finnish sauna culture, do some research into the saunas you find to see what materials were used, how they heat their rooms, and any other sustainable actions they’ve taken. And why stop there? Saunas are not the only way to have fun and enjoy a sustainable trip to Finland. It’s an eco-friendly nation!
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