When shopping for souvenirs it is important and to ensure you are selecting responsibility; choosing sustainable souvenirs is important and there are a number of factors you need to consider. Wandering Owl will only ever endorse sustainable and responsible souvenirs. For this reason, we have created this blog article so that you can learn how to decide for yourself if the product you wish to purchase is ethical or not.

Firstly, you need get yourself informed. Am I even allowed to bring this with me? You need to check the destinations you are visiting for local export rules as well as the import / custom rules for your home country. Additionally, you need to check each airlines policies for animal and plant products. Many airlines refuse to bring shark and ray products onboard as their stance in fight against finning and gilling.

As a general rule, it’s good practice to check firstly if the product you are planning to purchase contains an animal or plant and then to check if this is a redlisted species. Here is a link to CITIES, it’s a great idea to be familiar with this site, their projects and recommendations. Norway has the Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre where they have all the information you need to know about local flora and fauna. We’ve exported a list of species that are currently redlisted in Norway and we’ve added the English name, so it’s easier to find. When you look at this quick list you might find yourself feeling surprised that some of the commonly found items in Tromsø souvenir shops are made from species that are redlisted.

Here is the quick list of redlisted species that are not sustainable souvenirs: https://www.wanderingowl.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/redlist-mammals-1.pdf

Secondly, we suggest that you ask yourself if you actually need the souvenir. What is the purpose of the souvenir? Perhaps purchasing an ebook by a local author is a more sustainable example of a responsible souvenir. Of course, it’s wonderful to support a local business, so perhaps before you depart for your travels you have in mind that you wish to bring back a local (not red-listed) food product that you know you will enjoy and would have purchased in your home country anyway.

In Tromsø, we can suggest a bag of Senja Roasters coffee. The beans are rainforest alliance. The roasters themselves are owners of Wandering Owl and everything about the brand has been thoroughly considered. The bag is 100% recyclable (you don’t need to separate layers, just straight in the plastic recyclable bin). If you wish to support a local souvenir shop and purchase this product, we can suggest to stop by The Northern Light Gift Shop where they sell the coffee as well as a selection of local books.

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