Playground Outdoors

Leave No Trace & the Global Climate Crisis

First off - it’s not Climate Change, a “hoax” or propaganda. It’s the Climate Crisis, it’s science - and it’s personal.

Rising global temperatures are melting the glaciers in our backyard, critical water sources for over 250 million people, at an alarming rate, with some estimating the total disappearance of eastern Himalayan glaciers by 2035. An estimated 700 million people in low-lying coastal areas are at risk from rising sea levels, many of whom call India home. Of course, these effects are not limited to India, rather extreme weather events and rising temperatures are affecting us worldwide - putting the places we love to explore most, global well-being and livelihoods at risk.

The first step in building a responsible travel company is acknowledging the fact that many of our operations, especially in fragile regions like the Himalayas, contribute to strain put on natural resources and to the climate crisis. We realize that running a business inevitably enhances our carbon footprint on this planet, and we have committed ourselves to offsetting it, doing our part to leave this world a little better than we found it in the following ways.

What We’re Doing: Company Policy & Education

Company Policy : Both at the hostel and on the trail, we have a framework in place to minimize our footprint as much as possible and offset the one we do leave.

  • At the Hostel : At the Hostel - Our blueprints for being an eco-friendly hostel come in two phases. The first is currently in place, with Phase 2 beginning in 2020 when we are able to expand our conservation efforts. Our current phase includes solar heating for our water, proper trash disposal, energy-efficient lights, sourcing as many of our household necessities as possible from the closest vendors to limit transport and making our primary methods of travel walking or carpool. Phase 2 includes the introduction into our daily routine of eco-friendly cleaning supplies and toilet paper made from recycled materials, a backyard garden, fully solar-powered electricity supply and purchasing carbon credits wherever eco-friendly options are impossible to support emission-reduction projects elsewhere.
  • On the Trail : We primarily run our outdoor adventures on relatively unknown, more remote trails, so as to avoid further damage to currently over-trafficked routes. Our groups are smaller, so as to minimize our impact as we move through the environment. We use only biodegradable soap to keep harmful chemicals out of the water systems. What we pack in is what we pack out - meaning no trash left behind or burned.

Education : We want to make sure we don’t stay silent through this crisis, but actively create a dialogue around what is happening and what can be done. This can be found in all we do, from discussing & teaching the Leave No Trace Seven Principles techniques during our treks to providing resources for reliable information.

Resources to Common Questions

What Causes Global Warming?

Long, long story short - greenhouse gases are increasingly being emitted into the atmosphere by human activity, trapping the heat from the sun’s radiation in Earth’s atmosphere. For a more detailed breakdown, you can visit NASA’s information on the greenhouse gas effect. These gases include:

  • Carbon Dioxide (think, industrial activities, deforestation, respiration)
  • Methane (landfills & agriculture)
  • Nitrous Oxide (burning fossil fuels, fertilizers, burning biomass)
  • Chlorofluorocarbons (mostly banned, previously used for aircon & aerosols)
  • Water Vapor (caused by global warming, warmer air = more water vapor)

What Causes Global Warming?

Here is an excellent breakdown from National Geographic of the difference between weather & climate, and how long-term warming can lead to short-term cooling.

What are the Effects of Global Warming?

Basically, extreme weather in every direction. NASA gives a good breakdown of how while the effects may manifest differently in different regions, we will see (and have already begun to see) more droughts, severe floods, rising sea levels, stronger hurricanes, massive ice-melt, endangerment of species, forced migration of species, the displacement of many seaside human populations and frequent wildfires, to name a few.

The Earth Naturally Warms and Cools in Cycles - Why is This Different?

Two things - there has never been this level of atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, a key greenhouse gas contributing to global warming, previously in the history of the Earth, and temperatures have never risen this fast. More on that here from NASA.

Feedback & Collaboration

Tell us what else we can do - if you have any ideas that can help us reduce the carbon footprint of our hospitality and travel operations, drop us a mail at feedback@playgroundoutdoors.com or call us at +91 98057 84277 or +1 512 765 0123.


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