SVALBARD

NORTHERN PLAYGROUND IN THE ARCTIC

In the end of May, Northern Playground went on an amazing ski and sail adventure to Norway’s archipelago, Svalbard. We did this in cooperation with our friends at SeilNorge. The intention of the trip was to test out products, and of course to capture some pictures of our products and the beautiful nature Svalbard has to offer. We also tested out new varieties of the “magic shirt”, alongside a completely new concept that is currently a secret – stay tuned!

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To you this may sound great, but travelling to Svalbard is unfortunately not all fun and games. Svalbard is one of the places on the planet that is experiencing climate change the fastest. In most of the world we’ve seen a temperature rise of one degree, but on Svalbard it’s risen three. This quick climate change (and human presence in general) poses a threat to the local wildlife. So we had to ask ourselves: should we be traveling to the Arctic at all, or stay home and leave the area as protected as possible? The answer is probably the latter, which makes defending this kind of trip a challenge.

WHAT DID WE DO?

Knowing all this, we had to take some measures to make things at least a little better. 1. We each paid CO2 quotas via myclimate for our flights (0,8 tons = 19 EUR per person to “neutralize” the emissions). 2. We planned a beach cleanup, but believe it or not, we didn’t find any garbage. We went onshore at least 10 times during our trip, each time looking for plastic, and each time coming back empty handed. That doesn’t mean that plastic isn’t an issue on Svalbard. On the contrary, it is a real and serious problem. But the fjords we went to (north-west coast), were apparently clean. That is good news and a story worth telling. 3. We travelled by sailboat (although, the engine was used for a big part of the journey). 4. Lastly, we all agreed to tell the story of the serious issue in the Arctic and inspire our peers to do something about it.

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Finally, as tourists and explorers of the world we should all do one thing: travel less frequent. Make one spectacular journey instead of five short ones!

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