Sustainability and Giving Back at RacingThePlanet

The ethos of RacingThePlanet is to take people back to basics, to experience cultures, and to leave no trace while doing so. Many of our races take place in places that few people have the opportunity to visit, and in this era of plastic and environmental waste it is especially important to preserve these locations so that they remain as pristine and undisturbed as possible.

Here are some of the ways in which RacingThePlanet strives to limit its impact on the environment and keep the races going in a sustainable and responsible way.



Single-use plastics are one of our biggest concerns. To mitigate this, we use large water bottles that can be reused and recycled. Each race is unique in that we can find different ways to make use of the bottles. In Mongolia, used bottles are given to the nomadic farmers who make use of them for many years to store their animal products. In Namibia, we send the bottles to be recycled after the race. In Chile, we use extra-large bottles which may be cleaned and reused for approximately 50 cycles of use.

One of the large water bottles used at a race

Single-use plastic cutlery is not permitted on our races. Both competitors and staff must bring reusable plates and bowls with them for their nutrition. This way, we need not worry so much about the potential for leaving behind plastic in fragile environments.


To keep things simple, RacingThePlanet uses a minimum amount of equipment, almost all of which is reused for a number of years, to prevent wastage and excess. This includes tents, signage, flags, stools, tables, and more. Race banners have the year changed rather than creating a new one each year. To keep our campfires going, many times we use old pallets or scrub found in the area. As much equipment as possible is stored locally for races to limit dependency on shipping and reduce transport-related carbon emissions.

Carbon Footprint

At RacingThePlanet, we recognize that the carbon footprint that results from competitors around the globe can be significant, and we encourage each individual to assess the impact of their travel and offset their carbon accordingly. Apps such as Climategames can help turn exercise into positive climate action.

Giving Back

We also have introduced local initiatives, such as donating lithium batteries to nomads in Mongolia that enable them to live a more comfortable life in an environmentally friendly way. These lithium batteries help to power a water pump, a small refrigerator, mobile phones, etc.

In addition, we encourage competitors and volunteers to bring gently used t-shirts for the locals living in yurts, and colouring books, pens and pencils for children of these locals.

In Namibia we have supported the Desert Lion Conservation, a project to save the last remaining desert lions. In addition, we support the Sandwich Tour providing lunches to children.

To see some of our many initiatives which support the local communities, go to Charities on our website.

A Mongolian nomad with a lithium battery donated by RacingThePlanet