It’s hard to imagine snow skiing or boarding- sitting here in a very warm San Diego. I used to be an avid skier and just got out of the habit of skiing. What I do know, environmentalist have for years, argued about the impact of skiing on the environment. If you think about it- the amount of energy expended on chair lifts, heating, jacuzzis and more-is well alot. If you are avid about skiing, consider eco- friendly resorts, lodging and equipment before you go
I Just Gotta Tell Ya
- 60.1 Million visits to ski areas- 2007/08
- Rising Temperatures due to Global Warming are lessening snowfall
- In a recent study expects that over the course of the next 50 years, in the Western United States will diminish by 70%
- Within 50 years all ski resorts below 1,200m won’t have a chance and will go out of business,” says Michel Revaz of the Liechtenstein-based Alpine conservation society Cipra
- Now more than 10 per cent of Swiss ski areas have to use snow cannons, and over in lower-lying Austria and Italy more than 40 per cent of ski areas need to make their own snow. “Practically no ski area can now survive without artificial snow; you’d face great difficulties if you didn’t have it,” says Marika Zanoletti of the Davos Klosters Ski Company.
- artificial snow causes long-term damage to the vegetation on the slopes on which it is made. Plus, all resorts now machine-grade their slopes, effectively destroying all the Alpine vegetation, which can take more than 30 years to recover.
- One study by Aspen’s town government said that eventually, Aspen’s climate will resemble that of Amarillo, Texas
How To Be a Greener Skier
- Go local and reduce carbon emissions.
- Car Pool or Take a Train, bus or other mass transportation
- purchase offsets for your own travel via groups likeTerrapass or Native Energy or BEF
- Try to stay at an environmentally aware resort
- Keep your heat down, take short showers,
3.) Ski Resorts
- National Ski Areas Association has list of skiable resorts that are participating in green electricity programs. Currently there are 64 resorts in the U.S. that offset part or all of their electricity consumption with renewable energy.
- Ski Green sells Carbon Offsets for purchase along with Ski Passes
- Mountain resorts use and incredible amount of energy. Eco Travelogue has a good list of Eco Resorts
5.) Top 18 Eco Friendly Ski Equipment Companies for more info- check out skinet
- Buy Used, reused, borrow or rent Gear
- Planet Green has a good list of eco friendly gear;
- Kingswood Megafat 185
Handmade skis from New Zealand—This company was one of the first to utilize a bamboo core. Bamboo, as you may know, grows rapidly and is, therefore, sustainable.
- Movement Joystick 176 These skis are made out of trees certified by the Forest Stewardship Council or the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification.
- Grown Skis Grown Skis has dedicated half of its mission statement to eco-friendliness. They will recycle your old skis to make furniture and use wood scraps as insulation.
- Blue House District 187 Blue House makes the core of these skis out of rapidly replenish-able bamboo.
- Lokomotiv Freebird 190 Lokomotiv uses bamboo cores and plants a tree for every pair of skis made.
- Karhu BC 100 Karhu uses local wood in their skis.
- Liberty Jinx 164 Liberty makes these skis with a bamboo core.
- Obsidian Fifthen Obsidian’s Fifthen skis have a bamboo core as well as a bamboo sidewall.
- Boomtown Valhallas 173 Boomtown makes the ski cores out of bamboo.
- High Society Classic 177 High Society is another company that uses bamboo in their skis.
- Boone Skis- Twins Skis, Superfreak and Magic Sticks — combine the newest ski technology with sustainable ingredients. The skis contain a vertical laminated wood core made of bamboo, a natural and fast growing plant long heralded for its eco-friendly uses.
- Arbor,who practise what they preach with carbon offsetting and recycling at their offices, use of sustainable and recycled materials in their shops and promotions and of course their foundation of superb snowboards made of natural materials.(Snowboards)
- Lib Tech – Says they are the most environmentally friendly snowboard factory
- Venture Snowboards We’ve followed this path from day one, building the cores for our very first prototypes with Forest Stewardship Council certified wood, a practice we continue today. Over the years we’ve also initiated a comprehensive recycling program, experimented with low impact materials, and implemented a lean business model. In 2004 we converted our entire operation to wind power. The latest step in our progression is becoming a member of 1% For The Planet, an association of businesses that pledge one percent of sales to the natural environment.
- Solar Powered Ski Jacket Solar panels can be used to charge mobile phones, ipods, and any other usb-connected devices.The jacket has re-inforced shoulder panels ideal for carrying ski equipment, fully taped seams to water-proof the jacket, detachable hood, and a few other fancy features. The solar panels are capable of charging devices needing a 5-6V input voltage.
- Greenzer- offers a full selection of Eco Ski Clothes
- Green Outfitters- offers clothing from Patagonia and other Environmentally minded companies
8.) Recharge with Solar
9.) Litter and Waste
- Don’t litter and pick it up when you see it
10.) After Season
- Donate or resell- or reuse- or repurpose
- Recycle Specialty Sports Venture (SSV), the Company’s majority owned retail and rental subsidiary, is the first ski and snowboard retailer in the U.S. to offer skiers and snowboarders a free program for recycling their old skis, snowbards, bindings, boots and poles. The program is a joint effort with SnowSports Industries America’s “Keep Winter Cool: Snow Sports Recycling Solution” campaign. SSV’s four Colorado Ski & Golf and Boulder Ski Deals locations in Colorado’s Front Range transports the unwanted equipment to a facility south of Denver where it is shredded and used in a variety of home products such as composite decking, flooring and furniture. Recycling the old equipment cuts energy consumption and reduces landfill waste.
- Planet Green LIsting of the best and worst spots for the Eco Skier
- Ski Net- More information on Green Skis
- Ski Area Skier Coalition –Ski Area Citizens’ Coalition works to ensure that ski area management decisions, either by the Forest Service, the ski companies, or local goverments, are responsive to the needs of real environmental protection, local communities, and the skiing public.
- Ski Green Bonneville Environmental Foundation is a charitable and non-profit public benefit corporation dedicated to encouraging and funding activities and projects that lead to greater reliance on clean, environmentally preferred renewable power, and to healthy sustainable fish and wildlife habitat focused within the Pacific Northwest.