As you most likely have experienced and read about, the weather and climate changes in recent years have had a profound effect on our planet. And with increasing temperatures in even far-north regions of the world, ski resort owners, especially the mountains at lower elevations, are among those hit hardest by global warming. The next time you want to ski, think about ways in which you can ski green.
All across the country, ski resorts are experiencing the effects of climate change. Many are taking proactive measures to prevent and lessen the impact.
photo by James Thompson
Ways you can ski green
Just like on other vacations and quick-getaways, you can make a few eco-friendly changes which will have a big impact in the area you ski.
Skiing – Getting There
Before you even get to the chairlift, you have a chance to make a positive choice to ski green. Where did you choose to ski? How did you get to the mountain? Here are some points to consider to be more environmentally-friendly.
- Ski closer to home – Take a day trip or fun weekend getaway to a nearby resort instead of flying to a farther destination. You can even pack a cooler and enjoy your own food, drinks and snacks.
- Carpool – Can you carpool there? Ask friends, family and coworkers who may share your interest and go together.
- Resort shuttle – Investigate whether the resort you are staying at offers a shuttle to and from the airport, and save on renting a car.
- Recreation and park district bus – Many areas offer weekend day trip transportation for teenagers; special trips for families or seniors; and rides for tweens and teenagers to head to the local mountain for the day.
Choose a Green Ski Resort
Another way to ski green is going to a greener ski resort. So many resorts are becoming more and more aware of their impact. Ask questions before you make a reservation. This not only allows you to make a greener choice, they realize their efforts or non-efforts to be more earth-friendly, really do matter. Some questions to ask:
- What do they recycle? Are their trail maps and resort guides printed on recycled paper?
- In their rooms and restaurants, do they have a water conservation program? Are their cleaning products environmentally friendly? Do they use porcelain and glass rather than disposable paper and polystyrene products? Is the food they serve local?
- Do they harness wind power for their energy needs? Do they use renewable energy to power their chairlifts?
- Do their machines to clear the trails run on bio-diesel?
- Do they offer a shuttle service to and from the airport?
While you are a patron of the ski resort, remember to compliment them, especially the manager, on their efforts and encourage them to continue to operate more sustainably. Remind them that what they do does matter. Ski areas that work to reduce their CO2 emissions also save money!
Try Cross-Country Skiing
Another idea is to take up cross-country skiing. It can be done in many more “local” places, and depending on the snowfall where you live, maybe even very close to your own home at a park, trail, or even in the street. Cross-country skiing burns fewer resources overall — no chairlifts for one. Added bonus: It burns more calories than downhill skiing.
Respect Your Environment
You are skiing in someone’s backyard. Remember to respect all wildlife. Throw away your trash. Don’t feed or attempt to interact with the wildlife. Stay on the trails.
If you love skiing and want to decrease your carbon footprint, think about using some of these ways to ski green. Being more aware of our impact doesn’t mean giving up the activities you enjoy doing. It is just about seeking out ways to do them better. It is very easy to ski green once you start considering the many possibilities.