It hasn’t been the greatest year for skiing. Nevertheless, I’ve been reading a lot about green skiing. Coincidentally, my husband told me about one of his employees who not only got to park in the front row, but ski free at Mt. Cranmoor simply because he drove a biodiesel car! (An aside – our company Boston Tree Preservation uses all biodiesel trucks and sales vehicles.)
With the manufacture of artificial powder, which uses lots of fresh water, the electricity for lifts, all the gear, and long car drives to the slopes, skiing typically isn’t very green. Ski resorts are making an effort however, to become greener and reduce their carbon emissions. Some are converting to wind power and using recycled snow. Some offer ride shares, carpool and shuttle services, or incentives like prime parking and discounted or free lift tickets for using greener transportation. Below are some green skiing tips from the Sierra Club you can do to lessen your environmental impact.
- For your equipment, try eco-skis – Lokomotiv Skis plants a tree for every pair they produce. They have discontinued the use of hardwood and use fast-growing bamboo wood cores instead. Colorado-based Liberty as well as other companies also build cores from bamboo. German ski maker Grown uses wood sources from sustainably managed forests.
- For the occasional skier, consider borrowing a pair from a friend or buying used.
- For your gear, it’s best to use environmentally conscious companies like Patagonia and Mountain Equipment Co-Op. They use lower impact materials such as organic cotton and recycled plastics for the warm layers in their jackets. Patagonia’s Common Threads Recycling Program transforms worn-out garments into new ones. Both companies are members of 1% for the Planet. Their gear may cost a little more, but it lasts.
- Carpool, take advantage of ride shares or use greener transportation if possible.
- As with all day-to-day activities, bring your own bpa-free reusable water bottle instead of buying plastic ones.
Being outside in nature is an important part of green living. With a little awareness, your outdoor experience will be even greener!
Information compiled from sierraclub.org