Go Green while Skiing

The sports of skiing and snowboarding are under threat. Not because there is a decrease in enthusiastic winter sports men and women, but due to the picturesque slopes suffering under the weight of modernization, demand and carbon offsets. Many environmentalists predict that if nothing is done to minimize the impact that skiing resorts have on nature, many skiing areas will one day become a mere memory. There is, however, a number of ways skiers and snowboarders can contribute to saving the mountains, and many resorts have already changed over to alternative energy sources to encourage eco-friendly skiing fun.

Everyone would agree that without snow there would be no skiing or snowboarding experiences for anyone to enjoy. Most resorts and winter sports enthusiasts are involved in skiing not only because they are passionate about their sport but also because of their love of nature and the outdoors. Eco-friendly skiing resorts are trying to encourage others to join their cause and ensure that humans do not impact the environment negatively. Skiers who would like to assist in ensuring the survival of ski areas can follow a few simple guidelines to contribute.

Heli-skiing or cat skiing has a major impact as it requires a helicopter or snowmobile to transport skiers to remote areas where as cross country skiing does not involve any form of chair lifts or snow blasting machines to ensure a smooth down hill run. Cross country skiing also allows skiers to enjoy the beauty of nature and take on the natural challenges they might find along the way. A few equipment manufacturers have also begun using bamboo and Paulownia in producing skis and snowboards, reducing the demand for wood. Vegetable based board wax is also available, as well as organic outdoor wear and solar powered ski suits. Donating old gear and equipment will reduce the demand for gear produced from wood, and some companies recycle old boards to make affordable furniture. A number of resorts have also changed to wind power as an energy source, as well as offering shuttle services and alternative transportation methods to and from the resort.

Locating eco-friendly resorts and identifying eco-offenders is relatively easy. Skiers are welcome to join online communities, such as Ski Area Citizen’s Coalition, where resorts that continue to damage the environment are flagged and eco-resorts are recommended. Assist in saving the slopes and the natural surroundings that support winter sports by becoming a green skier or snowboarder.