If you’re a long term, dedicated skier, you may have noticed some changes to your usual skiing haunts. Lack of snow and shorter seasons brought about by global warming are threatening our beloved sport.
While this huge issue can sometimes feel overwhelming, and as though nothing can be done to reverse the tide, there are some simple changes you can make.
We’re not suggesting you stop skiing altogether. Although regular flying can cause damage to the environment, there are ways to continue your passion for the slopes a greener way.
Here are some of our top tips on how to stay green on the slopes and play your part in saving them.
Where to Ski
The first thing is to choose a responsible ski resort that takes sustainability seriously.
Try to avoid heading to the other side of the world to get your skiing fix, as there are probably some fantastic skiing opportunities closer to home.
If you live in the UK, for example, the Alps are home to some world-class ski resorts that are doing their bit for eco-friendly skiing;
- Chamonix ski resort in the French Alps has its own climate and energy action plan in an attempt to cut carbon emissions.
- Flaine, the purpose-built resort in the Grand Massif ski area was a pioneer in sustainable development and became the first Green Globe certified ski area in 2016.
- Méribel in France has invested in , relying on renewable energy sources for most of its facilities and is dedicated to a thorough recycling system.
How to Get There
With flights contributing heavily to our carbon footprint, is there a greener alternative to getting to the mountains?
For skiing around Europe, the train is a great alternative, with the added benefit of stunning alpine views as you travel. You can even plan your train journey to the Alps with a relaxing stopover in Paris and arrive at your destination with plenty of time to ski the same day. More information on rail travel to ski resorts can be found at independent guide, Snowcarbon.
Or why not drive to your resort? This way you have more flexibility over leaving times and can stop for a rest break whenever the mood takes you! Although not ideal for the environment, driving has less of an impact than flying.
Energy Saving Tips for the Slopes
There are plenty of small changes we can make in the Snowsports community, that collectively can foster big results;
Invest in a flask: If you normally carry a disposable water bottle in your backpack, why not buy a smart, re-usable stainless steel vacuum flask for hot and cold drinks and avoid single use plastics.
Smokers use a pocket ashtray: Resist dropping ash on the pristine snow and take it away with you in specially designed pocket ashtrays.
Take your rubbish with you : This way, you can recycle it properly back at your ski resort where you can sort it in the clearly marked bins.
Carry your own shopping bags: Shops and supermarkets in France do not provide single use bags at the checkout. Stay away from plastic carrier bags by packing your own fabric ones instead.
Dine locally: The nearer our food comes from; the less energy is spent on transport and packaging. Avoid the well-known fast-food outlets and seek out the growing number of independents serving everything from locally produced sandwiches and burgers to gourmand restaurants serving delicious local delicacies.
Eat less meat : The message is becoming increasingly clear – our excessive meat consumption is harmful to the planet. Just cutting back could make all the difference. Look out for the wholesome Alpine pasta called Crozets, or the infamous Tartiflette made from layering potatoes with Reblochon cheese. Both are tasty made without meat and are easy to make if you’re self-catering.
Buy second hand: Save the planet and your cash by buying your ski gear second hand.
Put Your Money Where your Heart is and Invest in Green
Helping to reverse the damage to the planet’s best skiing spots doesn’t just stop on the slopes. There are also ways to help inspire action from home.
One way to preserve the skiing industry for years to come is to take responsibility through your investments.
- Use a bank that invests in reversing climate change. If your bank benefits from fossil fuels, ask them to change, or leave.
- The more pressure large companies receive on investing their pensions in renewable energies, the more will follow suit. Contact your pensions provider and lay on the pressure!
Demanding action from these large companies could have the greatest impact on reversing climate change.
Eco-Friendly Skiing in the Three Valleys
Now you’re well-armed with these tips on how to stay green on the slopes, it’s time to go out and enjoy them.
Méribel is one ski resort in the Alps dedicated to becoming more environmentally friendly.
Alpine Infusion offer a range of to choose from. Enjoy locally sourced meals and incredible skiing opportunities in a beautiful alpine setting. After all, who said going green means compromising on luxury?