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Ski & Snowboarding Resorts Taking Environmental Initiatives

Many skiers & snowboarders (like myself) anticipate the winter months to journey down the mountains.  Unfortunately, this hobby can be quite draining on vail_photo_jack_affleckenvironmental resources.  Ski resorts have impacts while using energy in daily operations – from ski lifts to lighting lodges, harming wildlife, increasing waste from visitors, and creating/using man-made snow.      

Luckily, the ‘snow’ industry acknowledges their potential problems and is taking initiative to clean up their carbon footprint.  It makes sense – If the temperatures rise, that means less time for skiing each season and worst ski conditions!  For example,  I noticed lots of environmentally-friendly promotions in ads and on the mountains during my last visit to Vail & Breckenridge, CO. 

Vail has spearheaded many environmental initiatives to clean up its mountain, such as solar panels, goal of reducing energy uses by 10% over the next 2 years, and a huge recycling program that includes 70% of all waste on the mountain. Even the chairlifts are often made from recycled materials!

Trying to favor green resorts?  Treehugger.com came out with the Top 7 Greenest Ski Destinations in the US. The list ranks as follows:

  1. Aspen Skiing Company, Aspen Colorado
  2. Smugglers’ Notch Family Resort, Smugglers’ Notch, Vermont
  3. Park City Mountain Resort, Park City, Utah
  4. Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort, Bend, Oregon
  5. Sundance Resort, Sundance, Utah
  6. Jiminy Park Mountain Resort, Hancock, Massachusetts
  7. Alta Ski Area, Alta, Utah

Want to ski local?  Shawnee Mountain announced environmental initiatives of high tech snow guns to reduce diesel emissions and a recycling program to reduce its impact. 

Have you heard about any other ski “green” initiatives lately?

Posted by Julie

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Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher

1 thought on “Ski & Snowboarding Resorts Taking Environmental Initiatives

  1. The NH Department of Environmental Services has partnered with Ski NH to build an environmental certification program. For the past three years, they have worked together to create a relationship between ski area, state agency and trade association. Over the course of the next 9 months, the certification program will be put together. Stay tuned! For more information visit, http://des.nh.gov/organization/commissioner/p2au/pps/gsp/index.htm.

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