A Slippery Slope: Climate Change and Skiing
We are starting to see the impacts of climate change worldwide, especially in extreme climates like mountain peaks. Warming temperatures are causing snow to melt earlier in the season, leading to shorter ski seasons and less reliable snowfall. This can make it difficult for ski resorts to stay open and can also make it challenging for skiers to find a perfect powder day. Additionally, as the snow melts earlier in the season, it can cause flooding and damage to ski infrastructure, leading to the destruction of habitats for wildlife and plants dependent on the snow for survival.
Ski resorts, which are typically built in remote and fragile mountain environments, can also have a negative impact on the environment. The construction and maintenance of ski runs, lifts, and buildings can cause erosion, deforestation, and destruction of natural habitats. Ski resorts also require large amounts of energy to operate, which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.
Overall, climate change can have a detrimental impact on skiing, and the ski industry influences climate change. It is important for ski resorts and skiers to take steps to reduce their impact on the environment and work towards sustainable practices. This includes using renewable energy sources, reducing waste, and protecting natural habitats.
How can you reduce your carbon footprint this ski season?
When booking your ski trip, skip the slopes that are farther away. The majority of emissions related to skiing come from travel. If there’s a resort within your state, opt for a longer staycation instead of multiple weekend trips. If you have to fly, offset your emissions with a carbon offset program.
Carpool up to the mountains instead of meeting them there. Save money and emissions by jumping in a car together. Put on a playlist and bring snacks along for the ride.
Get your gear from brands that put the planet first. Find items made from recycled material or that commit to high environmental and ethical standards. Research your snowboards, skis, and outerwear to make the most sustainable choice. Opt out of having a pair of skis for every condition, and go for a 1-ski quiver sort of ski.
Bring Reusable Items
It’s easy to take and waste when on vacation with single-use plastics. Reduce your waste by bringing a reusable water bottle, coffee cup, and cutlery. Introduce reusable items to easily prevent unnecessary waste.