Here at ES we strongly believe in reducing our environmental impact and promoting a more sustainable way of life to help preserve the winters we love. So here are our top three ways to ski more eco.
For that reason it’s time to try ‘skiing eco’. Which, as it turns out, is much easier to do than one might think.
So here are European Snowsport’s top tips for giving winter a fighting chance, where to ski, where to stay and what products to use, so that we can keep shredding for generations to come!
- Where to stay?
Eco ski chalets are becoming more and more popular in the ever competitive world of attracting winter holiday makers. When before the description of your hotel would boast a Jacuzzi as part of the deal, luxury food and warm, comfortable rooms, now it may well mention that the Jacuzzi is solar powered, the food is locally sourced and the building is ‘well insulated’. Eco is fashionable, desirable and sustainable!
Monte Rosa Mountain Refuge, Zermatt, Switzerland. This futuristic mountain refuge sits at 2,883m above sea level, waiting to welcome up to 120 guests whether they be hikers, tourers or tourists. It uses local wood in its construction and takes 90% of power from the sun. The hut sources its water from melting glaciers which is collected and stored in a large reservoir 40 meters above the hut.
Lagom. The minds behind Luxury ski brands Bramble and Haute Montagne have something new for us! Lagom, translating as « just the right amount » is a new way to tailor your holiday in a sustainable way. Properties are basic but comfortable and items within them sourced responsibly. 1% of the companies turnover will be returned to local causes. Their first apartments will open in Zermatt and Verbier.
2. Where to ski?
Yes that’s right, there are such things as eco ski resorts! Despite their location and close relationship with the outdoors, ski resorts are not typically the most eco places. They require a lot of energy to power their lifts, restaurants and piste keeping machinery. But there are some resorts out there that try hard to respect their snow…
Zermatt in Switzerland is a car free resort, meaning it has a lot less air and sound pollution. A certain percentage of the town’s energy is also provided through recycled food waist. Verbier’s energy is almost all provided by meltwater and local rivers. Companies in Chamonix have devised a way to evaluate their use of transport, energy, water and waste to get an idea of how they can better their sustainability.
3. What products to use and wear?
Picture Organic clothing. “Ride for Future”
Picture manage to link together great looking clothing and strong morals so you can wear their products with the knowledge that you are doing some good for the planet. As a brand they are constantly pushing to make their product more environmentally friendly. Here are just a few of the measures they go to, to make themselves one of the world’s leading eco companies:
-Material cut offs from production are integrated into the liners of new clothing which saves them being discarded and burned.
-They choose more environmentally efficient ways of transporting their goods from factory to the shop floor.
-100% of the technical products are made of at least 50% of recycled polyester.
– 100% of the Picture products are made out of biological cotton certified GOTS (Global Organic textile standard) or Organic Exchange.
-The Picture recycling programme then allows customers to give something back personally. Instead of throwing away your beloved, worn out jacket, take it back into store and Picture will recycle it and give it a new life!
Everyone’s got their favourite go faster solution for their skis or board. A well cared for set of planks will keep you moving and give them a long happy life.
Butta aim to reduce their carbon footprint and preserve the places we love to shred. Every block of wax is handmade and packaged by them in their office which is 90% solar-powered office.
Butta Eco is a 100% environmentally friendly wax with no flouro-carbons (nasty chemically things).
Think about how much rubbish we leave behind with standard, high chemical waxes and cleaners. The chemicals found in these kind of products can be very damaging if consumed so imagine what they could do to the wildlife when it reaches the ground and local water sources when the snow’s all gone. Butta Eco avoids this completely.
Bamboo is one of the most sustainable materials on our planet. Growing at a rate of almost 4 cm (1.5 in) an hour it also absorbs significantly more carbon dioxide and produces more oxygen than any other plant. This is something that the company Poleplant have tapped into. Hand crafted in the French Alps you can customize your own pair of ski poles, choosing the colour of your handles and baskets. You can even get them engraved with a phrase or image of your choice! The pole itself is strong piece of bamboo cane (At least 2x stronger than traditional aluminium poles under constant load). Each one is different from the next so your poles really are one of a kind.
So there you have it! Where to ski, where to stay and what to use to make yourself an eco-skier. Just a few changes made could be the difference we need to keep skiing going for generations to come.