Energy consumption, waste management or artificial snow deliveries (😱), should we stop skiing to save our mountains?
By changing a few bad habits and choosing a greener resort, you can hit the snowy slopes while limiting your ecological footprint.
Green skiing does n't exist, and neither do ecologically perfect ski resorts . Some of them artificially snow up the slopes to compensate for the thaw. They even carry large amounts of snow by truck or plane , or invest in machinery . The costs of production of artificial snow are so high that it is not an ecologically or economically viable solution in the long term.
Meanwhile , other resorts are taking steps to limit their environmental impact . A small ecological step that can be supported by more environmentally friendly behavior when skiing . _ _ _ _ _
First , choose an eco-friendly ski resort .
Waste collection , public transport on site and its surroundings , use of renewable energies.
In August 2019, a snapshot of one of the highest glaciers in Austria victim of two bulldozers in order to connect two ski resorts had gone around the twittosphere... Let's not forget that glaciers are all threatened by global warming.
However, the ecological impact of skiing is not necessarily for the reasons we think: obviously, the facilities necessary for skiing (the use of ski lifts or the energy used in accommodation) have an ecological impact. But as in the case of the Austrian glacier, it is the clearing and the use of artificial snow that is more than threatening for our mountains. More than 90 billion liters of water are thus used and wasted each winter in the Alps... Artificial snow, initially supposed to compensate for occasional lack of snow, has now become widespread and covers more than 30% of the slopes alpine. And the fact of taking water, especially in mountain lakes, is not without consequences on the fauna and flora of the mountains...
the Mountain Riders Association , explains that it is mainly the individual cars massively used to ride in the stations that pollute the most. According to the association, nearly 60% of the pollution caused by skiing is thus linked to transport to get there, a little less than 30% to heating (housing and shops), against only 2% to the management of tracks.
Trust the "Flocon Vert" label to find them !
Awarded by the Mountain Riders Association , the label identifies ski resorts that meet specifications formulated by more than 70 mountain tourism and sustainable development stakeholders . _ _ _ _ _ _ _ The list grows every year. Châtel or Chamonix in the Alps (74), Les Rousses in the Jura (39) and La Pierre-Saint-Martin in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques (64)
are included in this list .
To acquire the Flocon Vert label and the status of eco-friendly ski resorts, brands are evaluated on a list of 67 primarily environmental criteria such as the use and production of local energy, waste management and the protection of the biodiversity. That's not all, they must also offer a sustainable activity over the four seasons.
Another label, international this time , distinguishes the brands and stations that are committed to an eco-responsible approach : Green Globe.
In addition, continue to adopt an irreproachable behavior in these places to reward the efforts of these ski resorts. Obviously, do not throw your waste in nature, and think about sorting it. Also remember to rent your ski equipment or buy your second-hand equipment to limit the production of new accessories.
A few tips:
Opt for less polluting transport such as the train.
Favoring less distant destinations;
Once installed, take advantage of all the soft mobility offers and rethink your practices;
Take the time to breathe, to leave more room for wonder and discovery while walking.
Are you hesitating between two ski outfits? Bet on quality: more durable and ultimately more economical. Some brands of winter equipment and clothing offer better guarantees in terms of sustainable development than others (examples: organic or recycled materials).
There are labels such as OEKO-TEX 100 , GOTS , EU Ecolabel or Ecocert to distinguish these brands.
To conclude, be respectful of the local fauna and flora.
We are thinking about off-piste skiing. This dangerous practice for you is also dangerous for local biodiversity. It is possible that animals that nest on the ground, in trees, shrubs will be terrified when you approach.
It is therefore preferable to stay on the marked trails!