Skiing, Ski Touring and Snowboarding
Skiing or snow boarding through crisp white snow, high in the mountains below a clear blue ski has a major appeal to many of us. All skiers and boarders visiting mountainous areas have an obligation to ensure that their impact on these special areas is minimised. Here are some simple suggestions for how you can do this, both when on the slopes and when planning your trip.
- Book Smart by choosing a resort and holiday providers who uses environmentally friendly practices, such as bio-diesel fuel in piste-bashers, solar panels for heating etc. Encourage tour operators to adopt green policies.
- Travel WIse by travelling to your destination by train or bus or car pool with friends. Once in the resort, travel by foot or public transport.
- Support sustainable practices when on holiday, by using the services of organisations aware of and living up to their sustainability responsibilities. Buy locally produced food and goods.
- Educate yourself about the environmental impact you have on the mountain as a skier or snowboarder and what you can do to minimise it.
- Do not drop litter on the slope and pick up any litter you find. This litter will be a hazard to wildlife once the ski season is over and the snows have all melted. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Upcycle (re invent the waste into something new of value) – even when on holiday!
- Respect the natural habitat of mountain animals and plants that you are venturing into. Take care not to damage habitats, plants and trees. Avoid sensitive areas – out of bound areas may well be set up for your safety, as well as to protect natural habitats. Avoid spooking wildlife, and respect the winter habitats of mountain wildlife
- Be respectful of the mountains, the locals, the cultures and other mountain users. Be a responsible mountain visitor.
- Avoid skiing on areas without complete snow cover where your skis will slice through the vegetation which may take years to regenerate in fragile upland areas.
- Minimise the impact your ski gear has on the environment. Rent your ski gear, or purchase second-hand equipment and repair skis to reduce the impact your skis have in their manufacturing. Favour clothing made from green or reycled fibres, and take measures such as reapplying waterproofing treatment to extend their lives.
- Reduce global warming by reducing your CO2 emissions. This should be of critical concern to anyone who enjoys skiing and snowboarding because global warming is making winter seasons shorter and warmer. Make sure that you do not contribute to it. Measures such as re-using your towels each day, recycling waste, switching off unused appliances while on holiday both at home and in your holiday accommodation, and by traveling to your chosen location by train rather than flying or driving there will all help reduce your impact.