We are acutely aware of our responsibility to ensure that we are as ‘environmentally friendly’ as possible and whilst some would argue that international travel, by its very nature, is not particularly green, we all need to work harder to look after our planet.
We offer a few links below of organisations and businesses who we believe are playing their part in reducing the effect that we are all having on the environment when we travel on a ski holiday.
WhoSki.com is a UK-focused peer-to-peer online marketplace where you can buy and sell good-as-new but no longer wanted/needed ski and snowboard clothing.
It’s an eco-business set up to help keep textiles out of landfill and in circulation. The site charges 20% commission on sales, and donates a quarter of that to teen mental health charity stem4.org.
It’s a great way to make sure your ski jackets, salopettes, snow boots etc go to a good home rather than either languishing in the loft or being pulped (did you know that 75% of clothing donated to charity shops never actually sells?
The WhoSki.com team are also committed to the #SkiGreen movement, which is trying to raise the profile of simple measures we can all take to protect our mountains and increase sustainability in the ski and snowboard sector.
And it’s worse for specialist kit like wintersports wear. Selling it through a dedicated community like WhoSki.com is also easier than a site like eBay which is so difficult to navigate these days.
In a new paper, published in Nature, researchers from the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) and the Environment and Climate Change Canada, working as part of European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) Climate Change Initiative, have reliably estimated the amount of annual snow mass and changes in snow cover in the northern hemisphere between 1980 and 2018.
Warming surface temperatures are known to have driven substantial reductions in the extent and duration of northern hemisphere snow cover. Equally important, but much less well understood is snow mass—the amount of water held in the snow pack—and how it has changed over time.
The research shows that snow mass has remained the same in Eurasia and has decreased in North America, but the extent of snow cover has decreased in both regions.
This team narrowed the annual maximum snow mass for the northern hemisphere to 3062 gigatons between 1980-2018, with the peak snow mass occurring in March, a much more precise stat than previous estimates which ranged from 2500-4200 gigatons.
Overall the research team found little reduction in northern hemisphere snow mass over the four decades when looking at the annual maximum amount of snow at the turn of February-March. But more reliable estimates enabled the team to identify different continental trends.
For example, snow mass decreased by 46 gigatons per decade across North America. This was not reflected in Eurasia, but high regional variability was observed.
The study also found that in southern regions, where in winter precipitation is more likely to fall as water rather than snow, both the extent of the snow cover and the snow mass have decreased.
To find out more, visit the Skiers For Sustainable Slopes blog at http://sustainableslopes.wordpress.com/about/
A website set up by Iain Martin, a digital marketing consultant in the ski industry, to encourage skiers and boarders to travel on their ski holiday by rail or road, or at least fly less if they can, and to help ski resorts and travel companies to do more to fight climate change. To find out more visit the Ski Flight Free website
A Swiss-based organisation, the Summit Foundation (Europe) was established in the year 2000 to campaign on the environment and organise events such as spring/summer mountain clean-up days.
A website and booking service established in 2009 that encourages skiers and boarders, particularly in the UK, to travel to their destination ski resort by train. Lots of advice on the site and personal advice on request from site founder and operator Daniel Elkan who has tested many of the routes himself.
A UK-based organisation backed by leading eco-tour operators, The Travel Foundation offers environmental and sustainability resources for a wide range of businesses in the tourism industry. Though it’s mostly ‘sun-tourism’ focused, the foundation does offer resources for snow sports operators also.
Whilst this blog isn’t specifically about skiing, Isla works for us during the winter seasons and has launched this new blog to promote all that is ‘green’…
Ski 2 Green Policy
Here are Ski 2, we are taking proactive measures to help protect and sustain the environment for future generations. We are striving to minimise any detrimental effects there might be as a result of our business.
On all our transfers from the airport we are now using bags and cups that are made from a plant-based PLA which is totally compostable. Next year we are looking to replace our containers with a compostable version.
In our resort in Les Gets we place a glass bottle of fresh, local mountain water by the side of the bed rather than using bottled water.
In all of our catered chalets, we have a guest towel reuse / bed linen changing program in place to save water. For those guests staying for 7 nights there will be a mid-week towel change. We ask guests if they would prefer not to have their towel changed to let the staff know.
Our complimentary bathroom products are made from PET plastic and this is totally recyclable. We will not replace bathroom products unnecessarily and encourage our guests to take home any unfinished products.
We are refilling and reusing the bottles our staff use for our daily cleaning products, thus reducing the amount of single use plastic we use.
We provide our guests with information that encourages them to follow energy saving practices for example switching off the lights, reusing towels, taking any unfinished bathroom products home with them.