WegoWise's Top 5 Links for Sustainable Snowsports
Whether you want to be a more informed citizen or just want to kill some time before 5 on a Friday afternoon, WegoWise has got you covered. The holidays are over, spring is months away, and now is the time to start enjoying the winter instead of moping about in the doldrums. Whether you ski, snowshoe, snowboard or blade, winter can be a fun and active time of the year. Sure it's fun to play in the snow, but many winter sports have complicated environmental footprints. Here are some links to help you navigate the dicey world of green snowsports. Check out these links, give us some feedback and be sure to share some of the info you just gleaned with other interested parties at the parties you're hopefully attending this weekend. Brought to you by Dan, Nate, Lily, Catherine, Casey, Joanna, Sam and Adam.
1. Tomorrow is Winter Trails Day! Nordic centers across the country are providing free demos, lessons, and discounted rentals to anyone interested in learning to XC ski or snowshoe. Nordic, or Cross-Country (XC) skiing is a great workout and a fun way to enjoy the snow; it's also greener than alpine skiing. Without the need to clear long, wide, steep trails down mountains, the trails cut for XC skiing are lower-impact, and typically require much less infrastructure (e.g. snowmaking, chair lifts) than alpine resorts.
2. Find the Powder! There's no need to explain why hitting some fresh pow is the way to ski, but it could be the more sustainable choice as well! Snowmaking at major resorts, while great for filling in groomers early season, comes with some environmental trade-offs. Snowmaking uses hundreds of thousands of kWh per season, and often introduces deicing chemicals to the mountain ecosystem. So keep an eye on the sky and pick your "sick days" wisely.
3. Choose your resorts. If you're going on a ski vacation this season, check out the Huffington Post's roundup of top sustainable ski resorts. While most of these are massive organizations, they've each taken great strides in making their season more sustainable.
4. If you live near one of the major resorts in #3, that's great, but not everyone lives near a world-class green ski resort. Skip the emissions (and hassle) of flying across the country and ski local! While you might know all the best spots nearby, there's always the Internet to help you find a slope.
5. Get some equipment made from sustainable materials! Increasingly, gear makers are leveraging high-performance, eco-friendly materials like bamboo in the design and construction of their equipment. Check out a run-down here.