5 environmentally-friendly ski resorts
As a skier or snowboarder you probably love nothing more than hitting the slopes, enjoying the great snow and having a moment to contemplate the magnificence of the mountains. Unfortunately, the current climate crisis puts the possibility to keep enjoying nature as we know it at risk. Already, we have experienced some devastating changes in the mountains, with animal species in danger of extinction and ski resorts having to close because of the low snowfall.
On the other hand, many ski resorts are taking action towards the preservation of the climate and are taking steps to provide an eco-friendly ski holiday for their guests.
At Saas-Fee, approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes away from Geneva Airport.
The incredible feeling of inhaling fresh air when you arrive at the highest point of the piste makes you connect immediately with nature, especially when your ski holiday is a runaway from the hectic city life. Your whole body relaxes and you are ready to descend the slopes.
To be sure that you take only the freshest breaths of air in the Alps, and to provide skiers with a sustainable ski holiday, Saas-Fee has been car-free since 1951. Not allowing cars in the resort, Saas-Fee reduces its environmental impact and its carbon footprint, taking steps to help to protect the Alps and improve the quality of life.
Therefore, the Swiss resort is working to be a pioneer in ecological alpine tourism and is developing procedures to be carbon-free. Its efforts in sustainability have seen Saas-Fee win the title of “Energy Town”, because of the introduction of clear quality standards in traffic and energy policies. No other ski resort in Switzerland can show off its use of natural energy so consistently, as it obtains 100% of their electricity by renewable Valaisian hydroelectric power.
Pejo 300, Italy
At Peio, approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes away from Verona Airport.
Most plastics take an average of 1000 years to decompose completely. So if you consume a single-use plastic bottle today, it will still exist when your great-great-grandchildren go to college, along with all the plastic their previous generations have used. And yes, that can be a lot of rubbish. This crazy fact has shocked many people who have decided to stop reducing their plastic waste or even wholly stop consuming plastic at all and have a zero-waste lifestyle to reduce their impact on the environment.
Aware of the impact the plastic has on the climate crisis and following the need to take steps to preserve our mountains, Pejo 3000 has become the first ski resort in Europe to ban plastics. The Italian resort has forbidden disposable straws, bottles, cutlery, glasses, packets of ketchup and mayonnaise and any other single-use plastic items. The new zero-waste action will reduce the disposal of plastic into the mountains and will help to preserve the local nature so all skiers can enjoy the Stelvio National Park for longer.
Even if Pejo 3000 took the initiative, having a plastic-free ski holiday can be a personal ambition of any skier, besides the polyethene in your skis of course. If you are wondering where to start, we recommend you take a look at Laura Singer’s blog post – most of the things are free! http://trashisfortossers.com/zero-waste-travel-ki/
At Avoriaz, approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Geneva Airport.
Designed to be a green ski resort, since the beginning Avoriaz has been zero-car, fuel monitored to avoid energy waste and has planned sustainable accommodation. These procedures have made them win the Green Key accreditation, the top international certification for eco-friendly tourist accommodation.
The resort has done great work building environmentally-friendly construction and developing a dual-energy network. Also, the French resort has two environmentally responsible snowparks and train their drivers to do their tasks in the most eco-friendly way. Lately, they’ve renewed their snow canyons to introduce modern machines which consume three times less energy, and they try to avoid using them so the skiers can enjoy the natural fresh snow.
At Aspen, approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes away from Denver Airport.
The world-famous ski resort Aspen has been a pioneer in sustainable skiing, applying eco-friendly procedures since 1997. Their goal to eradicate emissions has led them to be one of the first cities in the USA to be powered by renewable energy and become seven-times winners of the Golden Eagle Award for Overall Environmental Excellence.
Besides, they don’t only advocate for green power and develop energy-efficient methods; they also take on the best eco practices in the resort. They purchase local food and beverages to reduce their impact, they are home for the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (where they inform visitors of the local environment), and they take part in many local activities to protect the climate.
At Soll, approximately 1 hour away from Innsbruck Airport.
One of the energy challenges that the ski resorts have to face is heating. To keep all the skiers and snowboarders warm, the ski resorts have to make significant investments in energy which directly affects the climate crisis. However, Söll is renowned for its green heating initiative. Rather than using gas or coal, they burn wood chips to make fuel to heat the entire bottom lift station, an excellent alternative to keep everybody warm and reduce the environmental impact.
Also, the Austrian ski resort uses eco-friendly snow cannons and has a stable system for sorting waste.
Lastly, the future of the mountains is everyone’s responsibility, and all of us can make a change in our daily life.