How to be a sustainable snowsports lover
SNOW & ROCK18 Oct 2021
Whether it’s skiing, snowboarding or a spot of ski touring, we’re here to help you take on the outdoors, sustainably.
When winter sets in, heading for the mountains for some snowsport action is one of the best ways to stay adventurous. That’s why we asked the experts at Snow+Rock how to enjoy snowsports whilst still doing our best to look after the mountain playgrounds we love – so we can keep coming back for years to come.
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Invest in your gear
At Snow+Rock we recognise that one of the biggest factors on climate change is consumerism and in particular, the clothing industry. We’re obviously not about to tell you to stop buying snowsports gear (we’d be out of a job, and you’d be pretty cold on the mountain!) but you can make better choices that will help to reduce your impact. The most sustainable gear is the gear you already own, so investing in quality gear that doesn’t need to be replaced as often, is a great place to start. Better still, you can invest in sustainable brands such as Picture or Patagonia, who are actively producing more environmentally friendly skiwear.
Look after your gear & recycle old items
Another sure-fire way to help your gear last long is to look after it. If your gear is dirty or damaged, it doesn’t mean it’s the end. Washing, patching, reproofing and repairing will all help to extend the life of the gear you love. Snow+Rock offer in-store services like Repair & Care and ski servicing if you need a bit of expert attention, or you can do-it-yourself with technical washes, reproofing agents and even a good old bit of duct tape. The best gear has stories to tell after all.
When you’ve washed and patched your gear till you can no more, use Snow+Rock’s Recycle my Gear service to recycle a huge range of products.
Not all resorts are created equal. Shop around to see which resorts are trying to reduce their environmental impact and offering more sustainable options to their visitors. Look out for solar-powered lifts, biodiesel piste-bashers and carless resorts, as well as those resorts who are actively trying to look after and preserve the natural environment from which they make their living.
Leave no trace
Sure, you might not want to carry that wrapper round in your pocket all day, but the mountain wants it even less. Take all your litter with you including, for the smokers out there, your cigarette butts. Even things like broken gear can have lasting damage on the environment, so if you take a tumble and snap a ski, pole or even just a buckle, swallow your pride and return to the scene to make sure you haven’t left anything behind.
Respect the wild
Remember that most of the places you explore on the mountain provide a natural habitat for wildlife. Try to avoid damaging plants and trees, especially when off-piste, and avoid sensitive areas. That barricade might be there for your safety, but it could also be there to protect natural habitats too. If you do come across any animals, keep your distance and avoid disturbing them.
Offset your CO2
If you are travelling by plane or car, why not offset your CO2? There are lots of websites out there who can help you do just that. Calculate your emissions and purchase carbon offsets, and your contribution funds certified environmental projects such as conserving or restoring forests, or generating clean and renewable energy.
Make it a lifestyle
Even when you’re on holiday, try to live as sustainably as possible. Recycle where you can, reuse your towels in the hotel, buy local produce when self-catered, reduce the amount of water and energy you use and CO2 you produce. Educate yourself on the impact you have as a snowsports fan and what more you can do to reduce it. Use the services of sustainable businesses where available and support and respect those who live and work in the mountains. Being a responsible mountain visitor goes a long way.
You can find out more Snow+Rock’s sustainability mission here.