Reducing your Carbon Footprint while Skiing and Boarding

By Casey Dec 21, 2020
Awareness of climate change is growing, and skiers and boarders are responding to the impacts of their sport better than ever before! So how can you help?
 Reducing your Carbon Footprint while Skiing and Boarding

Climate change has become a hot topic, in more ways than one, and Utah ski resorts are doing all they can to contribute to environmental initiatives across the state. From Park City Mountain to Alta Ski Area, to Deer Valley Resort, Snowbird and Sundance Mountain Resort, Utah’s ski industry has vowed to give back with environmental initiatives and net zero goals.

Doing Their Part

In so many ways, efforts are well underway amongst Utah’s resorts. Vail Resorts has an Epic Promise to achieve zero net emissions by 2030, and Park City Mountain's goal is to be 100% powered by renewable energy by 2030. Deer Valley has partnered with Summit Land Conservancy, Utah Climate Action Network, Sustainable Slopes and Recycle Utah, increasing their composting efforts and prioritizing sustainably in all operations around the resort. Alta created the Alta Environmental Center in 2008, continuing with the land conservation efforts an reducing their carbon footbrint that began in Little Cottonwood Canyon in 1933. You can check the satus of these efforts here. Snowbird has won a slew of awards for their sustainability practices and recently committed to planting one tree for every season pass sold before September 30, 2020. And finally, from green lodging to green purchasing, to up-cycling glass bottles into art, Sundance Mountain Resort, as Robert Redford puts it, has always made it their mission “to develop very little and preserve a great deal.”

Doing Your Part

Awareness is growing, and skiers and boarders are responding to the impacts of their sport better than ever before. So how can you help? We’ve rounded up a few simple changes that can have you riding the lift, guilt-free.

Plastic is a problem. Cut down on waste by bringing your own water bottle and refueling on the slopes or back at the car. You’ll save money and the oceans. 

Each year thousands of particles are left behind by skiers slicking their sticks with hydrocarbon and fluorinated waxes that melt with the snow and seep into water systems and soil. For an environmentally friendly option, ask your local tech for a plant-based and biodegradable option. They'll appreciate the non-toxic fumes.

In today’s world of, “If you rode together, you ride together” sharing a lift now means sharing a car. If we were looking for the perks of this pandemic (and we are) we’d say this simple way to lower emissions tops our list. And don’t forget, whenever possible, hop on the ski bus. If nothing else, it’s a shorter walk to the lift from the parking lot for your ski-boot friends.

Used Gear
Whether you’re a tourist or local, there’s something very retro about borrowing mountain gear. It takes us back to the days of drowning in Aunt Shirley’s XL bib before waddling toward the bunny slopes.

But if ill-fitting hand-me-downs aren’t your thing, many of today’s outdoor companies are extending the life of their products. From Patagonia’s Worn Wear, to Cotopaxi’s, The Repurposed Collection, used clothing is finding its voice in today’s climate conversation.

If you prefer the gently used route, some local shops offer used gear at great prices. Check out Lone Pine Gear ExchangeLevel 9 Sports, Utah Ski Gear and Ski Trucks. Also, many shops will sell their demo skis at the end of each season!