You love skiing and you are passionate about the mountains, but do you know how to be respectful to the environment while skiing? Today, we are giving you the keys to be a skier with sustainable habits and aware of nature.
The mountain has an hypnotic essence that makes us come back again and again. Despite the fun of being in a ski resort, we cannot let its dynamic atmosphere confuse us. Although it is a built-up space, adapted by humans and sometimes even crowded, we must not forget that the snow we walk on is part of one of the most delicate ecosystems that exist. For this reason, learning to be a skier with more sustainable habits must become an individual challenge as an athlete.
Arrive without emisions
To begin with, our first gestures to be a skier with sustainable habits can be made by thinking about how to get to the ski resort where we are going to enjoy our ski trip. There are many reasons why driving to stations is inconvenient. If traffic jams, nervousness when parking and queues to find a parking space are not enough reason to abandon the idea of driving to the station, the amount of CO2 gases emitted when doing so will.
Using public transport to access the stations is not only much more convenient, but it will also reduce your carbon footprint considerably.
But if you still decide to use the car to go to the station, at least make sure to carry chains in the car in case you need them. Carrying chains is much safer for the occupants of the vehicle and the frequency with which they have to pass snow plows, which use salt that is very harmful to rivers and the subsoil, is reduced.
Another option that will help protect the environment is to share a car with more people who go to the same station. In this post, we show you an example of how the Val d’Allos ski resort offered an exclusive offer this past season for all those who shared their vehicle with other skiers.
Do not go back home with only the experience
It seems logical to deposit waste in its corresponding bins, but a large amount of waste accumulates on the ski slopes, and reminds in the mountains long after we have left.
These plastics end up in the animals’ dens or in rivers during the thaws in spring. It is essential that in a particularly vulnerable ecosystem, such as the high mountains, we take into consideration that it is very difficult to carry out extensive cleaning tasks because it is difficult to access every corner of the station.
Remember, even if organic waste decomposes in a short time, you must still deposit it just like you do with recyclable items. Organic waste litters the station’s facilities and attracts animals that could get sick from its ingestion.
On the other hand, recycling is not the only important thing. Reducing the single-use containers to which we are accustomed and which’s use is very natural to us is also important. For example, bringing your own reusable bottle considerably reduces a very common waste such as plastic bottles.
By collecting and recycling our rubbish, as well as reducing our consumption, we allow everyone to enjoy clean and well-kept courts.
We are not always aware of our contaminating action
When it comes to sustainable habits, we are aware that littering is polluting or that when we drive we emit harmful gases. Naturally, we are not used to dealing with certain less polluting issues, but they are as important, since not all these actions are so clearly distinguished.
A clear example of this is noise pollution. Although we are flooded with emotion on the slopes, avoiding thunderous noises and loud music is very important, as it not only bothers our fellow skiers, it also disturbs the tranquility of the fauna of the place. Although they are not always seen, they are there and are essential for the proper functioning of the ecosystem.
Another factor that we are not always aware of is the use of heaters. When staying in the high mountains in winter the nights will be cold and heating is essential for our well-being, logically. However, trying to bundle up so you don’t have to set the thermostat too high is a simple act to reduce your carbon footprint. Being in short sleeves in the hotel room is very comfortable, but very unsustainable.
Of course, not everything we can do to be a skier with sustainable habits has to be done once on the slopes. When it comes to buying ski equipment, it is much more environmental friendly to buy quality clothing. By doing so, you avoid falling into the fast fashion model, with textiles being the second most polluting industry in the world. This has the added benefit of having more durable and resistant outfits that, although involving a higher initial outlay, they are much more profitable in the long run. A brand that we love, without a doubt, is Picture. In addition, if you buy clothes in the surrounding villages, you will be acquiring artisan products while helping a sustainable rural economy.
Your holiday destination, their home
To be a skier with sustainable habits, a basic principle is to love the mountain that gives such unforgettable experiences. Therefore, it is essential to respect its ecosystem, keeping in mind its inhabitants who need the most, the flora and fauna.
Just by following some tips, we can become much more aware of our impact on nature’s athletes.
Apart from being dangerous for the skier, it is very harmful for the environment to go off the slopes. You need to keep in mind that when skiing outside the defined areas we enter a natural habitat and we can cause damage, and have a negative impact on both the flora and fauna of the place.
For this reason, there is a slogan in high mountain areas: never to collect animals, plants or rocks from the area. We cannot know if they are protected species so we may promoting the desertification of the area. A very specific case is the fondness for collecting lichen and moss to decorate the nativity scenes during Christmas season. This has such a harmful effect that it had to be banned with fines of more than 200,000 euros in protected areas, such as a natural park. Many times, the most innocent actions have negative consequences that we could not even imagine in advance, such as soil erosion or the disappearance of microorganisms necessary for a fertile soil in spring.
Expand your commitment
The individual commitment of a skier with sustainable habits is essential to protect the environment. But if you want to go further, make sure you ski in ski resorts that share your values. As their commitment of as the ski resort’s commitment to the environment and the protection of mountains is increasing, its regulations are adapted to the sensitivities of the new times.
Once there, remember to always take into account the requests of the posters and the station staff, for your safety and for the welfare of the natural environment.
Skiing is a sport in contact with nature. Therefore, having an active commitment for the protection of the very special environment in which it is practiced, is key to guarantee a future of great experiences.