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We all know that ski holidays have a bad track record when it comes to being eco-friendly – from gas guzzling aeroplanes and decadent chalets, to the waste produced by millions of holiday goers.
But it’s the spectacular slopes that provide us with magical experiences and treasured memories that come under threat when we’re not kind to the environment. So, if you’re planning your next ski trip with a guilty conscience – stop! There are plenty of ways you can reduce your environmental impact without missing out on the fun ski holidays we have all enjoyed for so long!
We’ve created a handy guide on how to stay eco on the slopes this ski season.
As much as we would love to try, it’s simply impossible to walk or cycle to your ski resort (unless you’re lucky enough to live in one of course!). So when it comes to travelling, your best bet is to find the least environmentally damaging method of transport.
If you’re planning on travelling to the Alps, then taking a train is a great option, allowing you to arrive at convenient stations such as Geneva, giving you access to France, Switzerland, Italy and Moutiers which allows you to travel into the Three Valleys. Although you will have to book a transfer from the train station to your resort, the overall environmental impact is still much less harmful than an aeroplane.
Any accommodation, whether it’s a hotel, chalet or hostel, uses some form of energy for heat, light and water. And when you consider this in the huge scale of ski resorts then you can imagine the massive amounts of energy being used and the impact it has on the environment.
However, many resorts are becoming increasingly eco-friendly, relying on renewable energy and sustainable materials. Amongst a growing number of environmentally conscious hotels in the Alps is Hotel Olympic in Val di Fassa. This hotel proves its dedication to protecting the environment by only using renewable energy from water and solar power, whilst also sourcing food from local farmers, thus avoiding excessive emissions.
In this age of increased vegetarianism and veganism we’re all aware of the negative impact eating meat has on the environment. So, if you’re feeling environmentally conscious during your ski holiday, then why not try either cutting down or completely cutting out meat from your diet during this time? This will also give you the opportunity to sample a different side of the local cuisine for a change.
Furthermore, by sticking to this local cuisine you will be reducing the amount of packaging and transport used to import non-local food, whilst also contributing to local businesses and encouraging sustainability. With the Alps’ famous local cheeses, wines and honey, it’s a no-brainer!
Clothing and Equipment
When it comes to clothes a lot of us don’t realise the huge environmental impact manufacturing, packaging and deliveries have. That’s why it’s a great idea to look into sustainably sourced and environmentally conscious ski clothing brands – like Patagonia for example, who create high quality, long lasting products in order to discourage fast fashion, whilst also offering to repair your old clothes. In addition to this, buying clothes second hand is another good option, ensuring less waste along with the possibility of a great deal!
Similarly, for ski equipment, look out for companies which use renewable and sustainable materials- whether they are recycled or responsibly sourced. Or, simply hire ski equipment whilst you’re on your trip to reduce waste from manufacturing and further support local businesses.
So, whether you’re a fully-fledged environmental activist or a newbie to the eco-friendly game, there’s a whole range of steps you can take towards protecting the planet that provides us with our beloved ski adventures.