A ski coop model is being developed at the Mountain Rider’s Alliance. They are a values-based, environmentally-friendly, rider-owned-and-operated group that encourage minimal carbon footprint business practices as well as alternative energy creation, while making a positive impact in the local community. The Alliance is currently exploring ski-energy center projects in Alaska, British Columbia, Montana, Washington, and Wyoming. Check their website to subscribe to the Mountain Rider’s Alliance email list.
Archive for the ‘United States’ Category
In an effort to accurately and comprehensively manage its emissions, Grand Targhee Resort elected to voluntarily report its emissions inventory with The Climate Registry, a voluntary greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting program. According to a March 26 press release, Grand Targhee is very concerned about climate change and is “interested in opportunities to engage hundreds of thousands of winter sports enthusiasts each year through education and example.” Known for a reliable snow pack (500 inch annual snowfall), Grand Targhee certainly has a lot to protect.
The Climate Registry is a nonprofit collaboration among North American states, provinces, territories and Native Sovereign Nations that sets consistent and transparent standards to calculate, verify and publicly report greenhouse gas emissions into a single registry. Christina Thomure, Director of Sustainable Operations at Grand Targhee Resort reported that The Climate Registry’s protocol for measuring greenhouse gases “ensures a level of accuracy and transparency that far exceeds all other tools we evaluated.” Notably, the Registry requires annual third party verification and is widely viewed as the premier GHG registry in North America.
The Associated Press reports a model of large-scale renewable energy production at Massachusetts’ Jimmy Peak Ski Resort. The installation of Jimmy’s 386-foot, $3.9 million turbine named “Zephyr” cut the resorts electricity costs by $200,000 last year — the first full year the turbine was operational. In contrast to simply buying renewable energy credits to offset greenhouse gas emissions, the turbine represents a green technology that can provide needed electrical power—and an immediate payoff. (more…)
What does the economic downturn mean for skiing? Love your locals. While you might see miles of empty condos in Vail or Big Sky this year, some smaller resorts located nearer to a population base are enjoying record numbers. High-priced trips to destination resorts are out. Daily or weekend trips to resorts closer to home are in. And, as always, deep snow can trump location and the economy. (more…)
What does climate change mean for the Northwestern portion of the United States? An in-depth report from the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington provides some grim answers to that question. Among the “highest confidence” predictions for this region include: warmer temperature throughout the year, decreased summer water supply, and increased probability of drought. Skier translation: more rain and less snow in the winter. But perhaps the most surprising finding is the speed of change. The authors point out significant impacts in just the next ten years: (more…)
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency sponsors the Minnesota Sustainable Communities Network to encourage networking, information exchange, and better access to assistance. This network consists of an even mix of over 3,000 individuals, non-profit organizations, businesses, local governments, educational institutions, and other organizations in Minnesota (and bordering areas) who are interested in moving toward sustainability. The site is Minnesota specific, but the network model and information posted there is certainly relevant to all with an interest in sustainability.
The Sustainable Ski Slopes page provides a nice summary of sustainability efforts within the ski industry, including the National Ski Areas Association’s Sustainable Slopes program, the Keep Winter Cool campaign, the Ski Area Citizens Coalition, as well as specific case studies and recommendations for ski area personnel.
Never traveled by train in the United States? It’s a great break from overstuffed planes and airport waiting lines. RMA Travel and Tours offers Amtrak train packages to ski resorts in Colorado and Montana. Serving Colorado resorts including Winter Park, Copper Mountain, Breckenridge, as well as Whitefish Resort in Montana.
Keystone Resort announced last Wednesday a new carpool incentive program that encourages skiers and riders to drive together to the popular Colorado ski resort. Skiers and riders who arrive at Keystone Resort with four or more people in a car will be able to park in a premier parking section in Keystone’s Montezuma Parking Lot which is a short walk to the new River Run Gondola.
“As one of the closest major resorts to the Front Range, Keystone chose to develop a program that encourages carpooling among our guests to our Resort. This program will help alleviate congestion on I-70 and also help protect the environment,” said Pat Campbell, Chief Operating Office of Keystone Resort.
Demonstrating that sustainable alternatives can be more convenient than current solutions, the premier parking is available on a first-come, first served basis and will be open for guests everyday throughout the ski season. Keystone parking attendants will direct any car that meets these requirements to the close-in section. The carpool parking will be open during peak hours of the morning until 11 a.m. or the lot is full each day.
The bi-partisan Western Governors’ Association (WGA) has given President-elect Barack Obama a four-page letter detailing its recommendations for the new administration’s energy policy, including an “aggressive and achievable national greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal.” The Assocated Press reported that the Western Governors’ Association proposed a mandatory national system for reducing greenhouse gas emissions through “market-based mechanisms.”
Why does the WGA support clean energy technology when the 19 member states are responsible for 94 percent of the country’s onshore oil reserves and 66 percent of its coal reserves? (more…)
The mainstream ski industry, true to character, is very good at taking your money. And if being green helps them take your green, that’s what they will do. You’ve seen the little card in hotels: “Re-use this towel to help stop global warming!” Right. Like if I reuse the towel then the impact of my flight across the country is forgiven? Hey, maybe I should recycle this plastic water bottle and go heliskiing! There’s a term for this clever repackaging of polluting ways: greenwashing.
Skiing and Consumption
Let’s face it: skiing is consumption. (more…)