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How to Ski Green

September 3rd, 2009 by skigreenguy | Comments Off | Filed in Green Ski Transportation, How to Ski Green, Ski Vacations
Skiing the deep at Aspen?

Skiing the deep at Aspen?

“Alpine skiing” and “living green” do not seem compatible. Flat land skiers jet across the country, rent SUVs, and drive a few more hours to mountain homes or condominiums. While they sleep, snow guns blast a fresh layer of snow and legions of snow cats prepare thousands of acres of groom slopes. That’s a lot of greenhouse gas just to escape New Jersey for a week.

So how can an individual skier reduce the carbon emissions of this sport? (more…)

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How do You Deal with Climate Change Skeptics?

April 29th, 2009 by skigreenguy | 4 Comments | Filed in Policy & Social Change

climate-changing-fast_6439If you talk about climate change, you will inevitably run into climate change skeptics. These are folks that deny warming exists (a dying breed), cite competing theories, or see climate change as a hoax driven by big government and/or a conspiracy of grant-hungry liberal scientists.

Ignoring skeptics is a lost opportunity. Not only do skeptics vote but they make choices everyday that impact the climate. Our collective action—in politics and lifestyle—over the next few decades will have a major influence on the magnitude and rate of future warming.

A greater engagement in this issue is clearly needed. According to a 2006 Pew Global Attitudes Survey, nearly half of Americans (47%) and somewhat fewer Chinese (37%) express little or no concern about the problem. As the top producers of greenhouse gases we need to educate ourselves and others in how to be responsible for our sport—and all the carbon that goes up into the atmosphere so we can slide down hills.

So how do you deal with a climate change skeptic? (more…)

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Climate Change Study: What Does the Future Hold for the Northwest?

February 20th, 2009 by skigreenguy | 1 Comment | Filed in How to Ski Green, Policy & Social Change, United States
Will Mount Baker always have the deepest snow on earth?

Will Mount Baker always have the deepest snow on earth?

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…)

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Making it Convenient: Green Psychology and Human Behavior

November 17th, 2008 by skigreenguy | 2 Comments | Filed in Ecotravel, Green Ski Transportation, How to Ski Green, Policy & Social Change, Ski Vacations

Green Watch was a twitter project done by the La Marguerite, a blog focused on “behavioral solutions to global warming” as well as marketing its own consulting services. They make a couple of interesting points that seem relevant to skiing green:

1. We are addicted to convenience, even more than to things. Rather than fighting that addiction, we should focus on sustainable alternatives that are more convenient that current solutions.

Last year at Breckenridge, Colorado I used the Summit Stage bus system to get to the lift. If you’ve ever tried parking at Breck on a powder day at 8:30 am, you know that the bus is much faster and easier: hop on the bus, smile and nod at the other folks NOT scraping their windshields, and hop off at the lift. Better yet, the parking costs money but riding the bus is free. Green alternatives need to be both cleaner and more convenient than the technologies they replace. By the way, if you don’t want to pay for a condo in Breckenridge, check out CouchSurfing.com for a free place to stay (and it will probably be on the bus system too).

2. The switch from car to alternative low-energy modes of transportation requires that people experience first hand the superior benefits of those alternatives.

Over the last year I’ve tried to ride my bike for any trip less than five miles from my house. Once I got into the habit, I realized that biking took no more time than driving, avoided parking problems, got me talking with my neighbors more and cost me nothing. Best of all, the extra exercise will help me live longer. Benefits of bicycling—a small step in living green—need to be more than “understood,” they need to be experienced before they are real.

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