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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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National Lab’s Soot-Snow Cycle Study Unmasks Pollution’s Role in the Changing Climate

September 2nd, 2009 by skigreenguy | Comments Off | Filed in How to Ski Green
MeltingImpactsofSootOnSnowforSkiIndustry

Dirty air shortens the ski season

The Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory finds that soot warms up the snow and the air above it by up to 1.2 degrees Fahrenheit, causing snow to melt. Soot from pollution causes winter snowpacks to warm, shrink and warm some more. The full report reveals regional changes to the snowpack caused by soot and finds doubling the dimming of the snow led to an approximate 50 percent increase in the snow surface temperature. The drop in snow accumulation, however, more than doubled in some areas.

Unfortunately for National Ski Areas Association members and service providers, the study did not address the measurement or impact of soot due to local vehicle traffic in mountain valley locations. Comparing cost impacts of local pollution levels on ski season length could help cost justify industry-wide transportation improvements.

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EPA Endangerment Finding Will Impact Ski Areas

April 17th, 2009 by skigreenguy | Comments Off | Filed in Policy & Social Change, Ski Industry
snowcat-2

For the "welfare of current and future generations," stop the brutal grooming

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) release of an endangerment finding today states that “greenhouse gases in the atmosphere endanger the public health and welfare of current and future generations.” This EPA action was the result of a Supreme Court decision two years ago that ordered the agency to investigate the effects of carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act. However, this EPA finding will not result in major regulation in the immediate future. Congress will likely enact their own green house gas (GHG) regulations that better reflects industry desires and politics of the day. Nevertheless, the EPA move does provide strong impetus to the ski industry—as well as other industries responsible for GHG emissions—to implement meaningful GHG emissions measures and controls.

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First Ski Resort to Report Verified GHG Emissions: Grand Targhee Resort

April 13th, 2009 by skigreenguy | 3 Comments | Filed in Policy & Social Change, Ski Industry Technology, Ski Resorts, United States
Grand Targhee: Verifiably Good

Grand Targhee: Verifiably Good

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.

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Get Out of the Car and on the Train: Ski Vacations to Colorado and Montana

December 11th, 2008 by skigreenguy | 1 Comment | Filed in Green Ski Transportation, How to Ski Green, Ski Resorts, United States

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.

Just Another Amtrak Line to Whitefish

(more…)

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Global Attitudes Survey: People Rate Climate More Important Than Ecomony But Less Willing To Pay

December 5th, 2008 by skigreenguy | 1 Comment | Filed in How to Ski Green, Policy & Social Change, Ski Industry

Results of a poll of 12,000 citizens in 11 countries were released last week that suggest that there is both growing public reluctance to make personal sacrifices and a distinct lack of enthusiasm for the major international efforts now underway to battle climate change. (more…)

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Keystone Announces Carpooling Incentive Program

December 4th, 2008 by skigreenguy | Comments Off | Filed in Ecotravel, Green Ski Transportation, How to Ski Green, Ski Resorts, Ski Vacations, United States

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.

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Carbon Offsets: Gimmick or Cutting Edge?

November 26th, 2008 by skigreenguy | 5 Comments | Filed in Ecotravel, How to Ski Green, Policy & Social Change

Carbon offsetting as part of a “carbon neutral” lifestyle has gained some appeal and momentum mainly among consumers in western countries who are concerned about the potentially negative environmental effects of energy-intensive lifestyles. Carbon offsets enable individuals and businesses to reduce the CO2 emissions they are responsible for by offsetting, reducing or displacing the CO2 in another place, usually where it is more economical to do so.

Carbon offsets typically include renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects. Carbon offsets are popular with ski areas seeking to make up for some of the carbon emitted by their electrical usage, grooming and visitor vehicles. Ski resorts are big energy—and energy offset—users. But are these offset programs real or just marketing gimmicks? (more…)

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Survey Results: Are You an Eco-Hypocrite?

October 14th, 2008 by skigreenguy | Comments Off | Filed in Airlines, Ecotravel, How to Ski Green, Ski Vacations

ecohypocriteA survey of over 200 people, along with focus groups and in-depth interviews found that even the most committed environmentalists – identified by green trademarks such as shopping ethically, installing water and energy saving appliances and recycling – would not be prepared to accept extra ‘green taxes’ and are deeply skeptical of the carbon offsetting schemes designed to mitigate them. How does this square with the eco-skier, those enlightened powder fiends who faithfully recycle and install fluorescent bulbs? Not very well. (more…)

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Environmentally friendly hotels, B&B’s and lodges around the world

September 13th, 2008 by skigreenguy | 1 Comment | Filed in Ecotravel, Environmentally Friendly Hotels, Green Ski Transportation, Ski Resorts, Ski Vacations, United States

At Independentraveler.com’s green travel page you can find a number of Web sites that list environmentally friendly hotels, B&B’s and lodges around the world, including North American and European ski resorts.  Keep in mind that each site has its own guidelines for rating properties, so you’ll want to do your homework to make sure that the hotel meets the standards you’re looking for. And don’t forget to check out their 10 favorite ecolodges and green hotels.

Eco-Friendly Lodging
BedandBreakfast.com: Eco-friendly B&B’s
Best Green Hotels: Hotels worldwide, rated for eco-friendliness
BnBFinder.com: Eco-friendly B&B’s
EcoBusinessLinks: Wide variety of eco-friendly lodging worldwide
ECOCLUB: Ecolodges across the world
Green Globe: Worldwide hotels that meet benchmark or certification standards

Green Hotels Association: Eco-friendly hotels in the U.S. and worldwide
Green Lodge
: Eco-friendly hotels in the U.S.
Greenstop.Net
: Eco-friendly hotels and tour operators across the world
Green Travel Hub: Green hotels around the world
Green Vacation Hub: Green hotels and vacation rentals around the world
IndependentTraveler.com: 10 favorite ecolodges and green hotels
Responsibletravel.com: Green lodging worldwide
Ski Club of Great Britain: Green Resort Guide to green hotels in Europe

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