Tips on Getting the Football Banner

Football is one of the most loved family sports not just in the United States but in the entire world. Many families enjoy getting together on a Sunday afternoon watching their favourite team. It is already part of the American culture and if a family member decided to join the football league, expect that the entire family will support all throughout the game. We cannot blame them, football is such a lovely sports and it is a way for families to bond closer.Football Banners

If your family is one of those mentioned above, then it is time for you to choose the banner that you will bring in the league. Here are some design ideas that you can use.

  1. Advance Hornets

A good combination of orange and black, this design idea will make any team happy.

  1. Bangor Rams

Let your little ones fight like a ram in this Bangor Ram inspired banner.

  1. Berkmar Patriot

Wave this banner like a flag in the field and you will surely have all eyes on your team.

  1. Bluffton Tigers

Hear the loud roar of the crowd as they cheer for your team with this design.

  1. Ashville Bulldogs

Take the team’s energy to the highest level with this design that will surely wow them. (more…)

EPA Endangerment Finding Will Impact Ski Areas

snowcatThe US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) release of an endangerment findingtoday 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.

Ski Resort Tries Large-Scale Renewable Energy

skigreenguideThe 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.

During the ski season the turbine fulfills half of Jimmy Peak’s electrical demand and packback is estimated to be 7 to 8 years. Jimmy’s experience with wind energy may provide the ski industry with a profit-driven model for finding technologies that offer more than typical industry green marketing hype.

Nevertheless, the 1.5 megawatt turbine received some serious taxpayer support. A renewable energy grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative for $582,000 was used for all of the design and purchase of the turbine. Jimmy also used federal tax rebates as well as Renewable Energy Credits to help support the project.

Wind energy production is certainly a growing industry. According to the US Department of Energy, the U.S. wind energy industry invested approximately $9 billion in new generating capacity in 2007, and has experienced a 30 percent annual growth rate in the last 5 years. As outlined in David Biello’s Scientific American article, China’s current five-year plan calls for renewables—wind, solar, biogas and hydro power—to account for 10 percent of the country’s energy consumption by 2010 (up from 7.5 percent in 2005, the last year of the last five-year plan) and 15 percent by 2020. All to reduce Chinese dependence on—and the pollution from—burning coal.

The U.S. currently gets just 7 percent of its energy from renewable resources, of which wind makes up just 5 percent. Denmark, a world leader in wind generation, gets roughly 20 percent of its power from wind turbines. Lower-carbon renewable energy sources are needed if the ski industry is to turn a profits while confronting the prospects of snow retreating to higher altitudes, later snowfalls, and earlier snow melts as indicated in a recent University of Washington study.

How to Ski Green

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?

1. Reduce transportation-related carbon emissions.

Do this by skiing locally when you can–the shorter the distance, the less carbon you’ll be emitting. Fill your car with family and friends–or find someone to car pool with using facebook, twitter, or the good old fashion telephone. What better way to keep a thriving social life than to car pool to your favorite resort together? Better yet, use local shuttle services to your local ski area.

If you’re not lucky enough to live near a ski area, take the train if possible because the impact of emissions from planes in the upper atmosphere is much greater. If you must fly, try to book the more environmentally friendly aircraft like the Airbus A319, Boeing 787, or the slower but much more fuel efficient turboprop planes. Given the lack of standards and regulations, do your homework before buying into a carbon offset program to make up for some of the carbon emitted by your flight.

2. Find a green ski area.

Almost every area touts some type of “green” efforts to show that they are doing their part to save our snow. But it can be tough to sort effective green policies from greenwash. The folks at the Ski Area Citizens Coalition (SACC) provide the most in-depth assessment of the environmental performance of their favorite resorts. But be aware that SACC’s grading system strongly penalizes ski area expansion while carbon emissions are weighted lightly. The voluntary, industry-sponsored NSAA’s database of ski areas highlights ski area environmental programs and practices. While you’re at the ski area, fill out customer comment cards or use email to let the ski resort you’re paying attention to their green efforts.

3. Find a Green Hotel

It takes a lot of energy to keep your mountain hideaway warm and cozy room. Thankfully, there are many hotels and lodging associations that can help you stay comfortable while minimizing your environmental impact. Ideally, you can avoid renting a car and use local shuttle transportation from the airport and to the ski area.

4. Find the goods where you’ve never looked before.

Great skiing is often found off the groomed slopes. Try snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Better yet, try backcountry skiing as a great way to enjoy mountain peaks that are untracked and deep. Several ski areas offer guide services to some of the most amazing terrain in the world–just outside of their ski area boundaries. But remember, avalanche danger is real so go with a certified mountain guide and listen to what they tell you to do.

Study Of Two Rocky Mountain Ski Resorts Says Climate Change Will Mean Shorter Seasons And Less Snow

markwilliamsA study by two Colorado researchers says Aspen Mountain in Colorado and Park City in Utah will see dramatic changes even with a reduction in carbon emissions, which fuel climate change. University of Colorado-Boulder geography professor Mark Williams said that the resorts should be in fairly good shape the next 25 years, but after that there will be less snowpack–or no snow at all–at the base areas, and the season will be shorter because snow will accumulate later and melt earlier.

If carbon emissions increase, the average temperature at Park City will be 10.4 degrees warmer by 2100, and there likely will be no snowpack, according to the study. Skiing at Aspen, with an average temperature 8.6 degrees higher than now, will be marginal.

The study focuses on Park City and Aspen, which helped sponsor it. But Lazar and Williams, who are researching the effects of climate change on ski areas on the West Coast and in New England, said several ski areas in California, Oregon and Washington and in the East likely will face similar or worse conditions.

The pair combined temperature and precipitation data for Aspen Mountain and Park City Mountain with general climate circulation models for the study. They mapped three scenarios: a slower increase in carbon emissions; continuation of the current rate; and increased emissions.

“It’s not all doom and gloom, particularly for the Rockies,” said Williams, a fellow at CU-Boulder’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research.

Reducing the rate at which carbon emissions increase–the best-case or “green” scenario–likely will still mean less snow accumulation and shorter seasons, but the results won’t be as dramatic, the researchers said. The Rockies’ high elevations and cold weather will enable the resorts to make up for snow shortages through stepped-up snowmaking.

More snowmaking, though, will require more water, a challenge in an area where most of the water rights are already allocated, the researchers said.

Even if emissions are reduced, winters will be warmer and less snowy than in the past because there’s a 50- to 70-year lag between release of the carbon emissions and the effects, the researchers said.

“Some of this warming is written in the cards. That’s the bad news,” Lazar said. “The good is that which emission path we end up on makes a dramatic difference.”

Ski Coop: A New Model for Running a Ski Area?

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.

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

shastinadillercanyonlookingup061105The 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.