Planning an eco-friendly ski adventure doesn't have to be complicated...
We all need winter and winter needs us. We've teamed up with Protect our Winters UK to create a limited edition range of products for a donation that goes completely to POW UK. We match each donation and by the end of this winter will have donated £10k+ to the environmental charity. To help support this cause, we share some of our top tips alongside POW UK and our Ambassadors for skiing more sustainably in 2020...
1. Keep it local
Whilst far flung exotic destinations such as Japan and North America certainly have their appeal, the carbon footprint released by taking a flight to either is nearly 10 times that of a European destination. If you do choose to go to one of those places, have a think on what else you can do whilst you're there to make it a more sustainable trip!
2. Take the train
Taking the train to your skiing destination is one of the biggest things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. With the right forward planning, it can be cheaper and quicker than taking a flight or driving. London St Pancras to Leysin (Switzerland) for example takes 8 hours door to door. What's more, you can avoid the airport queues, fights for your ski-bags and costly airport transfers at the other end!
3. Choose equipment that will last
There's a tonne of new ski gear that you can buy every year, but each purchase often means that the product has been shipped from the manufacturer on to a major distributor, then to a smaller wholesaler, to online retailers/shops and finally to the hands of a customer. "Direct to consumer" brands now ship from their warehouse/production centre directly to the customer, cutting out the middle-men and the CO2 footprint that comes with it. SunGod goggles will ship directly to your door and come with a lifetime guarantee against breakage. For all your other ski-gear, consider if you really need to replace it this year. Can it be repaired or used for another year?
4. Choose a Green ski resort
Many ski resorts are making efforts to dramatically reduce their carbon footprint in various ways. Some towns have switched to entirely renewable energy sources to power their lifts such as Verbier and the Grand Massif resorts. Others like Zermatt, Avoriaz, and Flaine have car-free towns or electric shuttle buses like Val Thorens. Check the environmental credentials of the resort you plan to ski in this year to see what efforts they're making.
5. Buddy-up for transfers
Taking an airport transfer for 3 hours up to a resort is in some cases, unavoidable. Investigate transfer options and speak to groups in the airport to buddy up and split the cost and carbon impact per person. Plus, there's a good chance you'll make some new après-ski pals before you've even made it to the resort...
6. Have a meat free trip
It's a well known fact that meat production and meat supply chains contribute significantly to global carbon emissions. Go meat-free for your holiday and who knows, you might just never go back! Alternatively, make sure the meat you're eating is locally produced so hasn't traveled far to get to your plate.
7. Start ski touring
There is nothing more satisfying than skiing a line that you've toured/hiked a couple of hours to get to. With the right mountain safety knowledge and guidance, you can have a week in the most secluded and beautiful parts of the alps without taking a single lift. It's the perfect way to work off the previous evening's fondue as well!
8. Choose an environmentally-conscious accommodation package
A ski holiday is often the perfect opportunity to treat yourself to a week of luxury. Unfortunately, this can often come at a significant environmental cost. Plenty of tour operators now recognize this and you can request a more environmentally-sustainable package to prevent unnecessary waste for the duration of your stay.
9. Offset your travel
Be it by plane, train or automobile, carbon offsetting is easy and a lot cheaper than you might expect. Google 'Mossy Earth Calculator' for more information.
10. Follow POW UK
For more advice and ideas on how you can live a less carbon intensive lifestyle and influence companies and politicians to help protect the winters and environments we love check out Protect Our Winters UK.
These small changes to your ski adventures can add up to a massive difference, particularly if everyone gets involved. You can still do your bit to support protect our winters UK by adding a POW UK Microfibre to your order at the SunGod checkout today! To read more about what we're doing at SunGod to reduce our impact on the environment, click here.