I was originally going to post this in non-ski. But, I think this has just about everything to do with skiing.
I am a Recreation and Outdoor Education / Environment and Sustainability student at Western in Gunnison, Colorado. I am really passionate about the environment, climate change, and sustainable practices. I commonly look at recent research, news, and mitigation strategies regarding climate change and environmental issues. The past few years, I've taken a close eye on everything that skiers and snowboarders do regarding our lifestyles and habits. Then, I've been thinking about exactly how sustainable these things are. Here's what I've noticed:
Many people drive alone to the ski area, or choose to drive rather than take public transportation.
Resort users will leave beer cans/trash/plastic bottles on the hill, rather than taking them to trash cans/recycling on-mountain.
Skiers and boarders will bring their own single-use plastic bottles to the mountain, or buy bottled water/soda on site.
As a whole, we will consume and buy gear without thinking about where it comes from or the effect it has on the planet.
What I am getting at here, is that ski and snowboard culture itself it quite contradictory. This sport we love, that some of us would die for, depends completely on the natural resources of our fragile globe. Yet, when I look around, it doesn't seem like we are doing much to protect and sustain it. Climate change and land ownership are directly threatening the winter sports industry, and we are acting as if nothing is happening. EPA research indicates that the ski season in Colorado will be shortened 10-50% by 2050. And this is just the length of season, not accounting for snowfall and pow days. I like pow, don't you? Here's some things you can do:
Carpool to the resort with the homies. You better pack that 2007 Subaru Outback to the brim with your crew on a pow day.
Watch your own consumption. Reduce, or completely eliminate meat and dairy products in your diet. #healthgang. When you buy food, try to buy from companies doing good for the world (check the link down low). It's easy to check a companies rating right in store before you drop that cheddar. You vote with your dollars. Buy clothes from thrift stores, you know they have the freshest kits. If you can't, buy from resellers. If you can't, buy from ethical, sustainable companies (check the link down low).
When something breaks, and you know shit does, try your best to repair it first before splurging on some new Candides. This might be a no-brainer for some of you all, but we must be aware that it takes energy, water, and gas to produce the gear we love. Take only what you need, and resell your old stuff that is still safe for use. I'm sure someone out there will appreciate the deal.
Refuse plastics and non-recyclable stuff. Reuse everything you can, recycle what you can't. If you don't buy the bad stuff in the first place, you won't have to deal with it later.
Vote! Your vote goes a long way, and much of the destruction of our planet going on today has to do with local, state, and federal policies. Even better, write a letter or visit your representatives. This is a democracy, believe it or not, and your voice can go a long way.
Check the picture I attached. It is based off of a report done by Environmental Research Letters where they quantify exactly how much you positively impact the earth with each lifestyle choice.
The list goes on. What I am trying to get at is that I believe each person reading this has a responsibility to save skiing and the world in general. I'm sure there are people out there thinking "we're all going to die anyway, it doesn't even matter," or, "the earth will be fine, we are just screwing ourselves over." And I get that. But let me challenge you: I can't imagine how I would live without the wonderful sport and community that is skiing. But, where the world is headed right now, future generations will be without it, and even people skiing right now will lose the thing they love in their lifetimes. I think we owe it to the people who came before us to protect this sport, lifestyle, and hobby; and to the people after us to allow them to enjoy what we build our lives around. Big props to those already taking measures. I know you're out there. Shoutout LSM, Tall T Dan, and many others for sharing the message and setting an example.
Think about it.
Peace and love,
P.S.: check this site for ratings on common companies we all buy from. Remember, there is power in the dollar bill and we vote with our money. https://betterworldshopper.org
Anything I missed?
**This thread was edited on Feb 19th 2019 at 4:03:13pm