We all love skiing, and what better way to enjoy our sport than by respecting and taking care of the environment. As skiers and boarders, we are not always aware of the impact that we generate on nature with our actions, but to preserve it and continue to enjoy it, many ski resorts have established a diverse range of measures to take care of the local environment, and this includes actions to raise the awareness and overall responsibility of users. The high altitude mountain ecosystem is very sensitive, and that is why it needs our care.
Here are some ideas on how we can reduce the impact we cause when we ski.
Your decisions make the difference
If we have different product options to purchase from, why not opt for those from manufacturers who share the same values as you? It is in our hands to support them by choosing companies and brands that show awareness and care for the environment, that are part of initiatives that support it, that make use of sustainable materials and forms of production, recycling and non-polluting materials.
A clear example: Nzero ski wax
Wax is essential for maximized glide, control and safety whilst skiing and snowboarding, but most are composed of petroleum derivatives, even those labeled ‘biodegradable’, or ‘eco’ contain large amounts of paraffin that take many years to decompose. Several contain Fluorine (PFC) or Graphene, which are not biodegradable. Such toxic components penetrate the snow that, when melts, is filtered by the earth and flows to our rivers. The resulting impact to plant life and the wider ecosystem of insects and animals that are exposed to these toxins is extremely detrimental . In many areas, we are now drinking water containing these toxins.
Nzero is a brand from the Catalan Pyrenees, specialized in 100% organic waxes for skis and snowboards, free from PFCs (perfluorochemicals) and other toxic additives, these lubricants contain only vegetable and natural additives. Their products have been recognised with ECO awards at the European sports show ISPO Munich and by the German Ski Federation who purchase their products. Nzero’s products provide maximum effectiveness without causing harm to nature.
Get the most out of it
We live in a society in which we like to have the latest in fashion and we usually change our tastes quickly, but surely before buying new products we could customize and repair the ones that we have, thus extending their useful life. Even when purchasing, why not purchase second-hand products in good condition? Or sell the ones that you do not use, especially if they are for small children, who grow up so fast that skis and clothes continue to work well but no longer fit! In addition, we always have the option to rent what is needed, in skiing and snowboarding this can apply to both beginners and the experienced.
It’s not the Destination, but the Journey that matters
Nowadays there are many different options of transport you can take to arrive at the slopes.
An alternative to the large traffic jams that are created on the roads is to use the train and/or cable car. If there is no train station at your destination, you could use a Ski-Bus, that usually drops you directly at the foot of the slopes, no stressful searching for a car park place! Another alternative would be to share a car or ride share. There are applications that facilitate contact with people driving in the direction that you want to go, thus reducing both the environmental and economic cost.
If you want to also take the step to reverse the carbon emission you produce, or if you want to actively contribute to a better environment, Reforestum and Greentripper are two examples of platforms that support forestry projects to neutralize CO2 emissions, acting in favor of climate change and restoring ecosystems through the planting of trees, among other actions.
Recycling and prevention
How many non-biodegradable plastics do we find when buying food and beverages in bottles, cans and other types of packaging? A good solution is to bring food prepared in tupperware and drinks in flasks. Every year at the end of the ski season, large amounts of garbage are collected and scattered throughout the mountain, often in points difficult to reach even for specialized cleaning teams. In the case of using disposable products, we can always store it inside a bag and keep it until the nearest recycling point is found at the ski resort.
If instead, you wish to taste the gastronomy of the local restaurants, it is good to eat in establishments that buy local produce, promoting the development of the economy of the area, and avoiding pollution through long-distance transportation of products.
Why not try other alternatives to ski lifts?
If we stop to think about it, some of the areas where we ski are considered natural parks, and therefore protected areas. Every year millions and millions of people enjoy skiing in them, but at what cost? With small actions, we can all make a difference. Of course, there are other positive aspects,the practice of this sport strengthens our health and general well-being is felt in the beautiful mountain areas where it is practiced; the local economy is promoted and these areas usually have their largest levels of activity at this time of the year, which if taken advantage of correctly can help to contribute to a good conservation of the mountain ecosystem.
Enjoy skiing and snowboarding, whilst helping to preserve a pristine winter environment!
Article written by: Nzero.