5 Green Tips For Your Ski Trip
The highlight of the winter season is finally in full swing - it’s ski time! There is something special and mindful about skiing, being surrounded by nature, the fresh mountain breeze and the tickle in your tummy when you are gliding down the slopes.
It creates a presence and a calm which is frankly quite hard to find. Not to mention the surreal beauty of snow-covered mountains coating the horizon. Once you have experienced the amazing feeling of sliding through the white powder with your skis or snowboard, you are instantly addicted to it.
Unfortunately, skiing holidays are not known as the greenest option for travellers. Ski lifts, slope tracks and snow cannons are repeatedly disturbing the mountain’s natural ecosystems and are very energy-consuming. However, increasing sustainability has become a mission for multiple resorts (as well as for a majority of their customers), and many have taken steps to reduce their energy consumption, improve recycling, and over the last years implemented policies of great environmental awareness. Resorts across the world are progressing to become more respectful to the mountains, the ecosystems which they carry and improve their overall environmental impact - something that BLANC, among ski-lovers and sustainability fanatics, are thrilled to discover!
Hotel owners and resorts are doing their best to keep this family-friendly activity as green as possible, but customers are also partially responsible and can actually contribute to eco-ing up the mountains an awful lot. Even though we wish you a snow-white holiday, BLANC wants to inspire you to spice up your trip with some of our green tips - we promise, it’s easy as ABC and our planet will express its gratitude by providing many more ski trips in the years to come.
Donate Used Equipment
Are you a ski fanatic? Or maybe trying the slopes for the first time? Either way, it’s not rocket science to assume that changes in technology, your ability and body growth, are all indicators which will determine whether you need new gear for your trips. Therefore, used and older ski equipment might not be of much use to you, but it might be for others. There is a bunch of charities and organisations willing to take your gear off your hands! One of them being Gift Your Gear, an initiative that provides outdoor clothing and equipment to UK communities and youth groups - giving somebody an opportunity to turn imagination into actual reality. Have a look for what you might not need; wardrobes, garages and attics are no place for equipment, they should be zigzagging down the mountains!
Look for Pioneering and Sustainable Skiwear
Brands with nature at the top of their minds are hard to find, and wanting comfortable and fashionable pieces doesn’t make the situation any easier. We researched this conundrum thoroughly, and found three sustainable outerwear brands which you do not want to miss out on for future seasons!
First off, Patagonia, the first and most obvious out of the three as they are widely known for transparency and how pioneering they have been in taking care of our planet for decades (Let My People Go Surfing is a staple in the BLANC library, but that is yet another topic!) Patagonia is an opponent to fast fashion, expressed through their manufacturing of long-lasting outdoor wear primarily made of sustainable and naturally sourced or recyclable materials. Not to mention the fact that they provide a repair and reuse program for all their clothing. Their mission is to build the best product and cause no unnecessary harm to the planet in doing so.
Second up is Picture Organic Clothing: since 2008 the French brand has blessed the world with superb quality and environmentally friendly technical ski and snowboard outerwear and apparel. Not to mention that everything they create is sourced from organic, recycled & bio-sourced materials. As well as Patagonia, P.O.C visualised from the start how they would approach recyclability, second life and end of life. On their website, they are stating that it takes 50 recycled plastic bottles in order to produce one jacket - definitely an exciting brand to check out!
At last, if you’re looking for lightweight outerwear, with perfect insulation, Ortovox is your ski wardrobe’s new friend! They advocate ethical trading solutions and are a member of the Fair Wear Foundation. They make sure that the work conditions in their factories are managed with their employees’ best interest first. Their long-term goal is to make the social, economic and environmental conditions along their supply chain completely sustainable.
Abide by the Ski Slope Rules
There can be more than one reason that rules have been implemented along the slopes. If coming across a sign saying ‘out of bounds’, it is essential that you respect that; not only is this a safety warning, but areas out of bounds could be meant to protect ecosystems and wildlife, something that the right kinds of ski resorts will encourage you to respect. Organisation Respect Wildlife encourages winter sports enthusiasts to observe wildlife from a distance: following or approaching wild animals is not recommended as this is likely to increase their level of stress. The past years have shown a growing trend in winter sports, such as freeriding, snowshoeing and variant skiing. These are mainly taking place on unmarked slopes and are a large component of the changes of Alpine ecosystems. Respect Wildlife has listed a few tips on how to tackle this on their website.
Leave No Trace
Planning on enjoying a cosy family picnic in the snow with a white landscape view? Or some snacks for the slopes? Nothing beats a delicious reward during long and active days, but remember to bring the packaging back with you once you are finished and recycle it once you are back at the resort. If your hotel doesn’t offer direct recycling services - ask for a recycling bin! A majority of hotels and resorts have implemented recycling - if not, at least you are returning home knowing that you planted a seed in their minds. Another option is to aim for the zero waste alternative which carries endless amounts of opportunities in terms of practical equipment - all you need is some committed preparation! S´well Bottles are designed with ThermaS'well Technology, which keeps drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12. Coffee that is drinkable for 12 hours? Sold! Perfect for a day on the slopes and without a thought of unnecessary littering. We believe in leaving nature looking the same as when we arrived - the only thing you should leave behind is your ski trails!
Wet Clean Your Skiwear Upon Your Return!
It is more common than not for people to never clean skiwear. However, washing a waterproof jacket a few times per season is actually beneficial. During regular use, the clothing amasses soil from external sources as well as from your own body which can eventually lower its performance, since dirt and grime can hinter the waterproofing and breathability of the item. When cleaned, skiwear needs to receive special care as the materials are often different from the rest of your wardrobe. Taking your ski jacket to the conventional dry cleaners might be a bad idea because of the waterproof coating applied on most skiwear, as the toxic cleaning chemicals used in the process are very harsh and might damage the coating. Wet cleaning is a more appropriate option for these types of wears as the process is milder. As opposed to using solvents like PERC, our process instead uses natural and biodegradable detergents which is kinder to your ski items, as well as looking after your health and the planet. You can book your time slot online with BLANC here; we promise a careful clean that will blow new life into your skiwear season after season!
With these tips at the forefront of your mind, we wish you incredible and sustainable skiing adventures for many years to come - together we’ll make sure that the mountains stay protected and that their ecosystems remain healthy along with them.