Sunday, January 27, 2008

Skiing Green

To a lot of people in the U.S., not necessarily Texans though, when the Winter season starts approaching the picture of powder laced ski slopes fills the head. Generally the people that enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and overall outdoor activities are environmentally conscious, but a lot of times we forget just how energy-intensive ski resorts are. Ski resorts operate snow machines that consume lots of energy and massive amounts of water, ski lifts, and many resort amenities including outdoor heated pools and hot tubs, and large hotels.

This article from The Washington Post brings some of these energy-intensive acts to light and also mentions some measures that slopes are taking to be environmentally conscious. It specifically mentions Aspen for using biodiesel in it's snow-grooming machines (we'll save the argument over biodiesel for another day...) and installing solar panels. Also, a resort in Mass. has installed an on-site wind turbine used for meeting part of the resorts energy needs.

It's also interesting to note that these resorts have a very specific interest in being environmentally friendly, as they are the ones that have their money making winter season reduced for every increase in temperature due to global warming. Being environmentally conscious lends itself to all activities, especially those which allow us to enjoy nature for all it has to offer. In the article Daniel Lashof, chief climate scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, puts it best by saying, "being a good environmentalist isn't about giving up the activities that we enjoy doing; it's about doing them smart."

1 comment:

Candide said...

Alpine Meadows, near North lake Tahoe, also purchases 100% of its energy from renewable sources. Now, if only I had a carbon neutral way of getting there right now -- Tahoe got 3 feet today!!!