Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

The opening of the Ski World Cup in Austria was cancelled this week, as were the downhill heats in Switzerland and France. This was due to no snow, after the warmest autumn on record. Many in the ski industry believe that it is the result of climate change. In Europe many of the ski resorts are closed, and others are functioning at a fraction of capacity. Artificial snow making has been suspended as a waste of resources and the season postponed indefinitely. Even resorts with glacier skiing have been affected. Disappointed skiers who do not want to cancel their holidays may have to take up other activities. Downhill chairlifting, (don’t get off the lift, just enjoy the view), hiking, visiting local museums and churches, reading a book in the hotel room, or starting apres-ski at the bar apres-breakfast, have been proposed as alternatives….

But in Aspen Colorado they are providing sustainable solutions to the problem. The resort’s snow cats are run with biodiesel, the chairlift operates on wind power and the patrol headquarters have a solar power system which creates a credit over the summer. Aspen was the first resort to join the Chicago Climate Exchange and the first to offset its electricity by purchasing renewable energy certificates from wind farms. They have introduced a SkiGreen ski pass with funds going to support renewable energy projects in town. Employees’ contributions to an environmental fund are matched by the company and put towards community-based renewable energy projects in town. If you want to ski green, this is the place. :: Financial Times

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