Can a Snowboard be Green?


Mike Olson and Pete Saari, founders of Mervin Manufacturing. Image: Annette Veihelmann

Can a snowboard be green, or is that an oxymoron like a hybrid Hummer? As was noted previously, a sport where you a) drive two hours, b) get electrically winched up a hill to c) slide down artificial snow, d) repeat is questionable, but as an avid shredder (or as they used to derogate us grownups, "grays on trays") I will take anything I can get. Like Burton's new Eco Nico, which the New York Times tells us is:

burton eco nico board image

Burton Eco Nico
Fashioned from a startlingly simple palette of materials — a Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood core, a lacquer-free top sheet, 90-percent recycled steel edges, 100-percent recycled sidewalls and a 50-percent recycled base — the Eco Nico, said Todd King, Burton's snowboard business unit director, "is the greenest of the green, the most sustainable board that we've ever made."

Alex Warburton of Salomon (which I ride) explains the attraction:

"Snowboarders are attached to the natural world," he said. "They are going to be more apt to buy something that he or she feels is ecologically better for the planet. And if more sales are determined by how green you are, then you're going to have everybody doing it."

Right. One could say that nothing is going to make the sport sustainable, it just generates too much carbon, but Bob Carlson of Arbor makes a good point:

"To snowboard, we need snow. That simple premise should be driving everybody toward not just flagship boards, but greening everything they do."

New York Times

More on Snowboards in TreeHugger:

Q&A.; Non-Nasty Snowboard Waxes?
Arbor: Snowboards with a touch of Treehugger
Indigo Bamboo Snowboard
Arbor Snowboards Take to Bamboo with Ardour