Skiing offers a unique opportunity to enjoy the outdoors while taking in some of the most breathtaking scenery in the United States. When planning your next ski trip, why not take the environmental footprint of your favorite ski resort into consideration. There are a number of green ski resorts located throughout the western region of the United States.
What Makes a Ski Resort Green?
The Ski Area Citizens Coalition has put together a framework to rate ski resorts located throughout the region. The Ski Area Environmental Scorecard evaluates ski resorts located in the western region of the United States. The group rates ski resorts based on their ability to protect habitats and watersheds, address global climate change and the environmental practices and policies the resort has put in place.
Points are assigned to ski resorts based on a number of criteria with the largest amount of points allocated to habitat protection. Points are assigned to a ski resort based on their ability to maintain the ski terrain within the footprint of the resort, preserving land from development, protecting endangered species and their habitat and preserving the sensitive areas with the resorts environment. The group encourages resorts to fight the trend of acquiring more land for commercial development and instead best utilize land within their existing resort footprint.
Other elements the coalition takes into consideration includes the ski resorts commitment to using renewable energy, energy efficiency, avoiding the use of artificial snow making and implementing recycling and waste reduction programs.
Top Green Ski Resorts
The Ski Area Citizens Coalition features a list of their top green ski resorts as well as those that ranked the worst. The list contains Colorado ski resorts including Aspen Mountain Ski Resort, Aspen Highlands Ski Resort, Powderhorn Resort, and Buttermilk Mountain Ski Resort. California ski resorts that made the list include Squaw Valley USA, Sugar Bowl Ski Resort and Alpine Meadows Ski Area. Utah ski resorts that made the best list include Sundance Resort and Park City Mountain Resort. Bogus Basin Mountain Resort in Idaho also made the list.
As part of their go green initiatives, the Aspen Snowmass Ski Resorts have implemented a Save Snow campaign. The campaign addresses the impact climate change may have on snow production and provides tips you can use to reduce your overall impact on the planet.
Want to know how green your favorite ski resort is? The Ski Area Citizens Coalition provides a rating of ski resorts in the states of Colorado, Arizona, Utah, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Washington, Oregon and Wyoming.
Ski Area Citizens http://www.skiareacitizens.com/
Aspen/Snowmass: Save Snow http://www.savesnow.com/