This year’s ski season isn’t as focused on the white stuff, as it seems everyone on the slopes is now thinking green. The New York Times reportsNew York Times reports that “snow guns are using oil-free air compressors, mountaintop restaurants are being powered by solar panels, and carbon offsets can be purchased as part of your lift ticket.” In their roundup of some mountains that are starting eco-initiatives, here are a few that we thought stood out:
With surprisingly little fanfare, Jiminy Peak, a small resort in Hancock, Mass., recently flipped the switch on a 1.5-megawatt wind turbine that reaches 386 feet into the air — making it, Jiminy Peak says, the first mountain resort in North America to install a wind turbine to generate power. The wind turbine will meet 33 percent of its electrical demand, the resort says.
[W]ith the 2002 Winter Olympics under its belt, Park City Mountain Resort is now training its sights on the environment. Its heated walkway at the base plaza [was installed] with a new boiler snow-melt system that is 98 percent more energy efficient. Also, to offset the walkway’s carbon output, the resort is considering planting more trees.
[I]n Jackson Hole, the new Hotel Terra Jackson Hole might make other ski lodges green with envy. The 72-room, eco-boutique hotel is set to open [Feb. 1] with energy-efficient windows, custom mattresses fashioned from organic cotton, chemical-free cleaning products, and a rooftop hot tub where you can sip fair-trade coffee.
We also got word that Kirkwood Mountain Resort in California’s Lake Tahoe region (which didn’t make the Times’ list) has overhauled their energy consumption at the lodge by replacing light switches with motion sensors, adding high-energy efficiency snow guns, and even creating a carpooling program to help shuttle lodge employees and skiiers to the resort. In all, they say they plan to save enough energy to power 300 homes and take 1,000 cars off the road.
Now, all you have to do is strap your green skis or snowboards onto your hybrid, and you’ll be on your way to having a sustainable day on the slopes.
Photo: Jiminy Peak
- Nat Geo Expeditions