BLOG The Snow Greenie – Winter on its way

June 4th, 2010
  

 

A Thredbo Sunrise. Mother Nature’s Beauty is well worth protecting. Image – Thredbo

Cam Walker – Alpine Environmentalist

With a couple of good dustings across the Alps in May, everyone is getting impatient for winter. Thoughts turn to the big questions: when will we get that first serious dump? What trips am I going to do? Do I need any new gear?

If you’re getting ready for the first big dumps and opening weekend, maybe it’s also time to think about:

Gear

The Green and Sustainable gear site brings together information and listings on green and ethical outdoor gear and equipment along with what’s produced locally.

http://www.greenoutdoorgear.wordpress.com/

There are a growing number of outdoor equipment producers who are paying attention to ensuring they have good working conditions in their factories. A lower impact snow industry is certainly getting closer every year – but only if we support it.

Our carbon footprint

Here in Australia, a trip to the snow usually means a lot of hours sitting in a car. But most resorts are well serviced by buses. Perhaps think of doing at least one trip a year by bus, as a practical way of reducing your impact. The Keep Winter Cool site has a carbon calculator so you can measure – and hopefully – reduce the impacts of your next car-based trip.

http://www.keepwintercool.com.au/calculator.php

Sunscreen

Up high, just that bit closer to the sun, we need our sunblock. But what about the hidden nasties? Check here for a guide to nano free sunscreens.

http://nano.foe.org.au/safesunscreens

Keep your recycling hat on

At home, most of us nowdays think about the little things that make a big difference: separating the rubbish from the recycling, turning off the lights when we leave the room, keeping an eye on water and energy use. A big problem with the massive influx of people to resorts in winter is that lots of them seem to leave their conscience at home when they are on holidays. Wasteful behaviour, lower recycling rates, cranking up the heating while leaving the door open. We’ve all seen it.

But if we can look after these things at home, we can certainly do it while on holidays …

protecting the Alps

Climate change is an ever a greater risk to the mountains that we love and enjoy. Please think about supporting one of the groups that campaign on climate change or protecting the Alps.

A few ideas:

Friends of the Earth Australia
http://www.foe.org.au/

Protect Our Winters
http://protectourwinters.org/
More ideas and contacts for local groups here
http://themountainjournal.wordpress.com/community/groups/