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An Ode to the Mountains

Cause

An Ode to the Mountains

There is something incredibly special about waking up at the crack of dawn after a big snowfall, like a kid on Christmas morning, the excitement barely containable. The morning routine — brewing that fresh pot of coffee, pulling on your layers, putting on the pump-up tunes, loading the gear into the car in the frigid cold, racing to get first chair — is priceless.

From the first fresh line under the peaceful silence in the trees, to the après ski in the lodge, if you love skiing or snowboarding you’ll understand this almost indescribable feeling and undeniable passion.

 

 

Every year millions of us skiers and snowboarders flock to the mountains to shred and play. A part of this experience that many of us don’t think about is its environmental impact. From the fossil fuels needed to run the chair lifts, to the water usage to make artificial snow, to the deforestation and disturbance to wildlife to build the resort, our passion doesn’t come without cost to our beloved playground.

 

 

We at Kindhumans are passionate about protecting and preserving where we feel most at home — the mountains, forests, and oceans — and this didn’t sit right with us. So we dug a little deeper.

We came across an initiative called the Sustainable Slopes program launched in 2000 by The National Ski Areas Association. Resorts endorsing Sustainable Slopes will pledge environmental stewardship within 10 priority topic areas. These areas correlate to 10 badges that can be earned through various sustainable actions. For this winter the revamped Sustainable Slopes 2020 program will also include a Skier’s Responsibility Code to encourage guests to engage on sustainability and climate as well.

The Code will include concepts of leading by example, placing collaboration over competition when it comes to sustainability, and making a commitment to advocacy on climate change. Endorsing resorts commit to addressing the following 10 priorities in their operations and will receive badges accordingly:

 

 

In addition, resorts can voluntarily join the Climate Challenge, a program designed to recognize ski areas that are committed to reducing their climate impact. Challengers do this by inventorying and reporting on their carbon footprints, setting goals for carbon reduction, implementing at least one on-site carbon reduction strategy per year, and engaging in climate change advocacy efforts. By celebrating and supporting the individuals, organizations, and companies that are standing up for change and taking action we can come together as a community to protect our playgrounds. Click here to learn more about NSAA and the Sustainable Slopes Program.

 

Here are a few ways you can shred with a lighter footprint:

1. Choose wisely: Choose resorts with sustainable initiatives that are a part of the climate challenge. Find these resorts here.

2. Use sustainable shred gear: When buying your gear, support brands with eco-friendly practices such as Patagonia, Zeal Optics, and Arbor snowboards. Click here for some of our favorite brands with sustainable practices.

3. Be prepared: To reduce unnecessary waste and single use products, bring your lunch and snacks and use a reusable water bottle. Check out some of our favorite low waste products.

4. Save the emissions: Share a ride with a buddy, find a local ride share, or check the resort’s shuttle services.

5. Get involved: Check out organizations such as Protect our Winters (POW) that are dedicated to protecting and preserving our mountains. Click here for POW’s Activist Road Map, a step-by-step guide to making an impact.

 

 

 

From supporting the resorts that build planet protection into their business, to using your dollars to support sustainable shred brands, we can all make the difference!

–KH

“We all need winter.” -POW

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