Whether it’s Japan or the Swiss Alps this season, it’s time to reach up to the top of the cupboard and dust off those ski clothes. Or is it?
We are all more focused on the environment these days and rightfully so. We drive cleaner cars, offset our emissions, and meticulously organise our rubbish into the right recycling bins for collection each week. And you’ve guessed it: you can now go skiing in an eco-friendly way, and it’s easier than you may have thought.
Many companies now make eco-friendly skis and snowboards using bamboo such as Liberty Skis. Bamboo has seen a huge leap in popularity due to its strength, durability, and flex. You can buy the skis in London and many places in Europe like Verbier and Davos. Grown Skis is another maker that uses volcanic basalt rock instead of glass and carbon fibres, which help lower emissions. Don’t stop there. You can look after them using 100 per cent organic wax instead of wax containing Perfluorochemicals (PFCs), which are toxic.
What’s more, you can still look cool as you slalom your way down the mountain wearing hemp clothing from recycled PET bottles, in which Tierra Products specialise. Feeling the pressures from eco-friendly companies, now Columbia and the North Face are starting to come out with their own sustainable clothing lines. There is even Funi Wear made by grannies in the UK.
But the real conundrum lies in being able to go to an eco-friendly resort. As the world gets warmer, having a ‘bad year’ is becoming an all-too-common occurrence. Not to mention that ski resorts themselves require the clearing of the very forests and wildernesses we love. Chamonix has installed wind turbines and solar panels to minimise energy consumption and has included gladed skiing within a ski area, which helps protect the animal habitats.
In Scandinavia, the Åre ski resort‘s three main lifts will be powered with solar energy for the next three years, and the Canadian Whistler-Blackcomb resorts are so committed to renewable energy that they built their own hydro-electric plant.
Keen winter sports enthusiasts, have no fear: there are eco-friendly and frankly some cool options for what to wear on your body, your feet, and where to go. So go ahead, reach up to that top shelf and take those jumpers down, and take them straight to the charity shop … if don’t fancy recycling them for another season, that is.
Written By: Max Johnson