Anyone who enjoys skiing loves nature and outdoor sports. This raises the question for many as to whether winter sports can be combined with a clear conscience towards nature and the environment. If you would like to focus more on sustainability, but still don't want to miss out on your favorite sport, then this blog is for you. We'll give you some tips that will help you make more conscious decisions for nature and the environment when doing winter sports.
Even before your ski holiday – sustainable equipment
Before your sustainable ski holiday starts, you can make the first conscious decisions that will make your ski day more environmentally friendly. As in so many areas, the longer you use your ski equipment, the more sustainable it is! So think about whether you really need a new outfit or equipment for each new season. If you really want to stock up, consider second-hand items or simply rent the equipment. This is not only good for the climate, but also for your bank account 😉
The way to the ski area
Skiing is a very energy and CO₂ intensive sport due to lifts and circumcision systems. But did you know that the journey to the skidestination also plays an important role in the CO₂ balance of your skiing day? So by choosing a ski resort near you with a short travel time, you can make a sustainable decision. Of course, it gets even better if you join carpools or even travel by public transport. Many ski areas already offer shuttle services to the nearest train stations and surrounding hotels.
Not all accommodations are the same
When you book your ski holiday, you can also do something for the climate when choosing your hotel. There are some certifications that tell you which accommodations are particularly sustainable. The Austrian eco-label tells you which houses are actively taking climate protection measures. The Green Key certificate states that staff and suppliers are regularly trained to work sustainably and the EU Ecolabel recognizes all kinds of sustainable products and services.
Sustainability on the slopes
Dear freeriders, you have to be brave now: sustainable skiing also means avoiding off-piste paths. Unfortunately, anyone who enjoys skiing off-road also harms nature and ecosystems. Especially in the forest, the ground is damaged by driving on remote slopes. This particularly affects young plants that are resting under the snow cover. But wild animals are also disturbed by freeriding as they retreat for the winter rest.
Ski touring – the sustainable alternative?
Ski touring is often referred to as the sustainable alternative to skiing. On the one hand, this is true. No energy-consuming lifts are required for the sport. But on the other hand, uncontrolled mountain climbing can cause long-term damage to nature. So don't choose remote tours, even if they are particularly tempting. You can damage the sensitive forest floor. If you startle wild animals on your ski tour, they usually flee from safe areas to more remote places that are no longer suitable as a habitat. For a truly sustainable alternative to skiing, your ski tour should be close to towns and, yes, ski resort . Care is taken here to protect the surrounding nature and to recultivate the ski routes in summer.
If you like skiing, you don't necessarily have to give up your favorite sport. Make sure you make conscious decisions about your ski vacation. Let's use the slopes respectfully together and experience a sustainable ski season!
Credits: Patrick Bätz