We are totally taken by the snow.
And we saw something lovely recently at the Philly Green Blog, where there was a good informative post about greening your skiing. Cos, you know, skiing can be very hard on the environment.
Downhill skiing requires snow grooming, and electricity for ski lifts, and new poufy clothing, and all sorts of other things (you didn't think the trees on your favorite ski hill just managed to grow in run-like formation, did you?) that might be unsavory to the green-minded.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Check out some green ski areas. Here on the east coast, Smuggler's Notch in Vermont and Jiminy Peak in New Hampshire boast high marks for their sustainability records: Smuggs' boasts some great sustainable architecture, and Jiminy's built a wind turbine to contribute to power. If you're aiming to ski outside of the east coast, take a look at Sustainable Slopes, the National Ski Areas Association's charter for the greening of skiing. It'll tell you which areas are in compliance with the initiative.
Consider alternate activities. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are two truly green activities that require very little by way of equipment and travel. Any existing wide-open area, like a park or a golf course, is open for both of these activities if there's enough snow cover. Pluses include a higher rate of aerobic activity and a fatter wallet: both of these activities are free.
Recycle your togs. As our pals at Philly Green Blog say, Patagonia's Common Threads program can and will recycle your used clothing. But you can also go one step further: repair a popped zipper instead of buying a whole new coat. Buy merino wool underlayers and socks from a company like SmartWool, which practices sustainable harvesting. (Merino wool is a natural fiber that'll keep you warm even when you get sweaty.)
What are your favorite tips for staying active and green in the winter?