If your new year’s resolutions include greater green sensitivity even on the ski slopes, then the Ski Area Citizens’ Coalition has a tool to help you select your ski resort. At the beginning of the ski season, the 12th Annual Ski Area Scorecard was released and the top 5 Environmental Ski Resorts all generate some level of alternative energy on their own slopes. This a growing trend among U.S. ski resorts that reduces greenhouse gases and air pollution. Ski Area Citizens’ Coalition research shows an increase in the number of resorts generating or planning to generate their own energy on-site, with the Rockies leading the way.
The Aspen ski resort properties all appear on the top 5 list, as does Durango Mountain. Park City and Deer Valley represent Utah resorts on the top 5. On the list of worst resorts for environmental stewardship, sadly four of Colorado’s popular smaller independent areas appear – Loveland Ski Area, Arapahoe Ski Basin, Eldora Mountain and Steamboat Ski Resort.
The Ski Area Citizens’ Coalition describes its mission as promoting environmental stewardship. They claim to evaluate ski area responsiveness to the needs of environmental stewardship, local communities, and the recreational public in a manner that is consistent to changing economic and environmental policies. To read more about the survey and the 2013 results visit http://www.skiareacitizens.com.
Many ski corporations have become active in promoting concern over global climate change, due to obvious impacts on the ski industry. Even the National Ski Area Association has established its own sustainability program, Sustainable Slopes, with a three-year-old program called The Climate Challenge to provide a reporting protocol for individual resorts. But the ski industry finds faults in the environmental scorecard. Outside calls reading the report akin to “skiing through crud.” Bad grammar and horrible spelling aside, the Outside article is an opposing view with some worthwhile points.