Being Environmentally Friendly in The Alps
30th December 2019 | French Alps
Year on year the knowledge of the environmental impact we’re having in our day to day tasks is increasing. We, as a collective, are becoming more aware, more conscious and more worried about what the future holds. How do we become more environmentally friendly in the Alps?
The ski industry holds a lot of benefits to environmental impact but also a lot of negative contributions in certain aspects. Ski resorts themselves are working hard each year to focus on their sustainability and most of them are succeeding in renewing and reinvesting.
For example, the 3 Valleys produce their snow-cannon snow almost entirely from reservoir water that has been collected by rainwater. Most resorts update lifts in order to reduce the number of pylons and make them more energy efficient. So, whilst the resorts are doing their bit, what can we do as individuals?
New company, One Tree at a Time, are paving the way in terms of holding local companies and individuals accountable to their impact and their ability to reduce. Their two main incentives are taking the ‘One Tree Green Pledge’ and also their ‘One Sleeve at a Time’.
The first is a way of pledging to do your bit for your local economy, as a company based in the area. The latter is super interesting. When companies can’t shift their sample gear, or when they have a slight manufacturing defect they are often destined for the waste. One Sleeve are taking these items from the companies and repairing them (if necessary) before selling on for a fraction of the price. Meaning people are helping reduce landfill waste and also getting some top-end technical kit.
Often when people are on holiday, they’re out of routine and therefore normal habits get thrown out of the window.
Where you might recycle at home, this might get lost in hassle whilst on holiday. Take the time to ask your chalet management company to set up an easy and convenient recycling system in your chalet. One easy step to take. Minimal fuss for you. Nobody wants to spend days of their holiday shopping for cardboard bins! A super easy step towards being more environmentally friendly in the Alps.
Drink the tap water!
This is a big one. The water from the taps here is essentially bottled water. Full of minerals and with far fewer chemicals than in other places in the world. You wouldn’t believe how awful tap water in London tastes after you’ve been drinking the Alps water for years. The amount of plastic wasted in plastic bottles is totally unnecessary and a really easy way to take a step towards being environmentally friendly in the Alps.
Take the train.
Or even drive. If there are a few of you, why not make a road trip out of it? See the beautiful side of the quiet French roads and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time. Alternatively, especially if you’re London based, the snow-train is a fantastic option. Leave Friday night, travel overnight in a cabin and arrive at the bottom of the valley at 7am. Head for breakfast, change into your ski gear and be on the slopes for first lifts…on the quietest day of the week. Serious bonus.
Recycle your coffee pods.
Don’t get us wrong, we know that feeling on Tuesday morning when your body is slightly crying, you’re exhausted from making the most of the après-ski, and you need an extra coffee (or two) before you feel ready to hit the pistes. Coffee machines are super easy and a great way of getting delicious coffee, but most of the time the pods can be recycled.
Do not drop litter off the lifts…
including cigarettes! One of the beauties of the mountains is the wild animals. When you drop a cigarette butt and the snow melts in the spring, who do you think will find it? That poor little marmotte! Take it home with you or put it in one of the many ash trays.
Take the Pledge. Have a read through for some top tips. Mainly aimed at companies, but well worth a read in terms of what changes you could be making as an individual. For example, instead of clearing out your old ski gear, send it to a charity shop or renewal scheme. Remember, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure…
It’s really easy on holiday to feel laissez-faire, but if we all kept our economical heads on whilst travelling then maybe little by little the impact will lessen, and we can continue to enjoy our ski holidays for years to come.