With the winter season approaching fast, many of us are already planning visiting our favorite ski resorts. Snowboarding and skiing have become an annual event that many people look forward to. I couldn’t blame you. These winter activities are a great way to enjoy the year’s most unforgiving season.
But before you pack your skis, suits, ski stuff, and even the best ski goggles you just bought at http://winterbadass.com/, have you ever considered the ecological effects of this winter activity? Have you ever thought about how the complicated and energy-demanding infrastructures of ski resorts affect the environment? Have you considered the carbon footprint you leave when you ski?
Chances are you’re not aware of any of these.
It’s sad that many are unaware of the ecological costs related to resort skiing – much less, the solutions to these.
So, how does skiing punish the environment? Let me count the ways.
- Disturbance to wildlife
Global climate change already threatens the fragile ecosystem atop these snowcapped mountains, and further interference from resort-goers adds more stressor. Damaging vegetation, scaring wildlife and compacting soils greatly impacts the ecological unit. Some of these animals are forced to adapt but many choose to flee.
- Massive deforestation
Many ski resorts are situated in otherwise forested areas. Creating these resorts require cutting a large amount of vegetation to give way to ski trails, equipment and other ski-related infrastructure. This fragmentation of the landscape may seem appealing for humans but not for the creatures in the wild. Any changes in the landscape and deforestation negatively impact the habitat quality of animals.
- Increased water use
Due to climate change, most ski resorts experience a shorter duration of winter, with thawing periods occurring more frequently. To ensure that they provide continuous services to their patrons, most of these resorts use artificial snow to keep the slopes frozen. But creating artificial snow demands great volumes of water, often pumping from rivers, lakes and artificial ponds. For instance, a snowmaking machine consumes around 100 gallons of water per minute to make artificial snow.
- Energy consumption
With lots of massive equipment relying on fuel, resort skiing is a very energy-demanding operation. Ski resorts emit a huge amount of greenhouse gases that further contributes to global warming. For instance, operating electricity-powered ski lifts for a month would consume about the same energy needed to power around four households in a year. Moreover, the ski runs that groom the trails and are operated every night require about 5 gallons of diesel per hour – that’s added greenhouse gas emissions.
These are just four environmental impacts that directly resulting from skiing. Fuel used by ski resort-goers as they travel to the resort and the garbage they throw at the site are other things that are indirectly related to skiing.
So, this winter season don’t just excitedly look for the best ski goggles for 2016, broaden up your awareness at how skiing actually damages our planet. Consider things that you can do to help mitigate its environmental impacts. Choose ski resorts that have actively made measures to minimize negative effects.