Green Snowboarding

Snowboarding and Skiing are great recreational sports, which are becoming more popular every year. But like any sport there are
environmental repercussions to its popularity, in both the resort business and the manufacturing of snowboards. The more people flock to ski resorts the more fossil fuels are used in the name of a sport that is dependent on nature.

Photo provided with permission from Aspen
Photo provided with permission from Aspen

Most downhill boarding takes place on prepared slopes; this involves removing trees and molding the land into suitable runs. In addition ski lifts must be erected to transport skiers to the top of the runs. Resorts also use vast amounts of water to make artificial snow, which is being increasingly used as ski resorts are receiving lower snowfall; the water is usually taken from natural sources which negatively affect ecosystems. It’s not as if the water being used by these snow cannons are just melting and re-entering the ecosystem the way the left. Unfortunately that's not the case, these cannons don't just pump out water the majority of resorts use the ingredient SnowMax a protein from the bacteria Pseudomonas Syringe which can produce snow at several degrees above zero and come with unknown long term effects. The chemical is completely banned in Germany but is used extensively in the United States and France.

Photo provided with permission from Aspen
Photo provided with permission from Aspen
Traditional Snowboard Manufacturing does not fare much better in the arena of environmental responsibility. The Majority of snowboards use unsustainable materials and harmful chemicals in the production of their boards. The use of excess fiberglass, polyethylene, nylon plastic, lacquer, resin, and the various chemicals that go into the board's decals have severely negative effects on the natural world and the workers who are involved in the manufacturing process.

Thankfully many snowboard manufacturers are doing what they can to save the environment and the sport they love from climate change. By innovating and creating new ways of building usable and sustainable boards companies are doing their part to 'green' a traditionally destructive sport. Likewise several ski resorts are doing their part to make sure that future generations get the chance to experience snow and all of the activities the come with it by reducing their carbon and toxic footprint.

Project links

Green Snowboard Companies

Green Ski Resorts

Atomic Eco

Community Involvement