HOW TO BE AN ECO RIDER?
We are true mountain lovers and we love skiing and riding but how can we be more eco-responsible and environmentally friendly in our winter activities?
CARBON FOOTPRINT : TRANSPORT
Around 75% of carbon emissions in the Northern Alps come from transport. To reduce our carbon footprint, we try to avoid using our car whenever possible. To come on holiday, train is obviously the best way to reduce your emissions (compare CO² emissions by mean of transport)
We love adventures close to home, strong athletes will attach their skis to their e-bikes… you can embark on a challenge without motorized transport as Camille inspired us…
But easiest option is to use public transport (free buses in Morzine) or carshare to reduce number of cars in the valley (check out Morzine Covoiturage)
The second biggest source of emissions in the Alps is housing: At home, we should always keep in mind small daily gestures (length of our showers, turning off the lights…) and lowering the temperature of our home by 1 degree can make a difference.
CHOOSING MORE ECO-RESPONSIBLE EQUIPMENT
One of the steps towards a more eco-responsible skiing behaviour is the choice of equipment.
- Repair: think about repairing your equipment and clothes in order to keep them for as long as possible: ask people around you, local seamstresses or even use service providers like Green Wolf
- Rent or borrow: for one or two outings, you can ask around, hire from shops, or platforms like Les Petits Montagnards
- Buy second-hand: it will cost you less (better for the planet and for your wallet)
Many sports brands are committed to preserving the environment, using models made of recycled fibres, skis made of recycled materials, manufactured in Europe… (see our green pages on ski equipment)
OUT IN NATURE
When preparing for an outing, we find out about protected areas, breeding sites and “quiet zones”. (List and map) And of course, we bring safety equipment and find out about the weather conditions!
On site, we respect the restricted areas and information about nature. It seems obvious but important to remember that taking your rubbish back down is imperative.
Let us be discreet visitors, we share the mountain with those who are at home. Cold periods make wild animals more vulnerable (difficulty to move around in the snow, more difficult to feed…). In winter, animals live on their reserves. The deep snow represents a debauchery of energy for ibex, chamois, deers, roe deers… Black grouse bury themselves under the snow, if they are disturbed and have to leave their “igloo”, they become weakened.
The 4 rules of Be Part of the Mountain summarise the behaviour to adopt:
We also apply the funnel principle: Above the tree and shrub belt, wildlife is somewhat less present in winter, so we can move around very freely. However the edges and forests are refuge areas for most animals in winter, so it is recommended to cross them in a grouped way and to stay as much as possible on the existing routes or paths.
Small sacrifices on our part can avoid major disturbances to wildlife.
In the Portes du Soleil ski resorts, you can report your observations using the app Locafaune, a collaborative tool of the biodiversity observatory.
Let’s respect the fragility of our playground. Mountains are one of the last wild spaces in Europe, we need to act responsibly, with humility, to preserve this nature we love.