Eco Travel | How To Go Green And Have An Environmental Ski Trip This Winter

Want to go skiing this winter but worried about the environmental impact?

Awards and accolades tend to be the driving force for many entertainers within our society. A prime example of this is an actor who will give a star-studded performance in return for that coveted Oscar. Likewise, see the musician that will pour their heart and soul into composing a catchy jingle all for the plaudits of securing a gratifying Grammy.

What we say, however, is who wants those trash awards when you could bag the Green Snowflake? In ‘le French’, it’s called the Flocon Vert. Anyway, this genuinely meaningful prize has been awarded to the ski resort of Les Arcs in France for the major commitment shown to sustainable development over the last year, with the resort now thinking much more ethically towards the future of the pistes.

This genuinely meaningful prize has been awarded to the ski resort of Les Arcs in France”

We know it’s been a tough year. We know you feel restricted and want to let loose, and experience some sweet skiing this winter. If you do want this, and want it in the greenest way possible, follow these six simple steps. Welcome to the future of skiing and snowboarding.

Trains, Trains, and Trainmobiles

The 1987 film Planes, Trains, and Automobiles will take you on a crazy journey, one fronted by Steve Martin and John Candy. The duo travel the length of America in the most gas-guzzling way possible and are probably single-handedly responsible for global warming. Whatever you do, make sure you don’t travel like these idiots. Get rid of the plane tickets, throw away the keys to the car, and sign up for a railcard, because just like Ethan Hawke, you’re going on a training day.

“To save the planet, you must become the ultimate train nerd”

Getting a train to France is the way forward if you want to be more eco-responsible. A Eurostar journey from London to France emits 90% less greenhouse gas emissions in comparison to the equivalent short-haul flight. It’s a no brainer – to save the planet, you must become the ultimate train nerd.

If you’re feeling like going full maverick, by all means, take a leisurely stroll to Les Arcs. Sure, it will take you the best part of a week to reach the resort, but on the plus side, your calves will be as big as the Eiffel Tower when you reach France. We would though, in all seriousness, advise against walking through the channel tunnel because the bastards will still probably make you pay for a ticket.

Visit Les Arcs – The Winner Of The Green Snowflake

Pictured: Les Arcs. Photo via Getty Images

You’ve been sensible, and you’ve made it onto the train heading directly for France. Now, the next step is to get yourself down to Les Arcs.

Growing up, your parents would repeatedly tell you not to eat the yellow snow, but they didn’t say anything about the green stuff. So get to this ski resort and grab yourself a luscious slice of the green snowflake experience. It’s a sustainable taste sensation that every environmentally conscious skier needs to try at least once in their lifetime.

“Your parents would repeatedly tell you not to eat the yellow snow, but they didn’t say anything about the green stuff”

The first ‘high performance energy chalet’ has been built at the chairlift of Lanchettes. It has already been a success by being energy efficient, providing insulation, and halving energy consumption. The ski resort soon hopes to have this pilot project spread across further locations.

The installation of solar panels on ski lifts and updates to the funicular from Bourg Saint Maurice to Arc 1600 is another big win in the pursuit of progression. As is the #Drinklocal campaign, and the resort’s journey towards “Zero plastic” (in a bid to combat the environmental impact of bottled water).

Head to Les Arcs this winter and enjoy some much needed, eco-friendly, time flying down the slopes.

Cut Back On The Beef Bourguignon (Go Vegan)

Credit: Iñigo De la Maza

Meat has been a staple in the Great British diet for bloody yonks, but will eventually have its demise. Drop that sausage and chuck away those chicken breasts because today we are all going cold turkey and quitting the meat game forever.

Well, maybe just for the first few weeks of January until we fall off the wagon and have a kebab crisis after some post-lockdown, post-vaccine, pints.

In all seriousness, when you get to your ski resort of choice, try and embrace the vegan lifestyle and say bye-bye to the beef bourguignon. It can be easier said than done in the mountains, with many restaurants still thinking a carrot in a bowl is an acceptable option for vegans. The times are a-changing though, so you should be able to track down some suitable options.

Choose Some Sustainable Ski Gear

A massive congratulations are in order.

Well done. You’ve made it this far, you’ve secured the train tickets, and you made it to Les Arcs in one piece fuelled by vegan crisps and soy milk. But, it would seem you’ve made the fatal mistake of buying non-sustainable clothing. Check the label of your hastily-purchased ski jacket, and it will probably say “made from 60% children’s tears and 40% puppy tails.”

“If you are buying new ski gear this winter, think sustainable”

If you are buying new ski gear this winter, think sustainable. We’ve got you covered with our Ski 100 powered by Surfdome, a celebration of some of the best ski products for winter 2020/21. Many of the products included have been put together with a sustainably-minded and environmentally-friendly approach. See our best ski jackets list and best ski pants list if you want to narrow things down a bit in your outerwear search.

The Haglofs V Series Mimic Hood, for example, is an eco-friendly midlayer jacket that doesn’t use a single animal feather. If that wasn’t enough, it’s also been certified with that Bluesign seal of approval. Alternatively, check out the Patagonia Upstride Jacket. It’s made from 100% recycled polyester.

For more on keeping thing eco friendly in the outdoors this winter, our friends at Outdoors Magic have done a Green Gear Guide that’s well worth a look.

Donate To One Of These Great Charities

It’s all well and good being at Les Arcs, having the time of your life in the here and now. Will you still be having the same fun in five years? Or will the climate crisis change the pistes as you know them forever?

If you want to have the full experience of a sustainable skiing trip this winter, then go above and beyond by donating what you can to some of the following charities.

They’ve made it their mission to dedicate themselves to saving our planet and do battle with the ominous climate change that threatens our world on a daily basis. If you can spare anything, then please think about supporting One Percent For The Planet and Protect Our Winters UK.

Go Ski Touring

Pictured: Fresh snow in Les Arcs. Photo via Getty Images

Of course, you don’t need us to tell you that the French Alps are the perfect place to indulge in some good old fashioned ski touring.

In the Les Arcs area, be sure to get unique perspectives on the stunning Tarentaise Valley by skinning / bootpacking up. It’ll be more eco-friendly than a chairlift plus, in life, things always feel more rewarding when you’ve earned them don’t they? Earn those turns. Encounter pure ecstasy in amongst the untouched powder of paradise.

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