For many years 'mass transit' to our local ski area consisted of thumbing a ride at the 'Hitching Post' at the bottom of the road up the mountain. While effective (if hard to schedule) for one or two people, it didn't work for groups heading up. For the past few months there has been another option called 'The Blue Bus'. Early reports were dubious, but ridership has been building and the Mountain Trail Blue Bus looks like a success.
“That coal has to stay in the ground. You can’t make the math of climate change work if you get the huge coal deposits of the Powder River Basin out and pour them into the atmosphere.”
— Bill McKibben, author, scholar and environmentalist
Hey, ski resort. I know we haven't seen much of each other for a few months but the mornings have been getting cooler and I was thinking about you. I want us to be together every winter, but we need to talk. I love the great times we've had together but we can't keep going on like we used to. We could talk about the weather all the time: When will it snow? How much? Will it be light, fluffy powder or a heavy, wet blanket of snow? But things have changed and I'm worried about our future. We need to talk about CO2 and climate change.
You and your favorite ski area have a problem and that problem is trash. First, trash on ski slopes is shameful. Littering fouls the same mountains that we are privileged to ski and board. Trash is also a problem as ski areas must haul away piles of boxes, bags and wrappers to landfills. Even if your ski area is built over a trash incinerator, the trash you throw away has a carbon footprint coming and going from the snow.
Can a ski area grow and be green? Must a ski area expand to remain competitive and attract skiers and boarders? Does proposing a development plan make a ski area less environmentally friendly? These aren't rhetorical questions, they apply to ski areas worldwide. For example, Taos Ski Valley has presented a 10-year Master Development Plan to the Forest Service. As Taos Ski Valley operates on Forest Service land the public is invited to comment on the development plans. So, here are a few of mine.
Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving in the US is infamous for early-morning sales and hordes of shoppers. If your plans for Black Friday include a tactical shopping mission - I have a suggestion. Buy Durable Stuff. Whatever it is you shop for, choose products that are made to last. For a product to be sustainable it must also be durable. Now, how do you find well made, durable stuff?