Ski Resorts: Our Top Eco Picks For A Sustainable Skiing Holiday
These sustainable ski resorts are making it increasingly easy to enjoy an eco skiing holiday. By using renewable energy and implementing plastic free schemes and ethical policies at their facilities will make your snowy escape just as fun, but far less polluting.
Wed 5 Feb 2020
You can go a long way by opting for low carbon travel, sustainable snow gear and an eco-friendly pack lunch. Check out our eco skiing feature to see how you can drastically lower your ski-booted footprint.
Unfortunately, these factors alone do not make your skiing holiday automatically eco. The ski resort is a crucial environmental element to consider before you hit the slopes. Lifts, snow cannons, snowcats, shuttle buses, cars, taxis and all the other machinery and industry it takes to operate a ski resort can make for a perfect climate snowstorm.
Some Ski Resorts Are Not Eco Friendly
Ski resorts can easily fall into all the sustainability pitfalls that are typical of hotels. We’re talking mini toiletries wrapped in plastic, toxic cleaning products and excessive towel and bedding washing, amongst others.
It is still difficult to ski without consuming or contributing to any of this. However, there are eco resorts and companies who are coming up with sustainable solutions to this carbon guzzling conundrum.
7 Sustainable Ski Resorts And Travel Companies For An Eco Skiing Holiday
1. The Eiger Hotel, Switzerland
The Eiger Hotel in Switzerland is an idyllic establishment that is making efforts to protect the incredible natural surroundings it sits in. It is located in a car free village, Muerren, it runs on 70% clean and renewable energy and it uses a free mountain water source. The hotel also invests annually in energy efficiency and in improvements to save CO2.
2. SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser Brixental, Austria
This resortis accessible via the Alpen Express and it boasts some exemplary environmentally friendly initiatives. Every snow cannon and lance is fed by 15 reservoirs, all of which are filled naturally with snowmelt water. Photovoltaic systems are used to generate solar energy for the ski lifts and these also contribute surplus sustainable power to the grid. That is pretty impressive planet friendly stuff.
3. Laax Resort, Switzerland
Laax produces 100% of its renewable electricity through hydroelectric and solar power plants. They are located at the top of the mountain, which seems pretty logical. Laax also hosts a monthly ski clothes repairing session to promote the reusing of equipment, and has e-car charging stations available throughout the resort.
4. Trentino, Pejo 3000, Italy
Located in Val di Sole, Trentino, Pejo 3000 has banned all plastic products from its slopes. This rule does not only go for cutlery, flatware, glasses, disposable straws and bottles. It also applies to one of the biggest and too oft forgotten Alpine offenders, plastic ketchup and mayonnaise sachets. What’s more, three small hydroelectric plants power the valley with renewable energy and water recovery systems are used for new snow production on the slopes.
5. Lagom, Luxury Chalets
If you’re lacking an incentive to go for a more sustainable option and you’re after a really luxury experience as well, Lagom is well worth checking out. This Swedish chalet company has created an online search tool to help you pick a more eco-friendly self catering apartment and amenities and save money.
Scale back on toiletries as much as you like, reduce your cleaning hours, plastics, and towel and linen changes. The more sustainable your choices, the more discount you receive. You could save up to £2,000 from picking more eco options.
6. Mendi Holidays, Basque Country And Catalan Pyrenees
Another way to lower your impact can be to opt for a smaller resort that doesn't cater to the same mass of tourists, and can operate on a smaller, more sustainable scale.
Mendi Holidays are a small, up and coming company who operate in the Basque country and have a personal connection to the landscape they want you to come and respectfully enjoy. You will get quieter slopes and a feeling of being in the depths of nature. They make sure that all their towels and bed linen is made from organic material and that their cleaning products are environmentally friendly.
To end on a bit of a 'carve ball', Patagonia will be hitting the slopes of Europe for the third season running with their Worn Wear Tour. They take their bespoke wooden snow trailer to these destinations in France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Italy. Skiers and snowboarders, you can come and get your broken zippers, torn jackets and frayed gloves repaired as well as get tips and tuition on how to do this themselves. They will do this all for free! The trailer operates on a first come first served basis, and is out to encourage us to elongate the lives of our clothes.