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Sustainability

Happy Mothers Day: Mother Nature

A handy guide to not being an arse to the environment

It’s Mothers Day so we decided that we wanted to pay tribute to the one of the raddest momma’s to ever exist – Mother Nature. It seems as though right now we’re the snotty teenage kid who calls their mum a haggard old trollop in JD Sport because she won’t get us another pair of Air Max 97’s.  We gotta start treating our Ma with the respect and care that she deserves.

“We’re the snotty teenage kid who calls their mum a haggard old trollop in JD Sport”

Climate change is one of the hottest (haha) topics of conversation at the moment, and if you don’t believe in it then we implore you to stop reading this now. Who are we kidding, if you have the same scientific views as that piss stain Donald Tr*mp you probably can’t read.

The fracking idiot Commander in Chief Donny says NO!11!!

Realistically, we know things have to change on a macro level to make the kind of difference that we need, but that’s not to say that we, as individuals, can’t make a difference within our own microcosm. We all as humans have a responsibility to be environmentally aware, but more so as people who enjoy snowboarding – the hint is in the name, we kind of rely on the presence of snow. We’re not saying ‘stop going snowboarding you planet killing toad’, we’re saying ‘be mindful and conscientious when you’re snowboarding please’. And as much as conscious consumption can be a slight neoliberal copout it’s all we’ve got right now so suck it up.

There’s a bunch of really simple things that we can all do to start being better pals to Mother Nature, and yeah they probably all seem super obvious, but we don’t seem to be doing them… So this is a proverbial kick up the arse for all of us to pull the metaphorical finger out.

Long train runnin’

Taking the train has been touted the greenest way to travel when compared with driving or flying, producing only 14kg of CO2, compared with 100kg per person flying and round 225kg per car. There’s no weight limit to baggage when taking the train, so pack as many outfits as you want you little fashionista. You can get an evening Eurostar and then there’s a bunch of overnight sleeper trains from Paris to loads of different resorts, so you’re able to wake up in the mountains and get on the slopes the same day. The Telegraph has a list of resorts easily reached by train, so consider going via rail on your next trip out.

Be a butt hunter

If you’ll pardon the childish humour, we’re talking about cigarette butts. Ciggy butts can take up to 10 years to degrade, and before they do they’re leaking out toxic chemicals which can damage organisms that come into contact with them. They also pollute the water supply as the snow starts melting come springtime. Val Thorens say they find over 30,000 butts under a single chairlift from a single winter during the post season clean. Grab yourself a portable ash tray, you can pick them up for a couple of quid online and hang on to them butts.

“30,000 butts under a single chairlift during the winter season”

Take a road trip

Grab your Shania Twain greatest hits CD, 4 cans of Red Bull and 2 bags of Haribo Tangfastics – you’re hot to trot. For real though, if you’re not lucky enough to live in a resort, you’re gonna have to travel there somehow and unless you’re doing one of those weird Forrest Gump things where you start running everywhere hopping in a car is probably your first thought. Driving over to the mainland from the UK is actually super easy and produces less CO2 than flying per person when the car is full. Plus, if you get the ferry over you can watch all the dead behind the eyes lorry drivers eat pork pies and play on the slot machines.

Disclaimer: Driving only becomes a viable green option when the car is full

PC: Matt Georges

(Don’t) drop it like it’s hot

This one seems too obvious to even bother mentioning, but apparently some people are still labouring under the impression that dropping their litter on the floor anywhere, let alone in a ski resort is a normal and socially acceptable thing to do. Take it with you, shove it in your pockets, stuff it in your mates hood, eat it if thats what gets you going, do what you have to do – just don’t leave it outside.

Buy from ‘the good guys’

Now we don’t think that any of these companies are complete angels and you have to take all of this with a pinch of salt considering the fact that snowboard production will always have a footprint, but there are some brands that are at least making steps in the right direction when it comes to the production of their goods. Mervin MFG have long boasted (quite rightly) about their zero hazardous waste production, Capita’s Mothership is run solely on Hydropower and Jones is a partner of 1% for the Planet. Whether this comes about by using recycled materials, sourcing their materials ethically or using less harmful chemicals, there are companies who are doing their bit to help out the planet.

Clothing companies are joining the fray as well, with companies like Patagonia, Paramo, Mons Royale, Burton and Picture all working to keep their brands ethical in one way or another.

Litter Pick

Most resorts operate an end of season litter pick so if you’re living out in resort or have a late season trip planned you should be able to get details on how you can volunteer and help. Apparently at a normal post season litter pick the average haul for each volunteer is 5kg – that’s madness. Or if you know your local resort doesn’t operate one, organise one yourself. Each piece of trash we leave up the hill can take years to degrade, all the while leaking toxins into the earth.

Go green up the hill

There’s stuff that you can do once you’re upstairs that can lend a helping hand to the planet, for instance take a water bottle up with you and there’s no need to buy a single use plastic one. Eat local food if you’re buying lunch, then there’s less food that has to be brought into resort and less packaging if it’s homegrown. While you’re riding be mindful of the fact that there is a whole habitat around you, animals and plants that call it home, don’t be a dick and trample all over the greenery getting to that super gnarly pow pow stash.

Mizu x Jackson Hole colab bottle

Offset your emissions

We’re well aware that it would be near impossible to live without producing some sort of footprint, but there are ways in which you can balance out the carbon emissions that you can’t avoid. A Carbon offset is a way to compensate for your emissions by funding an equivalent carbon dioxide saving elsewhere. You can calculate your footprint online and there are various projects which you can donate to.

Split the difference

One surefire way to save on energy consumption is to use your own energy – take a hike bud. Splitboarding is one of the coolest ways you can choose to spend a day on the hill, leg powered ascents are gaining in popularity each year for a multitude of reasons and one of the perks is that you don’t need to be getting on energy guzzling lifts. If you don’t want to shell out for new splitboard gear, just go bootpacking – exactly what it says on the tin, just walk up in your boots.

PC: Duthie

 

These are only some of the ways that we’re able to live a slightly greener life, if you’ve got any ideas send ’em over to us, it’s a learning process for us all. POW UK has some great resources on their website, and gives ways for you to get involved. So, happy mothers day Mother Nature, you bad bitch.

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