SUSTAINABILITY ON THE SLOPES WITH REIMA


The future of snowsports relies on sustainability: the heating of the planet risks melting the snow and ice we love, with catastrophic outcomes across the globe and our playgrounds ceasing to exist for future generations. Climate change's impacts have already led to a surge in use of artificial snow at resorts - a method that's both carbon- and water-intensive. Kids' skiwear brand Reima have shared their tips for helping to protect the environment we love - check them out below.

Shop sustainable

Look out for brands committed to producing eco-friendly gear; many products are made from recycled or recyclable materials and use ethical production. Patagonia is leading the way by donating time, services and at least 1% of sales to help grassroots organisations protect what’s irreplaceable. Similarly, Picture have won awards for the use of recyclable materials in its ski clothing. And because we can’t leave out the next generation, at Reima we use specialist fabrics to save energy, water and detergent, and our children’s clothing is free from toxins and harmful chemicals. 

Maximise gear life

Taking care of your gear may seem simple, but there are actually so many ways in which you can increase the lifespan of your skiwear. When washing your gear, make sure you’re using a technical fabric cleaner such as Nikwax, as normal household detergent blocks the pores of the clothing and can cause it to become ineffective. When washing your mid-layers and base layers, use a laundry bag such as Guppyfriend to help protect your clothing from fibre shedding – it even filters the few fibres that do break loose by trapping them in the bag, stopping them from entering the water system and allowing you to throw it away appropriately.

Stay local or travel green

The carbon emissions released during a flight are no secret; it’s said to be the most carbon-intensive activity you can do on an hour-to-hour basis. So why not swap your plane ticket for a train ticket? Not only are there great skiing locations just hours from London, but you can enjoy the scenery (and mobile phone coverage) during your journey without the stress of an airport. For help planning your ski holiday by train, check out Snowcarbon. Another alternative is to stay local; the Cairngorms and Aviemore offer great skiing opportunities in the UK, or you can get a slope pass at an indoor ski slope if you’re a regular skier.

Start small, set goals

With great powder comes great responsibility. If you find the concept of travelling by train daunting to start with, why not reduce your carbon footprint by doing lots of smaller things, like bringing a reusable bottle to the slopes instead of buying single-use bottles or coffee cups. You can also litter-pick on the mountain as you’re skiing, putting it in one of your pockets before disposing of it properly once you’re at the bottom. Make a conscious effort to turn off the lights in your room (we know how easy it is to forget when rushing for the first lift!) and by adding a layer instead of turning your chalet thermostat up. Going forward, make some pledges on how you’re going to be more eco-friendly. It’ll motivate you and inspire others! 

Green resorts

Most resorts are great at being green, but if you’re open to a new adventure try looking for a particularly eco location. Chamonix, France plan to cut carbon emissions by 20% in 2020, and increase its use of renewable energy. Anzère, Switzerland has implemented Europe’s largest eco-friendly heating system, saving 1.5 million litres of oil a year while providing energy to 600 apartments, two hotels and an outdoor pool with spa. Its 50km of piste is great for families. Jackson Hole, USA hopes to reduce all carbon emissions, domestic water consumption and waste plus two of its chairlifts are powered by wind energy. Top of the list is Saas Fee, Switzerland or the ‘Pearl of the Alps’, seen as one of the greenest resorts in the world and famous for being car-free. The resort is committed to sustainability and environmentally friendly tourism and is a leading example of how collective efforts can protect the climate whilst improving quality of life.