With a couple of good dustings across the Alps in early May, everyone is getting impatient for winter. Thoughts turn to the big questions in life: when will we get that first serious dump? What trips am I going to do? Do I need any new gear?

If you’re getting ready for the first serious falls and opening weekend, maybe it’s time to think about:

ethical gear.

The Green and Sustainable gear site brings together information and listings on green and ethical outdoor gear, including what is still produced locally.

There are also a growing number of outdoor equipment producers who are paying attention to ensuring they have good working conditions in their factories. A lower impact snow industry is certainly getting closer every year – but only if we support it.

our carbon footprint.

Here in Australia, a trip to the snow usually means a lot of hours sitting in a car. But most resorts are well serviced by buses. Perhaps think of doing at least one trip a year by bus, as a practical way of reducing your impact. There are various ‘carbon calculators’ that are available so you can measure – and hopefully – reduce the impacts of your lifestyle.

If you’re a backcountry skier/ boarder, one option is to use buses to do longer tours: eg starting at Falls Creek and ending at Hotham.

hassle the resorts.

Most Australian ski resorts have given up on acting in any meaningful ay to reduce their contribution to global arming. In the US and Europe, many resorts are implementing a range of energy efficiency programs, sourcing green power (and even producing their own) and other measures. Resorts here have abandoned meaningful commitment to reducing impact.

If you stay in a resort, why not give them some feedback about the need for them to show leadership in responding to climate change?


Up high, just that bit closer to the sun, we need our sunblock. But what about the hidden nasties? Check here for a guide to nano free sunscreens.

keep your recycling hat on.

At home, most of us nowdays think about the little things that make a big difference: separating the rubbish from the recycling, turning off the lights when we leave the room, keeping an eye on water and energy use. A big problem with the massive influx of people to resorts in winter is that lots of them seem to leave their conscience at home when they are on holidays. Wasteful behaviour, lower recycling rates, cranking up the heating while leaving the door open. We’ve all seen it.

But if we can look after these things at home, we can certainly do it while on holidays …

protecting the Alps.

Climate change is an ever a greater risk to the mountains that we love and enjoy. Please think about supporting one of the groups that campaign on climate change or protecting the Alps.

A few ideas here:

Friends of the Earth Australia

Protect Our Winters

More ideas and contacts for local groups here.