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Eco ski holidays

Green ski resorts, eco-friendly accommodation & how to ski sustainably with SNO ®

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If you love the mountains even half as much as we do, you’ll see they’re something worth fighting for. Responsible tourism’s becoming more important than ever and there are several ways that green-minded skiers and snowboarders can reduce their negative environmental impact on a trip to the slopes.

More and more ski resorts, hotels, chalets, restaurants and shops are making pledges to the planet to provide a cleaner, greener alpine experience - using renewable energy, minimising waste and plenty besides. If you’re keen to ski consciously and make your next ski holiday eco-friendly, read on for the where’s and how’s.

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Eco ski chalets

Resorts are steadily tightening their guidelines when it comes to the sustainable building processes and energy-efficiency of new chalets. Many older chalets are being revamped to make them greener too.

Leading the way in the luxury department is Chalet Rock in Verbier, which has a solar and wood pellet powered heating and ventilation system. In La Plagne, Chalet Mont Blanc, Chalet Pierra Menta 1 and Chalet Pierra Menta 2 run on zero-rated biomass heating.

Eco ski hotels

Environmentally friendly measures are being put in place across ski hotels worldwide - all the way from simple initiatives like reusing bath towels to completely offsetting your carbon emissions.

See our eco-friendly ski hotels page for the world’s best green ski hotels – praiseworthy properties that move mountains to make their lodgings Mother Nature-friendly in as many ways as possible.

Best eco-friendly ski resorts

Eco-friendly travel to ski resorts

The most sustainable travel methods to reach ski resorts from the UK are:

i) Taking the ski train from St Pancras / Ashford to a resort with (or near) a train station

ii) Driving from home. Particularly if it’s in a hybrid or electric vehicle, but even without a ‘green car’ you’ll use a lot less CO2 than flying.

If you need to travel by aeroplane, direct flights are more efficient (the more times you land and take off, the more fuel used) and it certainly helps the planet if you use an airline where you can offset your carbon footprint (this included British Airways, SWISS and Virgin Atlantic last time we checked). Once you land, see if you can hire or book a transfer in an EV / hybrid or opt for a shared transfer or public transport.

Eco ski clothes & equipment

Ethically produced and sustainably sourced ski clothing is becoming easier to find – look for thermals and socks made from organic cotton or bamboo fabric and fleeces and outerwear made from recycled materials (such as plastic bottles or fishing nets). Another economical option is to buy your ski gear second hand.

If you’re purchasing new skis, poles, snowboard, boots or goggles, check out brands that use sustainable materials like responsibly sourced wood or recycled plastics and metals. Make sure your ski or snowboard wax is biodegradable. Bear in mind that the lighter you pack, the lesser your carbon footprint. If you don’t already own your own equipment, hiring is a good way to support local businesses and shrink your carbon footprint further by not adding to your baggage weight.

Eco skiing tips – how to be green on the slopes

  • Before you leave home, turn off appliances at the socket and lower the central heating so you’re not warming an empty house
  • Look out for hotels, restaurants and resorts with labels like LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and Green Globe certification
  • In your accommodation, turn off heating / air con if you want to open the windows
  • Make sure lighting, air conditioning and heating are turned off when you leave your room
  • Opt not to have your towels washed
  • Bring a reusable water bottle or pouch
  • Ask for no straw when you buy a drink:
    How to say ‘no plastic straw please’ in French: pas de paille plastique sil vous plait!
    How to say ‘no plastic straw please’ in German: Ich möchte einen Papierstrohhalm
  • Buy regional food and drink as much as possible – there are some incredible cheeses, cured meats and wines from the Alps that will have travelled far less food miles than international nosh
  • Don’t print boarding passes, tickets or confirmations unless you have to - usually saving them on your phone is fine
  • Download the piste map on your phone so that you don’t need a paper one
  • If you smoke, take something with you to put the cigarette ends in

Eco-friendly companies - make your ski trip even more sustainable

Salomon
ISO 14001 and 50001 certified, Salomon have a strong sustainability program and by 2025 they plan to cut their carbon emissions by 20% (per million euros of annual revenue), display the environmental performance of every product, increase waste reuse/recycling by 70% and quite a bit more.
Poleplant
Already swapped your toothbrush to bamboo? Next stop – ski poles. Poleplant’s bamboo ski poles are at least twice as strong as aluminium ones, and happen to be made from one of the fastest growing, most oxygen producing resources there is.
Liberty Skis
Liberty use bamboo to form the core of their skis – it gives the skis flex which makes them durable over time and is also superbly sustainable.
Lib Tech
Lib Tech snowboards are born in the incredibly eco Mervin factory – which runs on biofuel and hydroelectric and produces no hazardous waste whatsoever. Mervin-made products feature eco materials like bio-plastics, additive free basalt fibres and renewable woods.
Jones Snowboards
If you haven’t already heard of Jeremey Jones (you should’ve), he’s the founder of Protect Our Winters and our all-time hero when it comes to the fight for climate change. His snowboard brand, Jones, has aimed for sustainability since it started: the company invests in renewable energy and donates to non-profits in areas like rainforest reforestation. The latest Jones snowboards feature top sheets of eco plastic, sidewalls of recycled ABS and water-based ink for graphics. Plus they do some awesome organic hoodies and tees for après.
NZero Wax
NZero make waxes for alpine skiers, boarders, ski tourers, split boarders and XC skiers. They come in universal, warm, cold, and xtra cold varieties and all are completely, utterly eco: no paraffins, no fluorates, no mineral oils, no toxic fumes… These waxes are formed from soybean and corn extracts and they work flipping well.
BeaverWax
Canada-based BeaverWax create paraffin-based ski and snowboard wax made with environmentally friendly additives – not even a whiff of those nasty perfluorinated chemicals (PFC’s). Their range covers warm temp, cold temp and all temp waxes – including Buttered Popcorn, Beer, Bubble Gum and - our fave - Baked Apple Pie flavours. Besides smelling spectacular, the stuff works wonders – lots of amateur champions use it and everyone else should be.
Picture Organic Clothing
Setting mountain high standards for slow ski fashion, Picture’s ski and snowboard wear is organic, bio-sourced, recycled AND great looking. Their collection covers snow jackets, snow pants, midlayers, helmets, beanies and more (that’s for women, men and children). Outerwear and helmets are made from recycled plastic bottles, linings are formed with scrap fabric and when it comes to water repellents, PFC has been banned in exchange for a renewable alternative. The transport of goods is eco-conscious and everything is made to LAST.
Open Wear
After a mountainside lightbulb moment, a Kickstarter campaign that reached its goal in 12 hours then selling out BEFORE its first winter, this company has shot to eco skiwear stardom. Ethical production, sustainable (recycled, recyclable, PTFE and PFC free) materials and being totally transparent - or should we say Open - about their processes makes this brand a benchmark in how all clothes production ought to be. No wonder they’ve won the IPSO Gold and IF Design awards.
Bosky Optics
Bosky’s eco ski goggles feature hemp air vents, cushioning from recycled fleece (not foam), and plant-based bio-urethane. The company also make a stonking set of sunglasses with wooden frames. Plus, they’ll recycle any old sunnies or Rx frames and give you a discount off new ones.
Zeal Optics
Zeal use renewable resources to make plant-based frames and lenses for their sunglasses. Look out for their ‘buy a goggle, plant a tree’ program over Christmas too, where you can nab a pair of their snazzy ski goggles and do good to the planet while you’re at it.
Tens.co
Beyond keeping your peepers safe from the rays, Scotland-based Tens create a ‘real life insta filter’ through a custom lens tint. We didn’t think the mountains could look more amazing but these sunnies take things to a whole new level. More importantly, they protect the planet as well as making it prettier - formed from plant based and 100% biodegradable materials using natural and renewable resources. The packaging is completely recycled and biodegradable too. Quote SNO15 for 15% off :)
Proof Eyewear
Proof that you can look after your eyes and the planet at the same time, Proof sunnies include a renewable, biodegradable and hypoallergenic Eco Collection, Recycled Aluminium collection and sustainably-sourced Wood Collection, where purchases support health and vision projects around the world. Then, if you’ve damaged your Proof Eyewear or fancy a change, they’ll take your old frames and recycle or donate them.
Peep Eyewear
Peep rescue vintage glasses from landfill, upcycle them with modern UVA/UVB lenses then perfectly package them with a case and cleaning cloth made from recycled bottles. Plus, they plant a tree for every pair sold. Glasses don’t get greener - or groovier - than that.
Finisterre
Sustainability’s always been at the forefront for this Cornish (and B Corp certified) company. Outfitters for the outdoorsy, Finisterre’s offerings include fluorochemical-free waterproofs, recycled insulation jackets and natural merino baselayers. Everything’s designed durable, with minimal environmental impact and no single use plastic in sight.
BAM Bamboo Clothing
Not only is bamboo one of the most sustainable-to-grow plants out there, it’s also skin-kind and has thermal control, moisture-wicking and UV protecting properties. Transparency and fairness are at the forefront of all operations at British-owned BAM, and the result is a range of feel-good baselayers and other ‘green’ garms.
Ortovox
Ortovox are meticulous in the making of their mountain wear - watching over the welfare of animals in merino wool production and fighting for fairness in the factory setting. The company’s a member of the Fair Wear Foundation, the European Outdoor Conservation Association AND the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles – as well as setting up the Ortovox Wool Promise which ensures the very best standards in all stages of wool-making.
Teko
Teko’s sustainable ski socks aim to be the ‘best sock on the planet and the best sock for the planet’. They’re created with the smallest carbon footprint possible: processes are chlorine-free, non-toxic and run on renewable energy. Mileage is kept to a minimum and boat transportation is used instead of air. All merino wool’s fairly priced and humanely sourced, while manmade materials are formed from recycled plastic bottles and fishing nets. Packaging-wise, it’s recycled, recyclable and as little as possible. Designed to be long-lasting, you won’t need to replace these socks every season either.
Tesla Transfers
If you want to cut your carbon footprint on the final leg to resort, Tesla Transfers is Verbier’s ‘coolest, safest, fastest and most eco luxury taxi company’. Their drivers will whisk you between Verbier and your train station (for the greenest method of travel), airport, or wherever else you want to be. Or, hire a Tesla and hit the road under your own, electric-powered steam.
ZEAT VIP
ZEAT stands for Zero Emission Airport Transfers and does precisely what it says on the tin. Using Tesla Model X cars, their own solar panels and hydroelectricity from the local grid, they provide carbon-free luxury transfers between Geneva and Chambery airports and ski resorts across the Tarentaise: Espace Killy, 3 Valleys and Paradiski resorts included.
SnowDrone Tesla Transfers
SnowDrone have two Tesla Model X 100D’s among their fleet, letting you book zero-emission travel from Geneva, Grenoble, Chambery and Lyon airports or Bourg train station to numerous resorts in the 3 Valleys, Espace Killy and Paradiski regions and beyond. If the treats of riding in a Tesla alone don’t wow you, SnowDrone luxuries like individual iPads, and Bose headphones are sure to do the trick.

SNO Carbon - an Environmentally Friendly UK Travel Agent

Besides promoting eco-friendly travel resources like this page, SNO has made great strides towards becoming a more environmentally-friendly business.

SNO waste - each member of the SNO team has a reusable coffee cup, water bottle and shopping bag to cut down on landfill waste.

SNO good - we buy Fair Trade coffee, tea etc wherever possible and support local independent cafes & restaurants.

SNO emissions - 100% of electricity we use is from renewable wind and solar sources.
Our whole team is committed to ‘green commuting’ – either walking, cycling or taking public transport to work.
Our owners have swapped their diesel car for an all-electric vehicle (which is powered by green energy).

SNO paper - we use a paperless booking management system.
We avoid printing unless it’s absolutely necessary – any time we do, it’s strictly double-sided.

Best Eco Ski Holidays

Hotel / chalet Resort Green credentials
Hotel Sunstar Beausite Saas-Fee Offsets carbon emissions, recycles waste, sustainable food
Fairmont Chateau Whistler Whistler In room recycling, eco lighting & showers, straw free, sustainable cuisine
Hotel Le Samovar Val d’Isere Uses geothermal energy, natural materials, eco-cleaning products
Hotel Belvedere Grindelwald Uses hydroelectric power & wood fired heating, excellent recycling & energy saving measures
Sunstar Alpine Hotel Arosa All carbon emissions offset, Tesla charging, sustainable food
Hotlel Trattlerhof Bad Kleinkirchheim CO2 neutral, own hydropower station, EV charging, minimal food miles
Chalet Rock Verbier Wood pellet & solar heating and ventilation
Hotel Terra Jackson Hole Energy & water saving, built with recycled materials, offsets power usage
Sunstar Alpine Hotel Grindelwald Offsets carbon emissions, uses a wood-fired heating system, EV charging
Chalet Mont Blanc La Plagne Runs on zero carbon biomass heating

We update this list often but facilities can change, so if any specific feature is essential to your trip, make sure you ask us to confirm the details before you book your holiday.


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