January 10th, 2011

Top 10 Western U.S. Eco-Friendly Ski Resorts

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Ski season 2011 is in full swing.  Here on the East Coast there is a mixture of  natural snow and the man-made stuff, making the conditions  perfect for any skier or rider.  Skiing truly is a great way for a family to spend quality time together in the great outdoors.

Wherever your skiing adventures take you, there are many ski resorts to choose from. Most of us choose a resort based upon location, but know little about the individual ski areas’ environmental practices and policies.

The Ski Area Citizens’ Coalition put together a guide of  the Top 10 and Worst 10 Western U.S. Ski Resorts based on the resorts environmental policies and practices. It is their mission to  provide ski areas with a standard on which to improve.

They used 4 categories to rank the resorts:

  • Habitat Protection
  • Protecting Watersheds
  • Addressing Global Climate Change
  • Environmental Practices and Policies

Here are the 2011 Top 10 Environmentally Friendly Ski Resorts:

  1. Squaw Valley-California
  2. Park City Mountain Resort-Utah
  3. Alpine Meadows Ski Area-California
  4. Aspen Mountain Ski Resort-Colorado
  5. Aspen Highlands Ski Resort-Colorado
  6. Buttermilk Mountain Ski Resort-Colorado
  7. Deer Valley Resort-Utah
  8. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort-Wyoming
  9. Sundance Resort-Utah
  10. Bogus Basin Mountain Resort-Idaho

According to Norma Ruth Ryan of the Colorado Wild (the umbrella organization for  the Ski Area Citizens’ Coalition), for the time being they have no intention of expanding their report card into the Midwest or East Coast.

So I am starting my own Top East Coast Environmentally Friendly Ski Resorts list:

  1. Shawnee Peak in Bridgton, Maine is a wonderful family mountain. It has a long list of green initiatives, making it appear to be very eco-friendly.

Disclaimer: I didn’t use the same method used by the Ski Area Citizens’ Coalition to make this determination. We ski at this mountain on a regular basis and see first hand how conscientious the mountain truly is.

When planning a family vacation-choose your ski resort wisely. By making eco-friendly  choices, you can encourage the improvement of environmental business policies and practices at ski resorts.

Know any other great, green resorts that should be included?

Interested in the list of the the 10 Worst Ski Resorts-click HERE.

*Top photo used under Creative Commons from Planetlight

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7 Responses to “Top 10 Western U.S. Eco-Friendly Ski Resorts”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sandra Lee. Sandra Lee said: RT @groovygreenlivi: New: Top 10 Eco-Friendly Ski Resorts http://t.co/Tn6oXYp […]

  2. When we lived in California we would go to Squaw Valley so I am really glad to see it is at the top of the list. New to your blog and I really like it!

  3. Hi Alicia. Thanks so much for stopping by! Squaw Valley scored very high on the environmental stewardship scorecard-great mountain to visit.

  4. Hi again! Something I forgot to mention about the resorts we include on our scorecard is that the majority of resorts in the east are privately owned, with most in the west being owned by the US Forest Service, which is, in effect, you and me and every other tax-paying American. As such it’s not only our right but our responsibility to make sure our public lands are being taken care of in an environmentally sound fashion so that they stick around long enough for our children’s children’s children get to enjoy them!

    This isn’t to say privately owned resorts can’t or shouldn’t keep their practices green, but it’s far more difficult to get environmental analysis from these resorts and uphold them to the standards we set for our public lands.

    Thanks for the article!

  5. Hi Norma! Thanks so much for the clarification. I didn’t realize that most western resorts are owned by the US Forest Service. Hopefully the eastern resorts will be held to a similar standard one day. Thank you for all you and your organization do-it is so important.

  6. […] have made it challenging to head outside this winter. Even when I do spend time outside (I’m an avid skier) I’m covered head to toe so there’s no chance of daylight hitting my skin. I used to be […]

  7. […] snow at the moment I have high hopes that mother nature will dump some of her white stuff on the ski slopes. If you need me, chances are I’ll be skiing, reading, cooking or playing a board game by the […]

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. Come along with me as I work hard to make the world a little safer for each of us.

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