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Alison Gannett Crops to a Greener World | UNITED STATES, UTAH | 05/06/2009, by Swiss Miss
Gannett recognizes that as climbers, skiers, and alpinists, we witness firsthand the effects of the warming climate in our mountain environments. The facts tell us that the devastation goes far beyond the loss of classic climbing and skiing routes and will affect some of the poorest nations on earth, but few people are able to yet see the effects the warming temperatures have in their own daily lives. The loss of our alpine playgrounds allows us to tell firsthand, personals stories that go beyond scientific data.
Gannett, along with fellow skier Zoe Hart, recently completed a ski expedition to the Karakoram Range in northern Pakistan where the two attempted to ski several peaks in the area and provided internet video blogs to educate people on the changes in this fragile alpine environment. Their expedition blog can be viewed at www.chasingglaciers.com. Also be sure to check out Save Our Snow www.saveoursnowfoundation.org, a foundation created by Gannett to help educate people about how to live more sustainably.
Interview with Alison Gannett
How can we live more sustainably? How can the ski industry become truly green? Alison recommends a simple acronym to help us remember some simple steps toward saving our snow.
C: Calculate your Carbon Footprint
R: Reduce your Footprint
O: Offset your Footprint
P: Produce your own Power.
C: A carbon footprint is a measure of the impact our activities have on the environment, and in particular climate change. It relates to the amount of greenhouse gases produced in our day-to-day lives through burning fossil fuels for electricity, heating and transportation etc. A few websites offer Carbon Footprint calculators. There are several websites that can help you calculate your carbon footprint, but a great resource is www.carbonfootprint.com. This is also the first step that a ski resort or ski company should take when trying to go green!
R: Reducing your carbon footprint doesn't mean you have to immediately build a straw bale house and drive a car that gets 100+ mpg (though that certainly helps if you can do it!). It can be as simple as turning down the heat in your house, taking public transportation to the ski area, or replacing your light bulbs with energy efficient flourescents. The ski industry could reduce their carbon footprint by operating more efficiently, serving locally grown food at resort restaurants, recycling more and building less. Please comment with more ideas about how the ski industry could reduce their carbon footprint!
O: Buying carbon offsets plays a large role in combating climate change. Carbon offsets can be used to compensate for the emissions produced by funding an equivalent carbon dioxide saving somewhere else. Some resorts and ski industry companies have already started to do this. But according to the CROP philosophy, this should come after all reduction strategies have been employed.
P: Producing your own power can be done in several ways. Installing solar panels are one of the most common ways to produce your own electricity. More and more homes are also installing their own windmills to help take them completely off the grid. Building wind and solar power seems to be the most popular approach for resorts who are trying to go green. It's a great PR story, and at this point it almost seems like a competition between resorts! However, should they first be focusing more on R & O?