The Elephant In the Room

As skiers, snowboarders and climbers we have a problem: we love the planet we live on, and we enjoy experiencing amazing wild mountain environments all around the globe. Travel is part of our DNA. The trouble is we can see the damage that humans are doing to the very places we love, especially by our continued burning of fossil fuels.

In the mountains we see clearly the impact of this damage – we all see warmer winters, where big snowfalls are often followed by big rain events. In summer we have rocketing temperatures, dwindling glaciers and increasing rockfalls .

Mountain guides revisit places time after time; so I see first hand how much the Alpine glaciers are reducing in size year on year. In some cases glaciers have totally disappeared from places, where on my last visit there was ice.  Guides have an additional problem in that we actively encourage people to travel to the mountains to come and do cool stuff…  it’s our livelihood .

So what to do? Perhaps we can make some changes to lessen our own personal impact,  reduce our personal carbon emissions each year.  It’s a practical , pragmatic and realistic goal – and is a lot better than burying ours heads in the sand and doing nothing, but it doesn’t mean we have to stop everything we do.

Here are some of the ways in which I am going to try and reduce my carbon emissions:-

  1. Ethical banking.  This is a really big one – avoiding banks and pension funds that invest in, or products that rely on, the fossil fuel industry
  2. Reduce the number of flights I take . I’ll aim for a 50% reduction in flights, and try to use other means of transport where possible for short haul.
  3. Do a carbon literacy course – get more educated about it all.
  4. Support a ban on Heli Skiing in Europe.
  5. Reduce car journeys with more local journeys by bike or public transport
  6. Favour ethical brands for any equipment or clothing I buy
  7. Eat less meat
  8. Change domestic heating system and insulation to cut out fossil fuel burning, low energy light bulbs etc

Here’s  a few links if anyone is interested in more information about some of the above.

  1. Banking League Table – https://calculator.mymothertree.com
  2. Train travel in Europe – https://www.seat61.com/
  3. Carbon Literacy Courses https://carbonliteracy.com/
  4. Ethical Outdoor gear – https://www.cotswoldoutdoor.com/the-knowledge/our-favourite-sustainable-brands.html