Today is “Earth Hour”, also known as the “lights out movement”. Being reminded of this earlier this morning, I started thinking about the impacts we all have on our planet. In my beautiful home of Whistler, we feel the impact of the climate very strongly. Like all resort towns, tourism is the backbone of the economy here, and when the weather is good, the town & economy here do better.

While we can’t control the day-to-day forecast,  the impacts of climate change are being felt in many ways, including the seasonal snowfalls.

As temperatures rise and snowfall becomes less predictable, ski resorts are facing serious challenges. Not only does this threaten the livelihoods of those who work in the ski industry, but it also has significant implications for the local economy and the environment. In this blog post, we’ll explore the impacts of climate change on ski resorts and some ways that we can help reduce its impact.

Impacts of Climate Change on Ski Resorts As temperatures rise, snowfall becomes less predictable, and the snowpack becomes less stable. This can lead to shorter ski seasons, less snow coverage, and less consistent snow conditions. As a result, ski resorts are facing declining revenues, as well as increased costs associated with snowmaking and grooming. Additionally, ski resorts are seeing a decline in wildlife populations, including species such as lynx, wolverines, and grizzly bears, which depend on snow cover for survival.

Ways to Reduce the Impact of Climate Change on Ski Resorts There are several ways that ski resorts can reduce their impact on the environment and help combat climate change. Here are a few examples:

  1. Promote Sustainable Transportation: Encourage visitors to use public transportation or carpool to reduce carbon emissions. Providing shuttle services between the airport and the ski resort can also help to reduce emissions.
  2. Reduce Energy Consumption: Implement energy-efficient practices throughout the resort, such as using LED lighting and installing high-efficiency HVAC systems. Additionally, resorts can install renewable energy systems such as solar panels, wind turbines, and geothermal heating systems.
  3. Reduce Waste: Implement a waste reduction program, including composting and recycling, to reduce the amount of waste generated by the resort. Encourage guests to bring their own reusable water bottles and coffee cups to reduce single-use plastic waste.
  4. Promote Sustainable Practices: Encourage visitors to take environmentally friendly actions, such as turning off lights when not in use and reducing water usage. Additionally, resorts can educate guests about the importance of protecting the environment and the role that they can play in reducing their impact.
  5. Collaborate with Local Communities: Work with local communities to implement sustainable practices and support conservation efforts. This can include partnering with local conservation organizations or supporting local clean energy initiatives.

In conclusion, the impacts of climate change on ski resorts are real and significant. However, by implementing sustainable practices, ski resorts can help to reduce their impact on the environment and combat climate change. Additionally, by promoting sustainable practices to guests and collaborating with local communities, ski resorts can play a critical role in protecting the environment for future generations.