Skiing and climate change: 5 ways to Ski and Ride more Sustainably


It got real when patrol commented on my sewing job. Rather than replace I have always tried to repair and sustain my ride gear over time—a dirtbag with duct tape. After all, as skiers and snowboarders we are on the forefront of climate change, and I've always felt that it's up to us to make a difference.

Hearing the patroller comment about the serious tape operation down my snow pants’ backside, though, I was thinking quite possibly my ass was hanging out as I buckled in for the run. 

It was then I thought to myself “ok, it’s time to retire the pants.” Fifteen years these pants rode with me for well over 1,000 days on the mountain. I am a guy who likes to wear things until they can’t be worn no more (hats off Mountain Equipment co-op for these trusted beauties).

I replaced them with a leader in the sustainable outerwear movement and it got me thinking about rounding up a few solutions for skiing or riding sustainably.

5 Ways to Ski More Sustainably

We know we have to change our behaviours if we are sustain life on this planet, not just the luxury of skiing and snowboarding. We feel the effects every season, whether it's a drought in Europe or massive California storms (as we are seeing this winter 2023). 

So finding ways to reduce our impacts is crucial. If we don't act quickly, climate scientists predict some regions could see the ski season shrink as much as 13 to 22 per cent by 2050!

The necessity is tangible. Here are five ways you can act now.

1. Source sustainable outerwear

Picture Organic Clothing is leading the space in the sustainable clothing market. The company has a plastic recycling machine as part of their operations to make their clothes!

And they fund the production of films like this jem—Shelter (give it a watch)—and click in to the magnitude of the moment we are living through. 

Doc Pow's Snowpants - Before/After
Old snow gear with duct-taped repairs
Sustainably crafted snowpants
2. Pass on your used gear 

When your gear has reached the end of its journey with you, it might be just what someone new to the sport could be looking for...


... Or it could become winter clothing for a New Canadian. Give your former ski or ride gear to the folks at Goodwill. 

3. Reduce water-heavy consumption

Did you know it takes over 6,800 LITERS of water to make one pound of hamburger? 6800 LITRES = 240,000 OUNCES of snow; equates to 7,000,000 chocolate chip size flakes of POW. Read more about how changing food consumption habits can make a difference. 

Shaun Hutt snowboarding in the Coquihalla backcountry
Photo: Shaun Hutt
Experiences like this can only continue with sustainable decisions
4. Protect our Winters 

If you like the idea of saving snowflakes, take the next step in winter conservation— become a POW member and take time to learn what they present.

5. Poparide 

This ride sharing app is founded by skiers heading from Vancouver to Whistler. Now they hook up the whole country with those of us driving a car with one or a few seats available for others to join. Driving to the ski hill and wanna make some lunch money? Poparide will help you send it. 

Sustain and share the stoke

Beyond the environment, we also need to cultivate healthy community for long term sustainability. There have been a lot of people unable to get out into some quality fresh air for a while, invite friends or family to the slopes with you. As many of you have already discovered, it’s a great way to connect outdoors. 

Welcome some sustainable changes to your stance this season, become a #SeekersAmbassador and let us all know how you are working to save our snow.

Join our #SnowSeekers e-news for more tips and tricks to making the most of winter in Alberta and BC. 

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