How you can make your ski holiday sustainableadmin
Skiing is still considered a national sport in Austria. Nevertheless, for some, winter holidays get a stale aftertaste in view of issues such as climate change, artificial snow and deforestation for new chalet villages. In times of global warming, can you still go on a ski holiday with a clear conscience, and what are the alternatives?
The biggest problem is not so much the obvious facts such as snowmaking or deforestation, but the journey by car: A whopping 75 percent of the CO2 emissions of a one-week ski holiday are due to the arrival and departure by car. There are many Ski areas can be easily reached by train; You can then get to your accommodation by e-bus and continue on site with e-ski buses or e-rental cars.
In more and more ski areas, measures are also being taken to reduce the ecological footprint – for example, electricity is generated from photovoltaics on existing buildings, wildlife sanctuary zones are signposted and communicated or climate neutrality is sought through CO2 compensation measures. We went in search of new solutions, eco-ski areas and tips on how to make your ski holiday more sustainable – and we came to the conclusion: Off to the slopes, but please be environmentally friendly and mindful!
Is skiing still up to date?
Marion Hetzenauer , expert for nature conservation at the Austrian Alpine Association, on the problems and opportunities of winter tourism.
WIENERIN: Can skiing be sustainable?
There is no denying that interventions in the landscape are made in ski resorts that are problematic when viewed from the perspective of nature and landscape conservation. However, sustainability also has an economic and social component: Ski tourism has brought prosperity to many regions in Austria and is very important here.
What is problematic about winter sports?
If, as a mass tourism phenomenon, it crowds out all other interests, for example because large hotel complexes disturb established town centers, chalet villages near the slopes contribute to land use, species-rich meadows are leveled for slopes, or if there are interventions in sensitive ecosystems – the higher up the mountain, the more serious and sometimes irreparable are these then. And if the limits of nature are not taken into account.
What would the alternatives be?
Skiing brings people outside, it invites them to exercise, sport and socialize. For many, it is easy to relate to the mountain world in winter through skiing. You have to know something in order to appreciate it and want to protect it. With less après-ski mentality, but a stronger focus on winter experiences and exercise, skiing can still be viewed very positively today.
What is a nature-friendly ski holiday?
We consider nature-friendly activities to be those that have as little negative impact on flora and fauna as possible. In winter, the focus is on disturbing the wild animals as little as possible, which have to be careful with their energy during this time – being startled by skiers can be deadly for them. That’s why information is so importan