Is public demand forcing mountain resorts to clean up their act?
At 2,730 metres high, the summit of Sunshine Village has some of the most photo-snapping scenery of any vista in the world. On a bluebird day, one glance across the grandeur of the continental divide and formidable ramparts of the Canadian Rockies, and you’ll understand why this place is a must-hit on the checklist of any diehard skier or snowboarder. There’s an intrinsic and deep-rooted connection with nature at work here. When you’re riding through blower powder, it seems hard to believe that the byproduct would be anything but green. After all, it’s just the residual tracks you’re leaving behind — the symbolic and triumphant trademark of any skier or snowboarder worth their salt. Isn’t it?
Well, that’s the million-dollar question. Between the complexity of environmental science and the slanted agenda of marketing speak, it gets tricky. After all, to be green is not only the latest vogue of the ski industry, it’s downright good for business. At the end of the day, resorts are still in the business of making money, so if being green helps lift the bottom line — and let’s us all feel warm and fuzzy and guilt-free — it’s a win-win situation. But there’s more than meets the eye here. We’ve all seen — and seen through — the little card in hotel bathrooms that ask us to reuse towels in an effort to curb global warming. There is, of course, an ulterior motive here, and there’s a term for this clever repackaging of disingenuous, smoke-and-mirrors practise: greenwashing.
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