seconds a gondola carrying 24 people rumbles across tower pulleys
and shoots up 2-thousand feet to snow-covered cliffs surrounding
Squaw Valley Resort.
a lot of power to do this and it creates a lot of pollution. Squaw
Valley always knew that, but not how much pollution. CEO Andy Wirth
wanted to figure it out and reduce it.
"We have set forth on an effort about
a year ago to develop comprehensive, long-standing, sustainability
He started with the four-day
U.S. Alpine Championships last month. Staff calculated that the ski
lifts, snow-making, travel to and from the event and hotels for
guests pumped 275 tons of carbon dioxide into the air.
question is how to reduce that size carbon footprint. The answer in
Andy Wirths case is, start small. 78 percent of the pollution was
produced by air and car travel to the event. He couldn't change
that, but he introduced a shuttle to reduce car traffic. Then he
looked in other places where carbon emissions occur and started a
pilot program composting the trash.
one thing that threw me off was actually how we are not advanced in
this area and there is great opportunity to advance the practices
on recycling and composting."
The effort made Wirth realize just how much work is left to
regionally we think that there is an opportunity to lead or be a
strong participant in a collaborative effort in Lake
Squaw Valley is testing biodiesel, has begun a "green bucks"
program for skiers to donate to local environmental efforts. Wirth
is also considering a bio dome to grow food. It may include a
classroom for environmental sustainability education.