OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE – Mt. Hood, OR – Mt. Hood Meadows will commemorate Earth Day by leaving a carbonless footprint on April 22. The resort will purchase enough Green Tag carbon offsets to operate entirely on clean wind energy. The Green Tag program was pioneered by Mt. Hood Meadows and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF), a non-profit organization, several seasons ago and has now become a nationwide movement marketed through the SkiGreen.org website. BEF sells carbon offsets as renewable energy certificates, to replace traditional polluting sources of electricity with clean, secure, and sustainable renewable sources of energy that come from solar and wind power from across North America. The program started at Mt. Hood Meadows and has grown to 26 ski areas across the country.
Resort Sustainability Manager Heidi Logosz says the resort has been an innovator in developing environmental programs such as Green Tags. "Mt. Hood Meadows joined forces with BEF in 2002 to make mini-green tags available to our guests at $2 each, equivalent to offsetting one round trip car ride to the mountain from Portland. We also offered Green Tags at $20 to pass holders and members of our staff. The program won a Silver Eagle environmental award from the National Ski Area's Association and has grown to become the 'Ski Green' program at dozens of other forward thinking ski areas. But it all started here at Mt. Hood Meadows."
Meadows operates its Shooting Star and Vista high speed quad chairlifts entirely on clean wind energy through the purchase of renewable energy credits and expects to offset more of its energy needs in the future.
Meadows was a charter member of the National Ski Areas Association Sustainable Slopes Environmental Charter adopted in 2000. The resort has developed or adopted many progressive environmental and sustainable programs, including:
* Implementing use of biodegradable cutlery, beverage cups and tableware in many of the food service areas including the use of potato starch cutlery, corn starch cold beverage cups, sugar cane and bamboo tableware (plates & bowls).
* Actively pursuing an on-mountain, in-vessel composting program to include these items in addition to food waste, thereby further reducing its waste stream beyond what it is already doing through recycling efforts.
* Procuring local products to achieve its mission of shopping in a local food shed to reduce transportation, etc.
* Using green cleaning solutions which are less harmful to users and the environment.
* Purchasing organic, free trade coffee from Tully’s (utilizing 100% compostable ecotainer cups).
* Converting its fleet of diesel vehicles and equipment (snowcats and buses) to use B5 blend bio diesel.
* Actively promoting carpooling with special incentives including giveaways and mass transportation through bus programs which offer discounted lift tickets.
* LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver certification is being pursued for the new Ski Patrol Headquarters building. If approved, the headquarters would be the first LEED project for the ski area. The certification would validate the process of achieving the high standards for environmental stewardship, quality construction, and healthy workplace that sustainable building provides. LEED certification will be pursued for future projects.
* Recycling 100% of our used trans fat free fryer cooking oil by donating for use in bio fuel.
The resort has created a new position of Sustainability Manager to further its environmental and sustainability efforts. The resort recognized Earth Day this past weekend by involving such organizations as Columbia Riverkeeper, Columbia Gorge Ecology Institute, United States Forest Service, Gorge Re-Build It Center, Earth Share Oregon, and the Oregon Environmental Council which had the opportunity to educate guests on their causes.