Snow Sports Consumers Look For Ways To Help Environment

Courtesy SIA

SIA recently released the results of a survey it conducted to “measure snow sports consumers’ feelings about the environment, and to look for patterns in their language to understand how they think about the environment and what language they use to describe their feelings about environmental initiatives.  The most common words used include:”

  • Recycling
  • Green
  • Waste
  • Preserving
  • Protect

The following comments are a small sample from members of the SIA Consumer Panel:

  • "I care enough to make daily changes in how I use energy and water (to conserve it) and participate in recycling programs and use cloth bags to get our groceries. Feel we are not treating our earth with the respect it deserves."
  • "I initiated the recycling program in my apartment complex and try to use eco-friendly products when possible."
  • "I hate to see things wasted and see things thrown in the trash that will just be buried for eternity. I try to recycle as much as possible."
  • "Protecting the environment is very important. It saddens me to see the impact of trash and pollution on the environment."
  • "I love being outside in nature and I love winter so I want to keep things as natural and unchanged as possible."
  • "I live in beautiful Colorado and worry that past and current disposing of waste practices will affect this beauty. I don’t want to ski on a landfill."

We found that our Consumer Panel members are looking for ways to limit their impacts on the environment such as recycling.  In fact, fewer than 10% said they DID NOT want to recycle their old skis and snowboard equipment.

Recycyle Chart 1

Overall, the environment and initiatives to preserve it are gaining in popularity.  In a recent ABC News/Planet Green/Stanford University poll of 1000 adults conducted last July, 35% of survey participants said they believed the "condition of the natural environment" was poor or very poor.  They also indicated that they are looking for ways to mitigate their impact on the environment and by purchasing products made from recycled, natural, or easily biodegraded materials is one of the things they were willing to do.

Recycle Chart 2

This represents an opportunity for snow sports companies to manufacture and market products to consumers who are looking to "do something" about the environment.  The current economic conditions make new initiatives difficult, however, many snow sports companies are currently working in environmentally friendly ways, and making environmentally friendly products.  The SIA Market Segment exhibit ECOsource features products and initiatives/practices that are either made from recycled materials, were recyclable and/or sustainable. The exhibit booth is constructed from recycled, recyclable and/or sustainable materials.  Some of the products and initiatives features include:

From the time at the pump to the Tuesday morning curbside pickup, more and more consumers consider their decisions with an eco-influence. This season we're taking what we've learned in the lab of the Green Mountain Project and spreading it throughout the Burton product line, offering consumers more eco-friendly options in a variety of styles within our outerwear, hardgoods, apparel and bags collections.

Helly Hanson offers the best in natural, renewable, recycled, sustainable and biodegradable fibers, scientifically engineered with performance properties. We think of it as "Technology and Comfort With a Conscience". Our packaging and all our hang tags have been transitioned into recycled paperboard with soy inks. Cotton is a unicellular, natural fiber that grows in the seedpod of the cotton plant. These ultra fine, long staples are used to produce our superior quality fabric.

MEMBERSHIP
EVERYTHING GREEN: THE ECO-ADVANTAGE

Many of our members are joining the global campaign and creating products that are ecologically manufactured and globally going "green" in the snow sports industry. Below are a few members that shared their Green initiatives with us.

ARBOR
Arbor's long-standing assertion is that solutions to many of today's most difficult snow, skate, and apparel design challenges exist in the natural world.  Since 1995, Arbor has been built around the belief – replacing, environmentally harmful materials with ecologically based, natural alternatives.  The goal is to create a higher level of function and relevance, in the most responsible way possible.  The result has been improved style and performance, with significantly reduced environmental impact.Arbor Snowboards

All of the wood materials used to produce Arbor’s exclusive wood top and inlay technologies are accessed from suppliers who produce their wood products sustainably. Also, all of the poplar used in Arbor’s wood cores is accessed from suppliers who produce their wood products sustainably.

Arbor used natural bamboo veneer and solid bamboo when creating the ALT Roundhouse Push and the Mystic Westmark snowboards. Bamboo is a remarkably sustainable resource that is naturally organic, requiring zero pesticides, chemical fertilizers, irrigation, or detrimental cultivation and harvesting practices to grow in an incredibly fast, self propagating manner that makes it also the most renewable material available today.

Arbor also uses lacquer that is applied to their snowboards and instantly cured with ultra violet light, thus eliminating the ability of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) to escape into the atmosphere and cause air pollution.

Through it all, Arbor has remained a rider owned and operated company.  After 12 years of hard work developing and distributing the greener option – they're proud to be known as the pioneer of ecologically-driven, rider-oriented design.  In the end, it is their unique approach that has allowed Arbor to develop an independent voice and arrive at today's fusion of green innovation and expanded environmental awareness.

As Arbor looks to the future – a commitment to the original mission will continue to drive the brand: develop products using the conscious approach to design that has defined the Arbor tradition; always source the most sustainable materials, improving our products without damaging the environment; donate to groups working to protect and restore the planet. Click here to learn more.

SESSIONS
Sessions also does its part by promoting and making contributions to the green effort. Sessions continues keeping green by practicing our "Green E.F.F.O.R.T. Program." Some of Sessions' E.F.F.O.R.T. contributions for Snow 10 include organic based clothing such as men's and women's organic cotton tees printed with water base ink and men's and women's organic cotton beanies. Check 'em out! At Sessions.com.

Also, at the SIA.09 Trade Show Show in Las Vegas, Sessions and SIA have teamed up for a second year in a row to supply reusable water bottles to SIA attendees.  As part of Sessions "11 Step Program to Going Green", For the SIA.09 Show, Sessions designed a reusable stainless steel water bottle that could be refilled at any one of the multiple water refill stations on the Trade Show Floor. This means less plastic water bottle waste taken to landfills at the end of the Show.

Sessions Going Green

Sessions "11 Step Program to Going Green", include Sessions encouraging team members to recycle in the office as well as at home. The added benefit is that recycling also saves natural resources. Because of our commitment to this we have began recycling toner cartridges and have provided paper recycling receptacles at every desk.

Sessions also does its part in the struggle for conservation by encouraging all employees to turn off the water when not in use and to use only what is needed. If everyone saved just a few drops a day it would make a positive difference in our future. Sessions also plans to ensure that all future purchases of computers will be equipped with this feature and that the feature is enabled. Sessions will also encourage employees to unplug electrical equipment that is not in use, thereby reducing the amount of standby power waste.

In addition, Sessions has decided to move forward with our goal of going green and has therefore signed up with Renewable Choice Energy to offset 100% of our energy usage with clean energy sources such as wind for the next five years. The savings to the environment is equal to planting 1,062 trees or in other words not driving 89,680 miles.  Click here to read more about the Sessions "11 Step Program to Going Green".

To learn more about the environmentally conscious products, practices, and initiatives of SIA and its members contact Mary Cecile Neville, Associate Director of Trade Marketing and Member Services at MCNeville@snowsports.org.