The future of skiing is inextricably tied to the future of our plant. The health of the ski industry relies on plentiful snow and we all want to do our small part to ensure many great years of powder days and long, chilly seasons to come.
We have searched out companies whose philosophies, practices ,and production methods take into account the imprint which they are leaving on our earth. Being eco-friendly can sometimes come with a grain of salt, as it can be costly as well as very time-consuming to search out sustainable products which can stand up to what we are all used to.
Here is our OnTheSnow.com unique green gift guide:
Rossignol Attraxion Echo Skis- Ladies, these are for you. Built for the expert, eco- minded skier, everything from the ski to the Saphir 110 binding has been crafted with the environment and you in mind. Natural fibers, less petroleum and 25 percent recycled materials are just a bonus because you will be gripping the ice and laying down arcs like a pro. MSRP: $950
Lokomotiv Freebird- Hand-made skis from Sweden will set you apart from the pack. The Freebird is built to ski the entire mountain. It will bash through crud and float you through untracked powder. It will also hold its own on the hardpack. You may have to dig deep in your pockets to grab a pair of these but the Freebird is worth it. This company knows what's important with bamboo cores, minimal waste, and forest re-vegetation being at the forefront of their priorities,. These skis can be customized with rocker technology as well. Pricing varies
Movement Couloir- Here's a lightweight ski that can still perform. This is a fantastic backcountry ski as well as a big mountain ski. All Movement skis have wood cores, which come from suppliers who adhere to certified sustainable practices.
Burton's Green Mountain Project is setting high standards in an industry full of the same ol' thing. GMP started with a line of outerwear, which utilizes recycled materials and eco-friendly weatherproofing technology. Check out the Ladies GMP Lucky Pant and GMP Dream Jacket. All the bells and whistles are here along with a stylish and cute, uncompromised fit. GMP has since gone on to include snowboards, luggage, boots, bindings, clothes and accessories to the line up of earth friendly products. MSRP: $199.95-$259.95
If you really want to get your lady a sweet board then hook her up with Burton's Feelgood. She will carve effortlessly and cruise at high speeds without feeling like she is going to eat it at any second. Watch out for her passing you up on the hill though! MSRP: $559.95
You are going to need some green to pick up the Burton Method but, it will all pay off when you strap in and go for the ride of your life. Burton put everything they had into creating this super light, agile board. You will be able push it farther in the park and rip it harder on snow pack than you ever have before. You better ask Santa to hook you up before it is too late. MSRP: $1,499.95
In a world full of retro neons and graffiti clad hoodlums, Planet Earth is refreshingly mellow and affordable. Their designs and colors reflect the world which they see with respect, style and durability. The 100 percent recycled Station Solid Insulated Jacket and Division Solid Pant represent with cool good lucks, comfort, functionality and warmth. MSRP: $290 and $240
Need a light weight jacket that can go from the slopes to the lodge? The trendy Obermeyer KFO Down Insulator is made out of 48 percent recycled materials and is extremely soft and comfortable. Super compressible, you can easily stash this jacket away without a lot of bulk. MSRP: $199.50
Everyone secretly wishes their winter wear could be heated. Well, write home to mom because now she can order you a nifty, heated vest and some very cozy ski gloves, which still have plenty of time to make it to your doorstep by Christmas. Your body will thank you and so will the landfills as Venture's line of heated clothing is powered by recyclable Lithium batteries. MSRP: $159-$189
Are you still looking for that fussy somebody? Nau specializes in eco-friendly active wear and winter enthusiasts will lust after Nau's recycled Profile Fleece Hoody's for both men and women. You will not find a more sleek, comfortable insulation layer anywhere which is still water resistant and technical. Wear these alone or under a coat without feeling bulked up and restricted. $195
Under Armour Men's Eco Waffle T is perfect for the man who likes to work up a sweat. The Eco T, which is made from 100 percent recycled polyester, is lightweight and allows for total movement as well as helps to eliminate odors for that apres ski date with the hot chick from the chairlift. $39.99
Bula Hats have been around forever but, their new Green Collection has not. Hats off to Bula for creating a line consisting of sustainable and recycled materials. The Baubab Beanie and Volcano Peruvian are excellent choices to feel good about what's on your noggin. MSRP: $29.95 and $34.95
Gift your special someone with Nils luxurious unmentionables. Look for the ultra sleek Blair bottom and Jennifer top. These incredibly comfortable base layers are like silk next to your skin. If you, or someone you love, live in a cold climate, these are a must have! You would never guess these are made from Tencel which is a biodegradable fabric made from wood pulp and you will never want to take them off! MSRP:$48 and $56
The new Helix pack from Osprey is a great pack to take to class as well as haul gear for a day of skiing. The Helix is technical without being bulky. Made from 78 percent recycled content you can feel good about the content which you stuff into it. MSRP: $69
The web is jam packed with great homemade products which help to sustain individuals who are self reliant, and creative. Bags By Jess is just one of these great little online business who are doing their part to lessen their imprint on our earth. These ultra trendy bags which are created from reclaimed materials found at local thrift stores as well as sustainable fabrics would make a sweet gift for someone who wants a little girlyness added to her hard core life. MSRP: $40-50
Come on, it's tough to snowboard seven days straight. Kick off your board and head out into the peaceful winter landscape with a pair of Crescent Moon Snowshoes. Crescent Moon's "green" philosophy is one to live up to. They reuse and recycle nearly everything as well as operate with 100 percent wind power. Take out the backcountry specific Women's Gold 15 for an effortless day of self powered snowshoeing and don't forget to breathe in that fresh air. MSRP: $249
Transport wine to your favorite spot in the woods with this BPA free, lightweight alternative to vino being sloshed around in your Nalgene Bottle. Gift the unique Platy Preserve to the connoisseur in your family. With the ability to eliminate oxygen from the Preserve you can have fine wine weeks after the last storm sent you trekking into the backcountry. MSRP: $9.99
Compressible Pillows by Therm A Rest will make a soft, inexpensive gift. Filled with recycled materials, these pillows can be stuffed into your glove compartment without restraint. MSRP:$18-28
Who knew that Little Hotties hand warmers were made from all-natural ingredients? Well, they are so, don't fret about tossing these into the trash after they have kept your fingers warm all day. Some people would probably be very happy if their entire stocking was filled with these.
YakTrax ROCK. Buy a pair for every member of your family and put a smile on their faces instead of bruises on their bums. You will not be slipping on the ice with YakTrax attached to your shoes. Wear them out to shovel snow, put them on your boots so you don't slip in the resort's parking lot or even wear them when you go sledding. You will be racing up the hill while every other lagger is slipping and sliding behind you. MSRP:$20-$30
Load up on Eco Lip Products and make your lips and your significant other's happy and moist. Athletes should try the SPF 15 Mint Lip Balm which will heal and protect chaffed lips. Also try the Face Stick which can be used all over to protect and condition and is tiny enough to hide in your jacket pocket. MSRP: $1.99-$8.99
When the snow melts each spring, toxic chemicals from ski wax can carry on into our water systems and habitats. These potentially risky chemicals are what make our skis and boards glide smoothly down the mountain. We want to go fast so, what is the solution? Support eco-friendly wax companies such as Enviro Mountain Sports. You will find all natural ski and snowboard waxes that will leave your friends trailing you in a powdery haze.
Stuff a stocking with some Darn Tough Socks. Made from sustainable Merino wool these soft socks will not leave you itching for another brand. The foot stops here with comfort and support. Try the Over-The-Calf Ultra-Light ski socks made from a perfect combination of wool, Nylon and lycra. Your going to log a lot of vertical in these puppies. Retail locations are on their Web site.
Chances are you carry an iPhone or ipod. Pick up a solar powered charger, which is compatible with your device. For $69.95, you can give yourself an extra two hours of juice simply by harnessing the power of the sun. Keep this in your pack for emergencies.
Swany has put the three R's into a new line of premium ski gloves called the Eco-Circle. Although, you cannot pick these up for a couple of weeks you can still ask Santa for a late present. With Swany's unrelenting passion for creating the very best gloves, you can be sure that these will make waves in the ski industry as well as keep your hands toasty warm.
By now, everyone is aware of the movement to use BPA-free water bottles and Kleen Kanteen has been leading the pack with their innovative, stainless steel, sleek designs. This winter they have outdone themselves with many more styles and colors. Pick up the new Insulated version. This bottle will keep beverages hot for up to 6 hours and keep iced drinks chilled for up to 24 hours. Give the gift of Klean this holiday season. MSRP: $22.95-$27.95