Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows releases 2018-19 report on sustainability efforts
As 2019 came to a close, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows released its progress report for sustainability efforts made in 2018-19.
Through banning the sale of plastic bottles, free shuttle services, and fundraising programs, the resort continues toward sustainable practices while also inching closer toward its goal of running 100% off renewable energy.
In 2016, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows became the first resort in North America to ban the sale of single-use plastic water bottles. Through the Drink Mountain Tap program, the resort announced that roughly 87,600 plastic bottles no longer are deposited in its waste system. The resort estimates that roughly 360,000 plastic bottles have been removed from its waste stream since the program was initiated.
“Drink Mountain Tap is a ground-breaking program, in my mind,” said Jeremy Jones, professional snowboarder and founder of Protect Our Winters, when the program launched. “We’re fortunate to live where we do: we have some of the cleanest drinking water in the world and there’s no reason not to embrace it. The thing with the single-use plastic water bottles is that 80% end up in our landfills, which then oftentimes end up in our oceans. Over 40 billion plastic water bottles end up in a landfill or the ocean every year in the U.S. alone. Hopefully this initiative shifts people’s mindsets away from single-use to reusable products that they can carry into other aspects of their life.”
The resort also partnered with Protect Our Winters to offer premium parking to guests that carpool to the resort with three or more occupants. In 2018-19 the resort reported that 44,780 cars used the carpool lot. Guests also made use of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows’ free app-based shuttle service, which announced that 81,000 passengers used the service, removing roughly 20,000 vehicle trips from access roads. Squaw Valley also became the first California ski resort to install electric car charging stations, which are free for guests.
Through Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows’ Green Bucks program, the resort donates roughly $30,000 annually to the Tahoe Fund and Truckee River Watershed Council. The donations come from guests that add to their lift ticket and season pass purchases, and have been used to help fund restoration projects on the Truckee River and the removal of aquatic invasive weeds from Lake Tahoe.
Through its $5 Fridays program, the resort offered guests $5 lift tickets during Fridays in June. The four Fridays that month brought in roughly $40,000, which was donated to the Tahoe Fund and the Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition in order to install 127 new bike racks at local businesses in the Tahoe Basin.
For more information on Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows’ sustainability efforts, visit SquawAlpine.com/community.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at email@example.com or 530-550-2643.