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1Step for Whistler, one giant leap for the ski industry

If you're interested in greening the ski industry, positive action starts with one step.

If you're interested in greening the ski industry, positive action starts with one step.

Last Friday, a group of folks gathered in Whistler to launch 1Step, a registered charity founded to make positive steps in support of mountain environments and the enjoyment and community we find here. For me it marks the beginning of a new era in moving towards a more sustainable relationship with this amazing environment we have the privilege of experiencing.

I think our environment is in need of some extra attention. Climate change is becoming ever more evident, and I feel that it is up to each and every one of us to start creating change. We've been taking advantage of what's around us for too long now, and it's time that we start planning our next moves with extra care to ensure a sustainable future.

As a first move in Whistler, 1Step will work with the Whistler2020 community task force to identify actions that will move us toward our shared Whistler2020 vision. We will raise funds and use them to assist in implementing actions recommended by the Whistler2020 Natural Areas, Materials and Solid Waste and Energy community task forces. Through this innovative partnership we will work to bring the ski business in line with the business of actively protecting, promoting and enhancing the nature of Whistler which draws all of us to this place and supports our tourism economy. There is no difference between Whistler's ski business and grassroots action. They are too integrated to deny the connection.

Earth's delicate balance is dangerously close to swinging beyond the tipping point. We have the choice to make changes in our daily lives that will help balance the scale. We are lucky to live in an inspiring community such as Whistler, with all of our progressive initiatives for sustainability, green projects and collaboration-minded citizens. There is so much more that can be done, and together we can educate and inspire more people to make better choices.

I was inspired to create 1Step because I love the mountains and skiing, and I have been noticing the effects of global climate change all around me. It's affecting ski communities all over the world, and I want to create a voice and a model in which we can start to make positive changes towards sustainability and a brighter, greener future.

We plan to create more awareness within the ski industry and ski towns. We will educate people about environmental issues, and model positive steps through our actions. 1Step will assist in the development and promotion of more sustainable products and services, inspired by and for Whistler life. The world is coming here in 2010, we better be ready to show and prove. 1Step will raise and streamline funds into projects and initiatives around the world. But it all starts at home.

I am proud to be part of the development of the Salomon Shogun, a bamboo-based ski which lowers the use of toxic materials. DaKine's search for new materials, along with their internal efforts of lowering their carbon footprint, is inspiring others. Smith has recently launched their new Evolve line using reclaimed materials. Helly Hansen launched their Ekolab line, and teamed up with The Public Works to build a waste vegetable oil processor that fuels my vehicle, lowering the emissions of my year-long travel schedule. We can all be inspired by these projects. These are all things that will continue to move us one step closer to a more sustainable future.

I often hear people say they don't think that their individual efforts can make a difference. Climate change is certainly an overwhelming concept, especially for the ski industry. When hundreds of thousands of individuals are making conscious choices, it has a HUGE impact. Each step is "1Step" toward a more sustainable future. Let's go.


To learn more about the Whistler2020 Natural Areas strategy, or to find out how to support 1Step, check out