This quotation of the French actor Jean Yanne is still relevant. We are all aware that something's wrong (ecological, social or financial crisis) and yet which one of us is really ready to take action?
We all have excuses to redeem ourselves such as "I don't have the time, it's not my fault, I don't have the money or it's not so simple", the list is long … and the trash is beginning to smell!
But beyond those fake excuses, our convictions are at stake. To do the right thing, consistent with our beliefs is sometimes difficult and our commitments don't always match our ambitions. But in every one of us there is a free rider waiting, a free spirit keeping himself informed, someone who never accepts fate or defeat and never surrenders.
In the mountains, the city or on Aldebaran, it's very easy. Seek the truth, understand it, exchange your thoughts, propose new ideas and go for it! With a touch of commitment, a drop of creativity and a pinch of belief, implementing a collective, alternative and positive project becomes effortless! Together we can be stronger!
This year, the entire Mountain Rider team has created an Eco Guide for you with a brand new approach. The need to support the development of projects and actions led us to enlighten and detail those local and collective actions. You can discover here 42 inspiring initiatives presented by those who took them.
They prove throughout the guide that the future of our mountains and our society is in our hands. That it is through local actions, public initiatives and the gathering of all people alike that concrete projects can be implemented.
This new edition is for all you free riders, eco-riders, committed citizens looking to get off the beaten path, motivated and ready to take action. We are extending a helping hand that we hope you will grab. Hoping that it will lead you onto a more sustainable path of life.
This table recapitulates the data presented in the Eco Guide. It is based on a sample of 79 French resorts who answered the questionnaire sent by Mountain Riders.
Transport: 33% of the resorts are accessible by a low-cost public transport service. Information about it is easy to find and understand.
Energy: 20% of the resorts buy their electricity supply from an Eco-supplier, which guarantees that it comes from renewable energy. This guarantee is obtained through green certificates.
Development & planning: 20% of the resorts prioritize renovation of old buildings over the construction of new buildings on non-constructed areas.
Water: 66% of the resorts process their dirty water properly and have sewage treatment plants adapted to their demand.
Wastes: 57% of the resorts encourage their residents to compost their organic waste. Accessible tariffs on individual composting facilities or collective composting facilities are available. Proper information describing the process is also available.
Social: 34% of the resorts improve housing and living conditions for seasonal workers. They also provide the seasonal workers with reduced rates on transport, ski passes…
Territory: 8% of the resorts have a host committed to a sustainable development program with an official eco-label.
Millions of winter sports riders come to enjoy the splendid natural spaces and huge leisure zones of mountain resorts which are like laboratories facing on a small-scale, every sustainable development issue.
For its 6th edition, the Eco Guide to Mountain Resorts will once again be a precious tool for every citizen wishing to base their choices on sustainable development and fair trade. The guide will also be a great source of inspiration for every politician who wants to gain a better understanding on good initiatives from around the world.
Encouraging innovation and spreading the word on good practices around is a necessary step if we want to meet the numerous challenges our mountains and their inhabitants are facing.
Over the years, the Eco Guide to Mountain Resorts has gained the trust of over 60 ski resorts, professionals, the media and the public. All of them have adopted this new tool. It offers us a chance to list precisely all environmental actions in every resort while valorizing positive initiatives in order to widely spread them. Finally, this guide is an invitation for tourists to adopt an eco-friendly attitude.
Today, this guide is a must-have for all resorts, local councils or lift services. In this edition, Mountain Riders aims at encouraging and improving the sustainable development approach in « mountain cities ». These natural spaces being extremely sensitive, it is a compulsory step that must be made to preserve their attractiveness.
Mountain Riders' actions seek to help raise the awareness of everyone around environmental issues in ski resorts. The Regional Council of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (Région Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur) seeks the same goals of a harmonious and sustainable development for mountain areas, which are highly crowded during the tourist season.
In France, tourist activities are subject to a constant growth which lead to huge environmental impacts. Mountain resorts have been aware of these issues for a long time and knowing perfectly well what is at stake they are fully conscious of the eco-responsible turn the tourism industry must make to continue its development.
That is why ADEME is supporting them, notably within the framework of the partnership concluded with the National Mountain Resorts Mayor Association (ANMSM).
To confront the challenge of a harmonious and environmentally friendly tourist development, everyone concerned must be involved: tour-operators, hotel businesses, leisure or catering professionals, public or private facility managers and Natural Parks alike. Let's take up the challenge together.
Working to improve information, raise awareness, Mountain Riders is an essential link to this chain.
Since 2007, the charter for mountain resorts drafted by the National Mountain Resorts Mayor Association gives these resorts a framework of action and support to implement a program of continuous improvement adapted to all the specifics of mountain territories with a strong tourist activity. Most of these actions, in order to take sustainable development into account, are reported in the Mountain Riders' Eco Guide. This guide, with whom the ANMSM has been associated with for 6 years, proves itself to be a useful assessment and informative tool. This 2011-2012 edition keeps the same standards of assessment allowing a clear understanding of how actions that have been implemented for two years have evolved. The ANMSM notes, with satisfaction, that this guide has become, throughout the years a reliable source of information for the people who partake in the tourist economy of the mountains: officials, tourist professionals, ski lift operators and mountain holiday enthusiasts as well.
The Rhone Alps Region is undoubtedly a mountainous region. More than 2 third of its territory is registered as a « mountain area » and half of its population lives there. Since 2006, Rhone Alps Region launched a specific strategy for mountain areas in order to meet environmental, economics and societal challenges, in these fragile territories. This strategy mainly aims at helping anyone involved with the Rhone Alps Region and more precisely ski resorts to start a sustainable development process.
Late summer 2011, this action was strengthened by the adoption of a regional policy favouring fair and social tourism particularly for youth.
Since 2005, Rhone Alps Region has supported Mountain-Riders. This non-profit organization works to inform and raise awareness of all the people involved with the mountain on environmental issues and for the promotion of sustainable development in the mountains. The Eco Guide to Mountain Resorts new edition, edited by Mountain Riders, presents simple, original and innovative actions implemented by resorts so that each and every one can change their habits in favour of a greater respect for mountains.
The Eco Guide to Mountain Resorts is co-financed by the European Union. In 2011 Europe is committed through the European Regional Development Fund.
This 6th edition of the Eco Guide to Mountain Resorts is the result of 12 months of data collection, treatment and analysis. Work that would not have been possible without the support of:
Our partners :
The Mountain Riders team :
We hope that this new edition will improve motivation and inspiration to the mountain actors.
Thanks to all of you who have devoted yourselves tirelessly to work and commit to turn today's proposal into concrete solutions for the future.
Help us improve this guide !
Suggestions, observations, comments, any input is welcome.