Greener gear

Eco-friendly stuff for the slopes

It’s come close, but global warming has yet to completely destroy the chilly air and the falling snow. Soak it up while you can. Better yet, do the planet a favor and hit the slopes with eco-friendly gear that is sure to make Mother Nature blush.

To ensure your snowboard is eco-friendly, you could careen down the hill in a hollowed-out pine, but it wouldn’t offer the control of Burton’s EcoNico.

This 2009 model, designed for snowboarder Nicholas Müller, uses recycled and natural products to ensure a green experience. Encased in polyethylene, the same material used to make plastic shopping bags, most snowboards will eventually end up in a landfill. However, the EcoNico uses recycled materials for the bottom of the board, turning the trash pile from a destination into a resource.

With a wooden core, Burton tops it all off with soy oil, beeswax and carnauba wax for a slick finish. Available in two sizes, 156 and 159, the board features a slantwall and re-run WFO base.

The EcoNico is part of Burton’s Green Mountain Project, a series of boards, boots and clothes that seek to minimize winter sports’ carbon footprint. As with most green items though, expect to pay a little more. Retailing for $630, you’ll have to spend green to be green.

Laken ISO 70-Aerogel
Winter weather can be a misleading environment. Snow blankets the ground, so it seems logical to leave the sunscreen with the beach blanket. Yet, as important as it is to remember your SPF 70, you can’t forget to hydrate when walking in a winter wonderland.

The Laken ISO 70 water bottle is reminiscent of the popular SIGG thermo bottles that come out of Germany, but with a few differences that make them perfect for cold weather. The exterior of Laken’s water bottle resembles any other eco-friendly aluminum canister. While these reusable bottles are a welcome replacement to the disgusting trend of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic bottled waters, when it comes to holding hot and cold liquids, most reusable containers leave us tepid.

Aside from the usual dual casing of aluminum, one model of the ISO 70 sports a layer of aerogel. Created by removing the liquid from a gel and replacing it with a gas, aerogel is an incredibly strong semi-solid material and a great insulator.

Unlike most aluminum bottles, the Laken ISO 70–Aerogel, which retails for $59, will keep your hot cocoa far from absolute zero while you stay hydrated on top of the mountain.

Ramona Coat
The myriad ski jackets that feature recycled polyester layers just aren’t your scene; you need something to keep you warm during 50-50 martinis as well as those 50/50 grinds. Eco-chic is in, and the Ramona coat from the Delano Collection proves it.

The princess-cut coat is an elegant design that mixes New York with a little dash from across the pond. The Delano Collection encompasses everything from furniture to clothing, and sustainable materials rule supreme throughout.

Organic wool is a welcome relief from synthetic shells, and a bamboo lining replaces chemically processed fur or fibers to create a sustainable source of warmth. Capable of bringing class, and a $425 price tag, to any ski lodge, the eco-friendly materials help to ensure that the snowy peaks won’t turn into beachside resorts any time soon.