At first glance ski resorts don't seem to be very green. They draw in thousands of drivers every winter day to mountains cut with trails and populated with lodges, ski lifts and condos. The trails are covered in man-made snow created with water drawn from local sources, and some are bathed in intensively bright lights when the sun goes down to enable night skiing.
At the same time, ski resorts can be powerful advocates for the natural environment. Their economic clout gives them the power to preserve surrounding lands and wildlife, and they are in a position to lose a lot in the face of warmer and shorter winters that could be brought on by climate change.
Here are five ski resorts that are making green a priority by spending the money and expending the energy to adopt more sustainable practices, investing in solar panels, wind turbines and renewable energy credits, and using their marketing might to educate customers on why it's important for everyone to do their part. A special thanks to the Ski Area Citizens' Coalition for its ratings of some of the best and worst ski resorts in the nation. (Text: Shea Gunther)