Sustainable Morzine: Eco & Green Ski Holidays in Portes Du Soleil

Nov 15, 2023 BY Luke Rees

Are you looking to book eco friendly, or green ski holidays in Portes Du Soleil? Then check out these sustainable Morzine initiatives that reduce the impact the ski resort has on the environment. So you have a more sustainable ski or snowboard trip to the French Alps.

Sustainable Morzine: Eco & Green Ski Holidays in Portes Du Soleil

Morzine, is one of the most popular resorts with British skiers and snowboarders. Located just over an hour from Geneva there are cheap flights, regular transfers and plenty of varied accommodation to choose from. As part of the Portes Du Soleil there are 600km of almost lift linked slopes across 12 resorts in France and Switzerland.

Morzine has long been the biggest town in the Portes Du Soleil, but in recent years it has also become a beacon of sustainability, setting an example for eco-friendly ski holidays. This article delves into how Morzine is transforming itself to offer eco friendly and green ski holidays in Portes Du Soleil to preserve the mountains for future generations.

The Flocon Vert: Sustainable Morzine

Morzine’s journey towards sustainability is highlighted by its pursuit of the Flocon Vert (green snowflake). It took a few years, but in 2021 Morzine-Avoriaz was awarded the prestigious Flocon Vert.

This accolade is granted to destinations that demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainable tourism practices. To achieve this the local government and businesses all collaborated on various projects aimed at reducing environmental impact. Thereby fostering more eco-friendly skiing holidays for us all!

Eco & Green Ski Holidays in Portes Du Soleil quiet slopes in Les Gets (Mt Cherry)

Environmental Efforts for Sustainable Morzine

  • Biodiversity Conservation: Morzine is not just a ski area but also a natural environment. Efforts, include protecting local wildlife, such as the black grouse, and designating protected zones like Lac de Joux Plane and Col de Joux Plane.
  • Sustainable Ski Operations: The ski area boasts less polluting piste grooming machines running on biodegradable fuel. These machines are equipped with Snowsat software to manage snow stocks efficiently and reduce energy consumption.
  • Tree Protection Measures: In collaboration with the Forestry Commission, every tree cut down in the ski area is accounted for, with compensatory replanting using local species.
  • Green Power: The lift operator in the Les Gets/Morzine part of the ski area has committed to using power from sustainable energy sources.
  • Energy Saving Measures: Many simple energy saving measures have been introduced for a more sustainable Morzine. This includes running lifts at optimal speeds, shutting superfluous lifts on quiet days, not lighting the mountains at night and more efficient use of street lighting in town.

Responsible Tourism in Morzine

In aiming to achieve sustainable Morzine the towns efforts extend beyond purely environmental measures to create a more responsible community.

Sustainable Morzine snowboarding in Powder in Prolays area

  • Eco-Events and Awareness: The Tourist Office organizes environmentally themed activities and has created an “eco-event” charter to enhance the environmental responsibility of local events.
  • Green Village Initiatives: Morzine has introduced electric vehicles for civic services and installed charging points for electric cars, reducing the town’s carbon footprint.

Les Aigles du Leman

Furthermore, the Morzine ski area has also partnered with the endangered birds of prey centre Les Aigles du Leman. Visitors can learn about the birds of prey and how to protect them. Morzine is sponsoring the reintroduction of the magnificent white-tailed sea eagle, which has been extinct in the area since 1892.

Breeding the eagle in captivity, Les Aigles du Leman  has successfully released more than 10 birds into the wild over the past few years. During green ski holidays in Portes Du Soleil, you can watch a falconry display over lunch, and even ski with an eagle and meet other birds of prey.

Montage Verte

Championing the eco-friendly and green ski holidays in Portes Du Soleil is Montagne Verte. It is is an environmental non-profit organization based in Morzine, specializing in projects, people and skills for a low carbon future in the mountains.

skiing snowboarding in portes du soleil in Switzerland

Their mission is straightforward yet impactful: to develop solutions for the region of Morzine to reduce its environmental impact. They envision a valley where mountains, people and biodiversity thrive together, fostering a united community that builds a carbon-neutral, sustainable Morzine for all.

Key Aspects of Montagne Verte

  • Community-Funded Non-Profit Association: Montagne Verte is funded by the community it serves, emphasising a grassroots approach to environmental sustainability.
  • Educational and Supportive Role: The organisation aims to inform, inspire, encourage and integrate with the community. They focus on educating and supporting businesses to become more sustainable.
  • Preservation of the Mountain Environment: Recognising the mountains as their playground, home and reason for living, Montagne Verte is dedicated to respecting and preserving the mountain environment.
  • Resource Provision: Working closely with local stakeholders, Montagne Verte provides valuable resources that compile helpful information and support for both businesses and individuals. This initiative is aimed at facilitating greener decisions and promoting sustainable tourism.
  • Community Engagement and Participation: The organisation encourages community involvement through various roles. Including membership, donations, volunteering, and business engagement through initiatives like ‘le pacte’. They believe in building a strong community that is ready to mobilize and determined to make a difference in reducing environmental impact and initiating a necessary transition for mountain territories.

Montagne Verte’s approach is holistic, encompassing education, community involvement and practical solutions to foster a sustainable future for the mountain regions they cherish. They stand as a testament to the power of collective action in environmental conservation and sustainability both summer and winter.

mountain biking in sustainable morzine Les Gets and Portes du Soleil

Key Montage Verte Projects

Économie Circulaire (Circular Economy)

Montagne Verte’s initiative, Économie Circulaire, focuses on promoting a circular economy and sustainability through a second-hand clothing store. This store, in partnership with One Tree at a Time, allows people to buy donated, used clothing and sports equipment from local residents. Located at 162 Rue du Bourg, Morzine, the store operates with the following objectives:

  1. Reducing Waste: By reusing clothing and sports equipment, which are often discarded while still in good condition, the initiative aims to significantly reduce waste.
  2. Promoting Circular Economy: The store not only sells second-hand clothing but also hosts repair, sewing, and object conservation workshops, encouraging people to improve their wardrobe without always buying new.
  3. Social Impact: Providing affordable clothing and equipment makes mountain sports and living more accessible, breaking down financial barriers to these activities.

Additionally, the initiative includes upcycling events and “Fix-It” workshops, teaching people how to extend the life of items by repairing or repurposing them. They also accept the local currency, Chab, promoting short circuits and a sustainable, ethical local economy alongside green ski holidays in Portes Du Soleil.

AMAP (Association for the Maintenance of Peasant Agriculture)

Montagne Verte’s AMAP initiative is a branch of the association that acts as a facilitator between consumers (Amapiens) and farmers. It aims to promote a different way of consuming by sharing risks with farmers and producers and eliminating commercial middlemen. Key aspects of this initiative include:

Review of Morzine freeride snowboarding holiday in Portes du Soleil. Morzine one of the best places to snowboard in France

  1. Diverse Basket Options: Producers offer various basket sizes, and consumers can sign up for as many or as few products as they want.
  2. Regular Distributions: The program includes weekly distributions of vegetables and bread, fortnightly distributions of eggs, cheese and dairy products, and quarterly distributions of meat.
  3. Commitment to Organic Farming: The initiative emphasises the importance of organic farming, reflecting ecological and social values and a commitment to biodiversity.
  4. Membership Requirement: To join the AMAP, one must be a member of Montagne Verte, fostering a community committed to sustainable practices.

This initiative is not just about providing organic produce but also about building a community that supports sustainable agriculture. All whilst paying local farmers a fair amount.

Eco Guides

Montagne Verte’s Eco Guides initiative is designed to help individuals make simple, yet effective changes in their daily lives to reduce their environmental impact. The Eco Guides are rich in various tips and facts, making it easier for anyone to adopt eco-friendly practices.

This initiative emphasises that while systemic change is necessary, individuals still hold significant power to make a difference. The guides offer practical advice on how to live more sustainably, catering to those who are looking to start or continue their journey towards a more environmentally conscious lifestyle.

Montagne Verte’s approach with these guides is to simplify the process of doing the right thing for the environment. Making sustainable Morzine accessible and manageable for everyone.

Rail in Chapelle Park during Avoriaz snowboarding holiday in Portes Du soleil Photo by Numero97 Thomas Humpage Photography

Green Pages

The Green Pages initiative by Montagne Verte serves as a curated database of eco-friendly solutions for everyday problems faced by businesses and individuals. This comprehensive resource includes meticulously researched solutions, each subjected to a product life cycle analysis to verify its environmental credentials.

The Green Pages are designed to assist in reducing the environmental footprint by providing accessible and sustainable alternatives for common needs. All of which means more sustainable, eco-friendly and green ski holidays in Portes Du Soleil.

The initiative is a testament to Montagne Verte’s commitment to offering practical, researched and verified eco-friendly solutions. Ultimately making it easier for businesses and individuals to make informed, sustainable choices in Morzine.

AlpinExpress

And saving the best for last. AlpinExpress is an innovative project by Montagne Verte aimed at changing the way people travel to the Alps. It encourages train travel to reduce emissions for green ski holidays in Portes Du Soleil.

The AlpinExpress Pass offers exclusive discounts for those traveling by train to the mountains. Understanding that train travel might not always be the most affordable or fastest option, Montagne Verte has collaborated with local partners to provide a range of discounts of 5 to 10% off lift passes, accommodations, ski rentals, transfers, activities and more.

Eurostar Snowboard Bag Travel Review UK to French Alps by Train St Pancras London

This initiative is part of their effort to incentivise visitors to choose more sustainable travel options, thereby contributing to the preservation of the alpine environment. Choosing to take the train to the French Alps rather than flying from the UK can reduce your travel carbon footprint by up to 90%.

Green Ski Holidays in Portes Du Soleil

I visit Morzine most winters for snowboarding, and quite a few summers to for mountain biking. I have friends that live in Geneva which makes Morzine an obvious destination for us to meet up for skiing and snowboarding holidays in Portes Du Soleil.

It is one of my favourite ski areas. Not only is it huge but there are many snow parks including the Stash in Avoriaz. It is a great area for off piste as there is a vast amount of backcountry between the 12 ski areas that make up the Portes Du Soleil. Checkout this review of freeride snowboarding in Morzine for more info.

A couple of years ago I travelled with a vegan to Morzine. He said that much of the vegan food was better than he gets eating out in the UK. This is a huge step forward as ski resorts in France are generally tricky places to avoid all animal produce. This is an extra element towards eco-friendly Morzine sustainability.

Last winter I took the train to Morzine for the first time. I booked tickets through Rail Europe from Brighton to Thonon Les Bains with changes in London, Paris and Bellegarde. From there we took a Skiidy Gonzales transfer to resort that took about 40 minutes.

Eurostar Snowboard Bag Travel Review UK to French Alps by Train Thonon Les Bains

Door to door it takes around 12 hours compared to around 8 hours flying. Catching the train is a relaxing experience. Yes it took all day and taking the Metro across Paris with a snowboard bag was a bit of a faff. But it was to more hassle than flying, and ironically a buddy who flew at the same time took longer to get home because of long delays.

Eco-Friendly, Green and Sustainable Morzine

As you can see with all the sustainable Morzine initiatives, catching the train and not eating meat you can have green ski holidays in Portes Du Soleil. Okay there is always going to be some environmental impact from a ski holiday. But your impact is less than it used to be in Morzine where it is more eco-friendly than many other ski resorts.

We hope you found this guide to Morzine sustainability and having a greener, more eco friendly holidays in the Portes Du Soleil interesting and useful. Now check out these Morzine ski holidays to get yourself on the mountains this winter!

 
Alps, Avoriaz, Europe, France, French Alps, Les Gets, Morzine, Portes Du Soleil, Rhone Alpes
Skiing, Snowboarding
eco, Environmentally Friendly, Green, Responsible, sustainability, Train travel, Vegan
Travel Articles
 

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