Thursday February 06, 2014 | 07:00 AM
Posted by Mike Tetreault

The Nature Conservancy is in the midst of its third annual Skistakes promotion, an effort to encourage Mainers to get outside and enjoy all that we love about winter here in New England. So I've invited Jamie Schechtman, marketing director for Mt. Abram – which donated prizes for this year's giveaway – to share his thoughts on sustainability on the slopes and why it's so important:

Snow may be the ultimate renewable resource. It comes from nature, provides us with hours of enjoyment and obligingly regenerates year after year.

At Mt. Abram, we know that not everything in nature is so resilient, and we also know that a beautiful, healthy outdoors is key to what we do.

We’re proud to help protect nature in Maine by supporting The Nature Conservancy, which is why we’ve donated 12 pairs of lift tickets to help you get out and enjoy the outdoors. Make sure to enter for the chance to win yours before Feb. 6 at noon – just visit http://nature.org/meskistakes

We’re also proud to put a premium on sustainability. Here are our top six tips to turn the snow green on your next ski vacation.

1. Go au natural. If you can, find a slope with plenty of natural - not man-made - snow. Nature not cooperating? Be sure to visit a mountain with Low E snowmaking guns. These guns use up to 75 percent less power, which saves energy and reduces emissions.

2. Recycle, recycle, recycle. You know the drill. From water bottles to receipts, road trips can create a lot of waste. Find a mountain with a commitment to recycling, and use those bins to dispose of paper, plastic and aluminum products.

3. Carpool. More carpooling means fewer cars on the road and fewer emissions in the air we breathe. At Mt. Abram, we give carpoolers a bonus on Fridays by charging only $79 per car load. And remember, you also save big on gas by sharing a ride.

4. Drive responsibly. Hopefully you’re already carpooling, but a fuel-efficient car helps reduce emissions, too. Compare vehicles with your skiing buddy and make the right choice for the drive. We’ve been encouraging electric cars at Mt. Abram since 2012, when we became the second ski area in North America to install electric vehicle chargers.

5. Check your creds. You wouldn’t buy a new electronic appliance without checking its energy usage, so why not do the same for your ski lodge? The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) offers information on sustainable resorts and even bestows a Golden Eagle Award on best-in-class mountains.

6. Get involved. Skiing may be seasonal, but protecting nature is a year-round mission. Don’t take your local mountains, rivers and beaches for granted – get involved in a nature organization that’s making a difference. You can find out more about some of the work we support through The Nature Conservancy.

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Mike Tetreault leads The Nature Conservancy in Maine, where he works with partners in conservation, government and community development to identify solutions which ensure that Maine's natural resources are available for people and for nature.

He holds a degree in environmental studies from Brown and a MS from the field naturalist program at the University of Vermont, and has studied resource management in Kenya, Mexico and throughout New England.

Tetreault started his career teaching wilderness leadership and environmental education, and has worked for The Nature Conservancy since 1998. He lives in Bath with his wife, their daughter and a menagerie of pets.


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