Here at POW, we rely largely on our corporate partners to achieve our mission. These partners recognize the success of their business directly relies on the health of the environment and therefor align their core values with direct action to help protect it. These are the companies who understand the role they can play in the climate movement is massive and that inaction will have direct influence on their business and way of life.
Fortunately for us, we work with a number of brands that have built environmental responsibility and climate advocacy into their corporate DNA and into their annual business plans. Together, these brands have come to represent the lion’s share of the market in the winter sports industry and have the economic and social might to create the social movement that we desperately need to effectively address climate change. We can’t thank these partners enough for their commitment to us, the community and the environment.
We prefaced this post with that because no matter how big or how small, corporate involvement in climate change is critical to save a season that’s an integral part of our culture and identity, but also the economic backbone of the global winter sports industry.
The most common question we ask ourselves on a daily basis at Protect Our Winters is, “How can we make the biggest impact?” In 2012, when considering getting involved with a massive fight against coal exports in the Pacific Northwest, we asked ourselves this again and started doing some research. First and foremost, the biggest opportunity we saw was that it became very apparent that part of the reason that the issue hasn’t risen to the level of climate emergency outside of the PNW is because the scope of the destruction is virtually unimaginable.
It’s hard to fully imagine the impact 50 trains a day, loaded with coal, can have as they rumble through on their way from Wyoming, unless of course you live in one of the many small communities along the on the rail line, you’re one of the affected Native Americans who call these places sacred, or one of Washington state’s legendary waterways risking coal dust (or worse, a coal spill) in their fragile ecosystem. And then if that’s not enough, consider the global climate impacts when that coal is burned.
And that begged the question: why are we all not aware of this when the amount of carbon emissions produced by the burning of this coal deposit alone outweighs that of Keystone XL and would undoubtedly result in irreversible impacts on the global climate?
Momenta would be our way to truly illustrate what’s at stake and place it in the minds of a broader audience to spotlight what this small group of fossil fuel companies is risking for their own profits.
And so Momenta was born.
First step: funding. In all truth, we undertook a documentary project that was probably bigger than we were able to execute at the time, but it was important to us and our members that we do something meaningful. The price tag was bigger than any project we’d ever undertaken, so we filmed an incredibly powerful trailer and threw it up on Kickstarter. The donations came in from local citizens that truly cared, but we came up short. By a lot.
With seven hours to go before the Kickstarter campaign was scheduled to end (and if you don’t make your campaign goal by the end, you don’t get anything) we had pretty must lost hope on bringing Momenta to life.
It was 10:30 p.m. in Los Angeles. Then the phone rang. It was Ed Lewis from SNOCRU, a social startup app for the winter sports community based in Park City, calling from Gillette, WY (home of the Powder River Basin). He wanted to know more about Momenta. He was driving to Utah and was blown away by the destruction from the coal mining in the area and wanted to get SNOCRU involved somehow, as he knew what more burned coal in the world meant to global CO2 levels. I filled him in on Momenta and after hearing about the soon-to-be-failed Kickstarter campaign he simply asked, “how much do you need?”
Within minutes, Kickstarter alarms were going off in my email and with six hours to go, Momenta was funded. We launchedMomenta this week, in very large part because of the generosity and the commitment of a startup brand called SNOCRU and a CEO who knows that without paying attention to the environment, there will be no need for businesses like his own.
And that’s what we hope other brands in the snow community will do – see beyond today and understand that in order to stay in business for generations, we all need to act like SNOCRU, to visualize what a world without snow would be like and take meaningful action. It’s time to step up and help protect our winters, for our livelihoods and for future generations.
CARLSBAD, Calif., Jan. 29, 2015 — New for 2015, TransWorld SNOWboarding, in partnership with Protect Our Winters, will present the Climate Activist Award to Marie-France Roy at the 16th Annual Riders’ Poll Awards.
With the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA recently announcing that 2014 was the hottest year across global land and ocean surfaces, the creation of this new award is especially timely, as this is the first year since 1990 that the high temperature record was broken in the absence of El Niño conditions in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean near the equator. The 10 warmest years on record have also all occurred since 2000.
“Snowboarders are one of the first groups to really see the effects of climate change firsthand and we stand to lose a lot from less predictable snowfall and snowpack,” says Chris Steinkamp, Executive Director of Protect Our Winters. “Not only are we facing shorter and more unpredictable winters, but increased avalanche danger due to more erratic freeze/thaw cycles. We hope this award inspires our community to come together over this issue and change our own habits. We also need to continue pressuring world leaders to make policy changes that regulate and reduce carbon emissions because we all want to keep riding for generations to come.”
To select candidates for the award, TransWorld SNOWboarding and Protect Our Winters looked for riders who inspired others, took meaningful action, and did something notable in the past year in the fight against climate change.
After careful consideration of several riders who embodied this spirit, Marie-France Roy was chosen for her bold move to step away from filming a traditional video part to make The Little Things movie.
The film includes some riding but focuses mostly on Roy’s own efforts to reduce her environmental footprint and highlights other riders taking action on the grassroots and political levels, including Jeremy Jones, Gretchen Bleiler, and Tamo Campos.
“Marie took a risk and stepped out of her comfort zone to make this film,” says Gerhard Gross, Managing Editor at TransWorld SNOWboarding. “She had no idea how it would be received since it’s very different from most snowboard videos, but breaking away from the status quo is exactly the type of action we need to see more of in the fight against climate change.”
While it’s difficult to have zero carbon footprint, Roy has consistently looked for ways to reduce her impact in her daily life, making her an example to snowboarders everywhere, another reason she was chosen for this award.
Join us on Friday, January 30 at the Ogden Theater in Denver, Colorado to recognize Marie-France Roy for breaking the mold and standing up for what she believes in. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. For those who can’t make it, catch videos of the winners at TWSNOW.com/riderspoll.
The Riders’ Poll Awards are sponsored by GoPro, Martin Guitar, Bird Dog Whiskey, and Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Industry guests, RSVP HERE
For more on TransWorld SNOWboarding and the prestigious Riders’ Poll Awards, visit TWSNOW.com
For updates, get connected to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds at @TWSNOW (#RIDERSPOLL16).
About TransWorld SNOWboarding
TransWorld SNOWboarding is the world’s number one snowboard media outlet with an audience of over 1.4-million. Celebrating 28 years since its inception in 1987, TransWorld SNOWboarding continues to successfully and creatively cover the snowboard culture with innovative photography, original videos, award-winning print and multi-layered digital magazines, snowboard instruction, consumer events and cutting edge awards shows. TransWorld SNOWboarding can be found online at TWSNOW.com and is based in Carlsbad, California.
About TEN: The Enthusiast Network
TEN: The Enthusiast Network LLC is the world’s premier network of enthusiast brands, such as Motor Trend, Automobile, Hot Rod, Surfer, Transworld and GrindTV. With more than 60 publications, 100 Web sites, the world’s largest automotive VOD channel, 800 branded products, 50+ events, TV and radio programs, TEN creates and delivers content that informs, entertains, inspires and connects with enthusiasts every day. For more information visit enthusiastnetwork.com
Alternative is a fashion basics brand with a serious commitment to sustainability. Sound familiar? Like-minded people find strengths together, and that’s why Holden is excited to have made a great partnership with the folks at Alternative.
This season, Holden's outerwear collection is lined with cozy, eco-friendlier fabric from Alternative. Incorporating organic cotton and recycled polyester, Alternative fabrics give these new styles, tees and sweats that vintage softness everyone loves – keeping you warmer and the Earth happier. Find new goods for a life well led today at holdenouterwear.com.
WASHINGTON (January 14, 2015) - It’s a numbers game...
With exponential growth in both sales and participation in the backcountry snow sports category in the past three seasons, more and more people and groups are venturing out into what was once restricted “out of bounds” on-snow terrain.
Is it any wonder that more avalanche incidences are occurring?
Season over season, the numbers continue to rise. To meet the demand, gear innovation and terrain openings continue to grow. Skiers, snowboarders, ice climbers and winter mountaineers, snowshoers and snowmobilers continue to head to the backcountry in droves, without a clear sense of what will enable them to return home safely.
Both the snow sports and outdoor industries recognize the need for a consistent safety and awareness campaign as the participation numbers continue to climb among the once-niche backcountry enthusiast ranks.
Collectively, for the first time, the industries, avalanche forecast and training centers, non-profits and supporting companies have proactively put action ahead of agenda in a never-before-seen collaborative effort committed to reducing avalanche fatalities to zero.
Project Zero is a North American industry collaboration between avalanche forecast centers, educators, equipment manufacturers, industry associations and businesses, non-profits, and the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE). Project Zero is launching its first targeted campaign,Backcountry Starts Here(BSH), at the 2015 SIA Snow Show, which opens later this month on January 29th in Denver, Colo.
The intention of BSH is to reduce avalanche fatalities by changing perceptions of avalanche risk and backcountry behavior in young, skilled skiers and riders with immediate intentions to enter backcountry terrain. The campaign is rooted in market research conducted by Project Zero during the winter of 2013/14, which identified a strong need for peer-to-peer education. Additionally, the research showed that social media influences were an absolute necessity to drive these desired cultural changes.
“SIA is thrilled to support the launch of Backcountry Starts Here,” said Dave Wray, SIA Western Sales and Marketing Manager. “The backcountry community, which includes retailers, manufacturers, guides, resorts and of course, end-consumers, all need to get on the same page to promote a safety mindset and this is a great step forward in accomplishing just that.”
SIA’s Backcountry Experience booth at the 2015 SIA Snow Show will be the industry launch of the campaign where retailers, reps and the media can learn more from AIARE professionals, athletes and guides includingChris Davenport, Lynsey Dyer, Greg Hill and Jeremy Jones. Each day, Backcountry Experience will host retail clinics, panel discussions, happy hours with the pros, in addition to supporting content structured around the basics of the Backcountry Starts Here campaign. Whether an individual is a longtime backcountry enthusiast or are starting this season, Show attendees are encouraged to learn more during the 2015 SIA Snow Show.
“We want to create a new normal,” commented AIARE’s Tom Murphy. “Currently the thinking is, ‘I have my beacon, shovel, probe. Let’s go.’ We need people to be thinking, ‘I have my gear, what’s the avalanche problem today and how do we avoid it?’ That will require a systemic change. And all of the stakeholders-the users, enforcers, rescuers, designers-will need to work together to promote it.”
In October of 2012, SIA gathered a group of industry professionals ranging from avalanche forecasters, manufacturers, retailers, guides and resorts for the very first SIA Backcountry Committee meeting. After some additional round table meetings and conference calls the message was clear -- the industry needed consistent messaging, signage and terminology for avalanche safety and awareness that all facets of the marketplace would embrace. At the time, AIARE had already been working on Project Zero.
This collaborative effort leverages a variety of stakeholders throughout the industry to affect positive change. CEO of up-and-coming backcountry safety equipment manufacturer AvaTech, Brint Markle states, "Project Zero is pioneering an effort to bring together exceptional leaders from across our industry to reduce avalanche fatalities and promote a safer backcountry experience. There is no better time than now. More and more people are heading into beautiful, but potentially deadly terrain. We couldn't be more excited to be a Founding Partner of this critical initiative."
AIARE’s Program Director, Ben Pritchett, agrees.
“We’ve all come together with the goal of leveraging our resources to drive avalanche fatalities toward zero. It’s an audacious goal and it’s one that we’re not going to achieve unless we have support from all aspects of the snow sports industry,” said Pritchett.
About Project Zero: Project Zero is a groundbreaking North American industry collaboration between avalanche forecast centers, educators, equipment manufacturers, industry associations and businesses and non-profits formed under the far-reaching vision to “Reduce Avalanche Fatalities to Zero.” While lofty, this statement sets a vision that can only happen through broad collaboration towards cultural, infrastructure and educational changes in how we manage avalanche risk and backcountry travel.
About AIARE: AIARE develops and disseminates avalanche course materials to avalanche educators in the United States, South America and Europe. There are over 95 AIARE course providers and 300 instructors representing AIARE internationally. AIARE gather’s the latest knowledge, research and ideas in avalanche safety to create avalanche training courses that reflect the needs of today’s backcountry travelers. AIARE is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit educational organization. For more information contact Tim Bennet at 303- 817-7378 or email@example.com.