What Eco-Responsibility Means to US

Crystal Mountains is a recreational area and our number one asset is the environment. Being eco-responsible means being good stewards of the land and preserving the beautiful mountain environment. Taking measurable steps will ensure generations of families will enjoy cold winters and clean, natural summers for years to come. Below we've outlined what initiatives we are undertaking and their impact. 
Climate Advocacy and Education
Crystal Mountain is joining the Climate Challenge program sponsored by the National Ski Area Association (NSAA, our industry trade association). We have signed on to the NSAA’s Sustainable Slopes charter and commit to acting on climate change.

Climate Challengers commit to taking five steps each year:

1. Measuring our carbon emissions.
2. Setting emission reduction goals.
3. Implementing at least one emissions reduction project annually.
4. Conducting political advocacy in support of climate policy.
5. Reporting our emissions and progress annually.

Stay tuned for our sustainability updates.
Crystal Mountain is partnering with Protect Our Winters (POW) to save skiing and riding. POW is the non-profit for winter sports enthusiasts focusing on political advocacy and education to solve climate change. We are proud to support them! Visit their website to learn about all the important work they are doing.
Utilities in Washington State must now produce all their electricity from clean sources by 2045! As a large electricity user and a business that relies on snow, we love to see our state government and utility companies working to ensure the future of our business. Washington Clean Energy Bill 5116

Emissions Reductions
Coming Summer of 2020
During the Summer of 2020 we will install EV (electric vehicle) charging stations. Cars emit 20lbs of CO2 for every gallon of gas they burn. Our EV stations will eliminate 30 metric tons of carbon emissions each year. Now, if you're a skier or boarder looking at a new car, you no longer have to weigh climate vs. getting to the mountain when deciding whether to buy an electric vehicle. Thank you to the National Ski Area Association for your generous Sustainable Slopes Grant and to Tesla for your support in pursue of this goal!
Crystal Mountain was the first ski area in North America to take delivery of not one, but two 600E+ diesel/electric snow groomers. The PistenBully 600E+ is powdered by a diesel electric drive that boasts significantly lower ecological impacts than standard snowcats. The 600E+ uses a diesel engine to drive two electric generators, which, in turn, power electric motors that turn the tracks and snow tiller that provides a high quality groom for skiers and snowboarders. Overall the technology reduces CO₂ greenhouse gas and NOX emissions by 20%. When traveling downhill the engine idles and the electric energy created from the braking effect of the electric motors is used to power the snow tiller. The machine operates at lower RPMs and is therefore significantly quieter than standard groomers.

Reducing Waste
When food waste ends up in the landfill, microbes break it down without oxygen, releasing methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Composting in an aerobic environment minimizes this methane release, which is good news for the climate. Composting allows us to reuse the nutrients from our food waste.
We’ve also ditched plastic straws and moved to multi-use tableware, biodegradable to-go boxes and paper bags mountain-wide, in retail and restaurants. Instead of plastic straws, we are now serving drinks with the option to use a paper straw that will biodegrade and have less impact on our environment.
In 2013, Crystal Mountain Resort stopped selling single-use plastic bottles. As a result, we are preventing single-use plastic water bottles from ending up in landfills and the ocean. Plastic bottle production uses over 17 million gallons of oil each year, wasting enough electricity to power over 190,000 homes. We encourage you to carry a reusable water bottle with you that can be refilled for free with fresh mountain waterat any of the refill stations around Crystal.
Recycling lowers carbon emissions by lowering new resource extraction and production.
Removing recycling and compost from our trash stream also helps keep our landfills smaller. For years, all departments at Crystal Mountain have participated in the collection and processing of cardboard, which is transported to a Pierce County Recycling facility. We are excited to broaden our recycling program.

Printed By Stone Paper Solutions
Trail maps are printed by Stone Paper Solutions located in Vancouver B.C. Stone paper is an innovative, revolutionary new paper product made from stone, not trees. It is comprised of calcium carbonate or CaCO3 (80-85%), recycled concrete and a non-toxic, recyclable, photodegradable HDPE resin (15-20%) to create an unparalleled, environmental friendly paper. This make up may change slightly depending on the product. Calcium Carbonate, one of the most common elements on earth, and the principle component in many types of stone, including limestone and marble. Most importantly, the creation of stone paper requires NO TREES nor WATER. Stone paper manufacturing produces zero air or water pollution, and requires no harmful acids, dyes and bleaches, all of which eventually end up back in our environment. This is why when comparing stone paper’s environmental footprint to pulp or recycled paper – there is no comparison! In fact, the carbon footprint for stone paper is 67% less than regular pulp paper.

Stone Paper Solutions Fun Facts:
1 Ton of Stone Paper vs. 1 Ton of Pulp Paper

20 trees saved
16,000 gallons of fresh water saved
67% less carbon emission – 107 Kg (235 lbs) atmospheric emissions eliminated
19 Kg (42 lbs) waterborne waste not produced
6 million BTUs energy saved
Ecosystem Protection
In partnership with the Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest and Mount Rainier National Parks, Crystal Mountain is moving toward an ever-growing level of stewardship that will protect and enhance these valuable and sensitive public lands for generations to enjoy.
When upgrading the old Green Valley chairlift to a high speed Doppelmayr Quad, the base area terminal was relocated out of a marshy area to a less sensitive, drier area.
Crystal Mountain strives to preserve fish habitat and a healthy stream ecosystem through the management of the Silver Creek watershed and maintenance of the sewage treatment facility. Staff members work on a year-round basis to ensure the proper amount and conditions of water quality that runs through the permit area is up to Washington State standards. In 1997 Crystal Mountain received the Silver Eagle Award for excellence in Fish and Wildlife Habitat Protection.

Crystal’s runoff settlement ponds protect Silver Creek from sediment and pollution running off our parking lots. We installed these ponds in summer 2018.

The all new state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant was completed summer of 2013. This facility replaces a 1965 treatment plant. The treated water is discharged to drain fields. Water quality is increased to meet standards set for today and into the future. At a cost of $2.5 million, Crystal is making a major investment in the best infrastructure.

Crystal Mountain fully implemented a liquid deicing program for Crystal Mountain Boulevard. The process included applying the deicing liquid (calcium chloride) and reducing the use of salt brine sand on the boulevard and parking lots to less than 20 yards from a potential 7,000 yards. This environmentally sensitive program dramatically curtailed the effects on stream sedimentation. The reduction of snow and ice buildup on the boulevard has also drastically reduced the number of vehicle accidents

One of the program’s primary goals is to maintain the maximum forest cover that is compatible with safe skiing and snowboarding. Operating plans and training manuals emphasize the protection of trees from the possibility of mechanical damage by snow grooming equipment and other machinery.

When it is necessary for ground disruption such as re-contouring, Crystal Mountain crews immediately mulch and seed, with Forest Service approved sterile grass seed mixes to protect against short-term soil erosion. These efforts take place each year along with native seed collection and area management of roads and guidance of all erosion areas. Over a period of a few years native grass seeds and plants re-enter these sites. Transplanting of native plants is also done in specific areas of the mountain.